Thursday, January 5, 2012

100% Wool Texas Rangers

The loss of Wool Caps for On-Field Fitteds have been crippling to some members of the New Era Cap community, being that contrary to New Era's beliefs the cap's materials do make a difference with the fan base and even certain players. Back in 2007 when New Era switched the On-Field Fitteds from 100% wool to 100% polyester there were quite a few stragglers, and on occasion some players continue to wear Wool caps on the field and many fans are crying for New Era to at least give the option to have the caps be produced in Wool again.

When it comes to the stragglers there are two simple options for them to acquire the caps they want:

1. The first option would be for them to find an original cap that is either new or unused, these can be found on websites like eBay or Mickey's Place, but once sizes are sold out it is nearly impossible for them to be restocked.
2. The other option would be to get some reproductions, the reproductions are often made in China and can have the New Era flag embroidered on the side, but in some more rare cases reproductions can be found without the flags on the side.

Growing up a fan of baseball but not a fan of any specific team I followed Nolan Ryan quite a bit in my younger days, and his final few years helped to cement my fandom in the Texas Rangers organization, but my love of the Rangers barely extended outside of the Ryan years but the fires were rekindled during the 2010 season. After getting a 2010 World Series patch cap in polyester it quickly became one of my favourite caps to wear regardless of the result of the World Series, but the follow that season I began to see myself wearing a majority of Wool caps over Polyester due to the fact that they naturally formed to the head better than the Polyester caps, so the hunt was on. It really didn't take me too long to find the cap I wanted, Minor Leagues Major Dreams luckily had one in my size and in stock, so when the time came I swiped it along with several others that I was looking to add to my collection.

Based on the tags, this Texas Rangers hat most likely is from the 2005-2006 seasons and has the correct domed structure of the front and back panels that are currently worn today, so the depth of the hat is adequate to what I was looking for. The 100% Wool feels great and unhindered by the storage process of the backstock that MLMD had, it was extremely clean and had zero dust or stains, and most importantly it was brand new with the original stickers still in tact. Much like the caps worn today, this New Era is a base dark blue with a red button on top which adds to it's aesthetic value, there many fans might disagree that a red or white button might be necessary arguing that it would possibly be distracting from the front logo embroidery.

The embroidery looks great on the cap, the raised embroidery on the front is one of my favourites since it doesn't merely raise in one single level but is softly rounded on the edges, the stitching is also extremely fresh and doesn't roll off the raised foam like other caps have been known to. The red embroidery on the underside is slightly raised due to multiple thread layers, but does not lay flat like hats in the previous decade have.

The flat embroidery in the back was very important to me and always is when I look to acquire a 100% wool cap or at least with reproductions, but since this cap is a 100% authentic from the last few seasons of Wool caps, the embroidery is flat and very well accomplished. The part of the rear embroidery that I enjoy the best is the choice of colours that have been used, since the Rangers' team colours are all ready red and blue it was an easy decision for the team to choose these to accent the back of their hat, which permits them to use the original MLB logo as should be worn on all caps rather than mixing the personal team colours back there.

This New Era Cap will quickly become one of my favourites that I will wear quite often, but I don't think that it will be enough to retire my 2010 World Series Cap any time soon. I will be watching the Texas Rangers take on the Chicago Cubs this Spring Training on St. Patrick's Day, so the only decision I will have will be which one should I wear? If anyone has the opportunity to get their team's cap in the original 100% Wool, I would definitely recommend it, the Polyester is great but you can't replace the original material that New Era On-Field Caps were.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a big fan of the wool caps, I find polyester much more comfortable, but this is a cool find!