Sunday, January 29, 2012

2004-2005 Toronto Blue Jays Home Cap

The Toronto Blue Jays have been a team with an identity crisis ever since the infamous 1994 Players Strike which effectively canceled the remainder of the season. The two-time defending World Champion Blue Jays had lost a lot of community support much as the rest of the teams in the sport had seen, and the team went in a drastic direction and decided to mix up their uniform and logo scheme in order to attempt to bring interest back into the team and the game as a whole. Their identity crisis was evidently capped by four main uniform and logo reformations before finally settling on their 2012 designs, but the uniforms that made the most drastic change began in 2004 with the “J-Bird” logo.

The J-Bird logo was introduced in the 2004 season and two new caps were introduced, shown here is the Home Cap which was worn from 2004-2005, this cap is only available in the 100% Wool style and utilizes a graphite base for both the crown and the brim of the cap. This cap was quickly retired however and replaced with the black version of the cap which was previously worn as the Away Cap. The bright logo on the front of the cap beams out quite well and doesn't clash that much with the base colour of the cap, something that can't be said about the former Away now Home Cap.

This new Toronto Blue Jays “J-Bird” logo is seemingly one of the more popular caps in regards to cap sales or style, regardless of the team's actual fanbase or following. This logo includes a stylized slanted “J” which is of flat embroidery and is stitched in a manner to attempt to give it depth without raising by using white accented with silver stitching. The script on the logo is shelled with a black outline which allows the the blue jay's “action post” beak and head beaming out of it the curve of the slanted script. The bird's embroidery is rather unimpressive due to its lack of real depth through the motion of stitching, it only takes advantage of better stitching when looking at the top of the bird's head in order to create different levels of feathers through angling the stitching one way and then conflicting it in another. The entire pictorial and script logo is surrounded with a thick blue outline which is seemingly the same colour choice as the bird itself and this outline is itself surrounded by a thin white outline of its own.

The use of the multiple outlines upon outlines is an interesting design choice, but the colour choices are extremely unimpressive since their colour palette appeared to be extremely limited. The Toronto Blue Jays made a bold move by removing the “Blue” from Blue Jays, but attempting to slide it in anywhere they can really doesn't justify the fact that they dismantled 27 years of team history which involved around the Blue Jay and the Canadian Maple Leaf.

The rear batterman logo on the cap implores the use silver stitching accompanied by the blue stitching, the colour choices work seemingly well for the cap due to the base colour now being grey it reflects the silver stitching quite nicely. The accented blue stitching is an unfortunate last-ditch effort to attempt to keep the colour blue into the Blue Jays logo and colour scheme which can be said for the entire tenure of the 2004-2011 Blue Jays uniforms as a whole.

I purchased this cap in Toronto while visiting in 2005 so I was really excited to pick up this cap since this was my first time out of the United States and I thought that this cap would be a great souvenir to take back to the United States with me. This cap was really fresh when it came out but it didn't exactly age too well when true Blue Jays fans were put into the equation, but the real eye opener to the organization was when the throwbacks were worn and the reception they received because of it, and it was then these caps were thought of as having a limited lifetime. The fact that this grey cap has been retired since 2005 will make it difficult to find for anyone, especially since it was such a popular cap with the popular culture, but reproductions are not that hard to find especially when companies like HatClub and MyFitteds strive to supply accurate reproductions. Any fans of the Black version of this cap may have a little luck finding it currently due to its recent retirement, but if you want these caps you better get them before they're gone.

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