Monday, October 31, 2011

Toronto Blue Jays 1997-2002


With the leaked photos coming out of the Miami Marlins New Era cap, I figured this might be a good time to take a retrospective look at my favourite of the Toronto Blue Jays caps; due to the Blue Jays also reforming their logo and colour scheme back to their roots.


This New Era baseball cap was worn by the Toronto Blue Jays starting in the 1997 season and was retired in 2002, although this logo was short-lived in the Blue Jays history, it was one of the most recognizable and admired logos that the Blue Jays had created. At the time, this was one of the MLB's largest designs on the front of the cap, and was one of the few caps in the era to have this level of detail located on the logo rather than the simplicity of the cyclical design process of the caps.

The cap is a base dark blue made completely out of wool, the cap also includes a grey underbrim and a white sweatband. This logo located on the front of the structured crown depicts the head of a blue jay located in front of the Canadian Maple Leaf, giving it a nice representation that it was a Canadian team and showed patriotism without over-saturation.


The embroidery on this USA Made New Era cap is beautifully done, from the structuring to the detailing of the stitches on the leaf that leave it multidimensional although the structuring is minimal.


Recommended 7/10

The detail in the embroidery can not truly be overlooked due to the amount of detail located on the logo, and doesn’t exactly require a close eye to notice and appreciate the logo in its entirety. This vintage cap has character that unfortunately was short lived, especially being that the logo’s successor was such a disappointment that it lasted for only 1 season. Although this hat is out of print, it would be a great score if one were able to acquire one either unworn or slightly used.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

*Leaked* Miami Marlins New Era


The Miami Marlins new New Era caps have been unofficially released, as it appears according to George Richards of the Miami Herald after posting some pictures to the website after catching the Marlins new cap prior to its official release. Here are some leaked photos of what could be the new Miami Marlins cap for the 2012 season, should all of the speculation go unchanged. The cap seen below appeared to have been located at the New Era store in Buffalo, New York, the very city that New Era spawned from, so that leads us to believe that these caps are 100% authentic and are not preconceived replicas.

One could say that this cap is a prototype, which to me could be true or could not be true, being that the knowledge of if the cap is currently being sold in the store is up to question and debate, the only way to know for sure is to go there and check it out; Richardson's testimony appeared to give insight that the cap was for sale when he acquired it. All that can say is that it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the cap surfaced in the very city where New Era is located, Buffalo.

The cap unfortunately wasn’t supposed to be seen by the public’s eyes until November 11th, 2011 when the Miami transition is finalized, but this leak apparently has shed some light on what the new caps will look like. Several weeks ago the Marlins announced their new logo, and this cap appears to be a direct copy of that even down to the background colour, so there really should be no surprises here.

As assumed, this hat would most likely be the Marlins Home Cap, and there could be several more in the near future. An Alternate and an Away Cap are the most likely suspects when looking into more caps being released, I personally foresee an away cap and two alternates, but the only way we will find out is either wait for more leaks for listen for the news on November 11th.

The photos seen here were taken by Miami Herald Sports Writer, George Richards, on an apparent trip up to Buffalo; the images were uploaded to the Miami Herald late last night.







Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beloit Snappers


The Beloit Snappers cap is one of my favourite Minor League Baseball caps, it is such a clever little design that I just had to get it when I discovered it. The Beloit Snappers are the Single-A Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, and are located in Wisconsin.


The Beloit Snappers has a fantastic logo, as with other Minor League Baseball teams the Snappers didn't shy away from using a neat design that covered a large chunk of the front of the structured crown. I love the turtle with the baseball bat, and it is complimented well with the Light Grey Heather/Light Navy base colour that New Era has listed for the cap's base. I'd have to call the cap Light Navy though, although Light Grey Heather does sound pretty sexy.

In regards to the logo, the turtle holding the bat wearing a backwards cap has a ton of great detail that greatly expresses the ability of New Era's complexity in embroidery. Although the embroidery is flat, the hatching of the embroidery is what really makes it special, most notably the level of detail seen on the shell due to the almost-swirl seen, giving a level of depth without making a literal raise which New Era is definitely capable of doing.


Recommended 6/10

The level of detail of the embroidery on the turtle really made it worth it to me. The logo is definitely one that needs to be seen up close to fully appreciate it, unfortunately it is not one that will be seen in stores that would allow people to buy it on the spot. The cap may be seen as boring to many, but it was definitely a cap that caught my attention and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get a Minor League Baseball cap.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Depth of the Minor League Baseball Cap


The embroidery of the collection of Minor League Baseball caps is also much more in depth than the embroidery of a Major League Baseball cap do to the level of detail that is involved. Most MLB caps only consist of typographical depictions and few teams utilize pictorial imagery, only expressed by few teams such as the former Florida Marlins, the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Of the four teams listed above, there are many discrepancies with the idea that they only utilize complex designs, being that they also can have alternate caps that consist of simple typographical designs; Florida is the only team listed to use the complex cap daily. Two of the teams listed above will be missing in the 2012 season however, the Florida Marlins are moving onto a new proliferation if their existence and will become the Miami Marlins, this change will bring about a new design of their New Era cap that will have a base a simplicity. The Toronto Blue Jays have also announced that they will also be changing their uniforms, but it is widely believed that they will revert back to their previous design ideas with the traditional bird head, so there should be little to no change here in regards to complexity vs. simplicity.

I'm sure it may be curious to some by what exactly I mean by complexity and simplicity, what I mean is in regards to the logo itself and not the level of complexity required to do the embroidery. Realistically, it is easier for New Era to make the bird on the Baltimore Orioles cap than it is to make the “S” on the Seattle Mariners cap, so the level of legitimate complexity may be surprising.

What I love about Minor League caps is the freedom of creativity that they seem to have. Minor league caps seem to have absolutely no shame and have the feeling that they can for the most part do whatever they want without limitations. The lack of boundaries when it comes to their freedom to design allows the teams to have fun with their logos, and permit their teams to really exploit their location's stereotypes.

Ashville Tourists - Class-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies

Augusta Greenjackets - Class-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants

Casper Ghosts - Rookie Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies

Fort Wayne Tin Caps - Class-A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres

Jamestown Jammers - Class-A Short Season Affiliate of the Florida Marlins

Lansing Lugnuts - Class-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays

Las Vegas 51s - Triple-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays

Montgomery Biscuits - Double-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays

Nashville Sounds - Triple-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers

Ogden Raptors - Rookie Partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Quad City River Bandits - Single-A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals

Trenton Thunder - Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Diamondbacks Throwbacks - Sept 9th-11th


Over the September 9-11 weekend series vs. the San Diego Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks donned their throwback jerseys which included their iconic purple and teal uniforms for the first time since the finale of the 2006 season. With the start of the 2007 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks switched over to their Sedona Red, Sand Beige, and Black, these changes were highly controversial and took a long time for the Arizona fans to finally accept the changes. Since the 2006 season, the original purple Diamondbacks hats were out of production and could only be acquired through custom orders and were never released in an authentic fashion since.

When the Throwback Weekend was approaching, all of the New Era cap fans knew that the Diamondbacks were going to produce a new On-Field Fitted in the original purple style, so we had the expectations that the caps would be as accurate as they once were, being that the caps were out of print only several years ago so they would have to try very hard to get these wrong. Turns out, New Era probably didn't try hard at all, in fact they didn't try what so ever as it appears, but no one knows exactly who to blame for the mistakes.


The Diamondbacks New Era that was released at the game was extremely inaccurate, but even more confusing was the fact that the team didn't even wear these on the field. The differences between the caps are extremely noticeable, most notably the size of the "A" located on the front of the cap which appears to be 30% larger than on the original. The other major error is that the fangs in the cavity of the "A" is teal, whereas the original should be black; this area along with everywhere else that has black thread should be raised when this cap expresses flat embroidery.

Image owned by Major League Baseball

Being an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, I am extremely disappointed with the way that New Era handled the cap situation. As mentioned above, the team itself didn't even wear the caps which were supposedly worn on field, being that they appeared to have a second style of cap to wear which were significantly accurate as compared to their original sources. It is hard to say why this is the case, but when it comes down to it the caps that were sold as "On-Field" were not. One theory that I had come up with when the story first broke was that the team might have had old stock back from when the team originally wore purple, which isn't that far of a stretch due to the fact that they sell them during their FanFest in February, but pictures of players in the caps beg to differ.

Image owned by Major League Baseball

As shown above, the caps have different coloured threading inside of the "A" which can be explained due to New Era discontinuing the original thread, and the patch on the interior of the cap tends to lean towards it being a reproduction such as those sold by stores like My Fitteds or Hat Club.

The only element of the cap that wasn't a disappointment was that they were made in the USA, noted on the interior of the cap on the inside of the sweatband. It was very hard to walk away from the cap, since I have been an Arizona Diamondbacks fan since their formation in 1998, and I was really looking forward to getting a modern throwback hat made out of the modern Performance Polyester material. Buying the cap wouldn't justify anything in my mind, the frustration of the lack of accuracy was really the nail in the coffin when it came down to my determination on whether to buy it or not.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mobile BayBears New Era



So for months I was holding off on purchasing a Mobile BayBears cap, and I can't even tell you why.  I've always loved this logo, and it definitely helps that they're the Double-A Affiliate of my Arizona Diamondbacks.  So since I was holding off on purchasing the hat, I happened to be browsing a New Era forum that I frequent and someone posted one for sale in my size for $40 plus shipping.  Now that price was a little too steep for my liking, the guy did say that is what he originally paid though but I wasn't going to give up that much cash.

So after being disappointed with his sale price, I decided to head on over to the Mobile BayBears' actual online store, and guess what they had for sale for $23 + shipping?  I took full advantage of this by buying the cap and when it arrived I absolutely loved it.  This was my first Minor League purchase ever, which is insane with me being a Triple-A Las Vegas 51s season ticket holder for 5 seasons running.



This cap is definitely one of my favourite caps that I currently own. I definitely love the colour and the embroidery, but the only downfall is that it is Chinese made, almost unavoidable with MiLB caps nowadays. The embroidery is done perfectly, a nice balance of flat and raised embroidery really complement the thread colour choices and makes this a cap that is really hard to beat; especially in Minor League Baseball.



Highly recommended 8/10

The embroidery definitely makes this cap worth it. The different levels really bring the bear's face to life, and the colour choices are really need especially for an on-field fitted.

Florida Marlins 1996 - 2011

As I'm sure some have heard, the 2011 season will be the final season for the Florida Marlins, next season the team will be rebranded as the Miami Marlins and will move into their new stadium in downtown Miami complete with a retractable dome.



Now with the new stadium, the team decided that it was time to reboot the entire team much like the way the Tampa Bay Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks did; change the uniforms 100%. The Florida Marlins are different however, being that they are getting up there in age a little and have had an established logo that hasn't been ignored by many merchandise producers or consumers, but the team felt that it was time to make a change to start new in their brand new ballpark.

The new logo shown here has been extremely controversial when it comes to its design, many people don't like it and believe it to look more like a football or college logo. It is hard to believe that Miami would just throw this together without putting some deep seeded thought into it, plus this is Miami so what else were we to expect?




The Florida Marlins will be getting brand new caps, we all know this, but what they look like is still up in question, but there has been a lot of speculation over what the caps would look like. The basic designs appear to be the logo seen above, simply slapped onto a New Era cap, but I have to believe these will not be what the caps actually do look like. I would believe it to be extremely uninteresting to take the team's primary logo and slap it onto the hat, but that is what most teams do so maybe Miami will do something traditional for once.



Now we won't know what the Marlins new caps will look like until 11-11-11, so until then I decided that it may be time for me to pick up one of the Marlins current ballcaps, since it will be retired after the end of the season. I wouldn't be surprised if the cap is all ready discontinued, but regardless it was a great buy for me to make. While walking into the local sports store at my mall, I started to poke around the Marlins caps and located one without the sticker in my size, so I decided to rescue it because no one would likely buy it due to its lack of sticker.



When I got the cap home, I really got to looking to it and finally appreciated this cap for what it is. I never really cared for "the fish" before and thought it was an overall uninteresting cap, however I was wrong. The cap has very strong and in depth embroidery, it displays elements of both complexity and simplicity in the same logo, and they flow together beautifully. One thing that always bothered me about the cap from a distance was that the base of the cap was just straight black, I always thought that it was just bland and was missing something. I'm still not convinced that it was missing something though, but the black base cap really makes the logo pop.



This cap is highly recommended for two reasons:
7/10

1. The logo and design is extremely unique, and it is a dying breed. The metallic thread makes the accurately designed Marlin really stick out, and the mixture of threading on the fish makes it a great work of embroidery.
2. It's discontinued, so buy it before it's gone.

My First New Era Cap



What was your first New Era Cap?

My first experience with New Era was a purchase made over the internet back in 1999, this is when the internet was still very new to me and quite a lot of us who are current internet users today. In 1999, this was a year after the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays had come into formation as legitimate MLB clubs, and both of them sported brand new New Era caps that were readily available for purchase. Being about 12 years old at the time, I was browsing around my Arizona Diamondbacks' website and stumbled (lol ya right, I wanted stuff just like any kid) and found myself looking at the cap that the actual players wear, and I wanted it. It really wasn't hard to convince my parents to buy me the cap, especially since New Era was a lot cheaper back then, and after ordering it a few weeks later it was mine.

I love my Arizona Diamondbacks to death, and I definitely showed that cap some respect. It was most definitely worn on a daily basis, and was pretty much worn anywhere it was permitted. The cap was pretty much brought anywhere I could take it, I'd put it into my backpack at school since it couldn't be worn on days except for Field Day or Hat Day, and I just can't stress on how much use this cap got. Over the years, it definitely needed to get replaced due to the fact that it was getting so ragged and was starting to get a little too tight for my growing body. My original Arizona Diamondbacks hat is still in my possession today, and it will be an item that I keep forever.

The Legacy - New Era



New Era is a company that I absolutely love, I have been purchasing New Era caps since about 1999 and I haven't quit since. New Era is a baseball cap company, and over the years they have expanded their wares to other sorts of clothing such as t-shirts, and other stylish caps for many consumers.

New Era Cap Company was founded by German immigrant Ehrhardt Koch in 1920, and since then New Era has grown into the exclusive manufacturer and marketer of the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball along with their Minor League Affiliates. New Era also has licenses for many other sporting entities such as the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association, however neither of those utilize New Era during play.

The company of New Era started out in 1920 under the name of E. Koch Cap Co., and began in Buffalo, New York. The company's main angle had yet to become baseball related, but simply designed and built caps that were worn for every day use, but it wasn't until 1932 that the company designed its first baseball cap, and two years later the Cleveland Indians commissioned the then E. Koch Cap Co. to design and construct the home and away caps for their team. By 1954, then fitted hat was re-designed and was then named the 59Fifty, the brand that we all know and love today. The cap was originally known as the "Brooklyn Style," and included cloth and leather sweatbands that were laid on the cap's interior. By the 1960's, New Era was producing caps for ten of the MLB teams, and continued to grow in popularity with both the players and the fanbase who finally had the ability to purchase the caps. More and more teams eventually jumped onto the New Era bandwagon, and by the 1980's they had supplied caps for 23 out of 24 of the MLB teams, and finally for the 1993 season they had been granted the exclusive licensing brand for all MLB caps.



This blog will be dedicated to the company of New Era, and will analyze and investigate the fashion that these caps have become over the past few decades. New Era has since grown into the largest cap supplier in the United States and the company promises to supply superior quality to all of their caps and also promises to beat the competitor. I assume that many of my readers here will be New Era Cap enthusiasts and will enjoy reading cap reviews of modern caps all of the way to ancient caps that were worn by our fathers and grandfathers. I also plan to make a monthly purchase and review said cap and post it up here for all to see.

2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 3

This post is a reblog from my original blog located at http://codedandunited.blogspot.com/

Coded & United: 2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 3

All right.......

So as a follow up to the last post about these New Era Caps, my main complaint was that the caps used a cross hatch for the stars. The hats were originally just really ugly modified versions of the regular team hats, with a depression of the American Flag inside of the team's actual logo, but they decided to ditch that concept mid-season and throw US flags back onto the hats. However as I blogged about before, the flags looked like ass with an AWFUL crosshatch. So what does New Era do next? THEY FUCKIN CHANGE IT AGAIN! So what happens to all of the people who all ready bought the hats? Well fuck them I guess, haha.

The new hats actually look pretty decent. The only real change for the 3rd alteration of the caps was that the cross hatch was removed and replaced with a 32 star flag! Now the 32 star flag actually looks pretty damn good, not much to complain about it other than the fact it looks just a tad messy on the edges. It's really hard to complain about the missing 18 stars though, there's only so much detail you can put into a patch that small.... A for effort, but C- for overall effort put into the whole process.

Pardon the foul language here, but as we all know New Era and MLB only throw these patches on here to make money, and I guess that's all right since everyone continues to buy them.  As a Diamondbacks fan, I'm sure I'll eventually cave in and get my cap with the US flag on it..... but I'm glad that I waited until the 32 star design came out.  I honestly couldn't see myself purchasing the caps if they had the cross hatch.  I'm sure if you were one of the people who purchased the first crosshatch version you'd feel pretty screwed over this.

Now the last thing that I must complain about is the fact that these are not made in the USA....these are made in CHINA.  What's awful about this, is that all proceeds go towards the Welcome Home Veterans foundation, yet New Era decides to have these be made in China to stimulate their economy and not ours.  There used to be a time where New Era valued to quality of American made products, but that apparently isn't in their future plans anymore.



So what are your guys thoughts on the change, I'd love to hear your opinions!


Original Crosshatch


32-Star Flag

Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 2

This post is a reblog from my original blog located at http://codedandunited.blogspot.com/

Coded & United: 2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 2

So looks like someone at New Era or MLB read my post and decided to trash their crappy looking Stars and Stripes hats for something a little more traditional.  For Sept 11th, all teams in the Majors will wear their regular hats except they will have an American Flag patch on the side.  Now how can one complain about this?  Well just look at this crap, the flags look awful!


You could think that they could put a little more effort into those.... the embroidery is so bad, that the stripes bleed into each other, and take a look at those stars, that's just a fuckin cross hatch.  The boarder around the flag is another kind of awful in itself, not sure why MLB went so cheap on making these custom for their teams, you would think they'd add a little more effort into them.....


I mean take a look at their patches from previous events?  They look great and have such detail!


If they could add that much detail into the World Series, All-Star, Futures, Game, and Inaugural Patches, you would think that MLB and New Era would have the sense to at least make the American Flag look decent....

2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 1

This post is a reblog from my original blog located at http://codedandunited.blogspot.com/

Coded & United: 2011 Stars and Stripes Collection:

With the MLB and New Era doing Stars and Stripes every year, it's always a wonder "What will they look like this year?"  Here's your answer, the same last years, but just a little different.  Now I know that the money goes to Welcome Back Veterans and all, but there comes a time where I just have to say "That looks like shit, why would I buy that."

I did however fall victim to purchasing the 2009 cap for the Arizona Diamondbacks, that cap actually doesn't look that bad with the Diamondbacks logo and colour scheme, but the last two years I can't even shake my 4 inch stick at.
Traditional Dbacks New Era vs. Stars and Stripes Dbacks New Era

This year however, I think they just look awful.

The good:
Los Angeles Angels
--Simple and works well for the design, plus it matches the original Angels uniforms.
Seattle Mariners
--Look at how awesome that looks, the stitching is fantastic and works well with Seattle's traditional uniforms.

Philadelphia Phillies
--fuckin awesome


The Bad:
Atlanta Braves
--Now look at this, can you really even tell that it is an "A"?
 St. Louis Cardinals
--Who cares if it matches?  Wtf is that shit on the front?

Chicago White Sox
--The letter "S" with a growth below it.  Advert your eyes children!









 




The Ugly:
Toronto Blue Jays
--No.













Florida Marlins
--Oh come on.  That fish looks fuckin diseased, they didn't even add a Stars and Stripes design to it, just did a red, white, and blue colour scheme.  They should have just done a Chief Wahoo-esque design as the Indians had in 2008, instead this disaster hit the field in 2011.














Detroit Tigers
--All that "thing" on the front reminds me of is the weapon Worf from fuckin Star Trek: Generations.













Coup de Gra├že
Mobile BayBears
--My favourite of all of the ugly caps......  A diseased bear.