Saturday, March 31, 2012

Colorado Rockies Purple Alternate

The Colorado Rockies purple caps are one of the few On-Field caps that is regularly sold but is generally not worn on the field, excluding Throwbacks and such. These all purple caps originated dating back to 2003, a full decade after the team formed out of the plateau that is Denver, and they have been worn sparingly ever since. The disappearance of this cap is more or less unknown, and purple is somewhat being phased out in the great state of Colorado but not like what the Diamondbacks did to remove their flair, the Rockies are doing it in a more subtle fashion.

Shortly after they were introduced they began to phase them out throughout the years, and eventually they became an Opening Day event in which the caps were worn and thus auctioned off to charities after the series, and this would run through the 2009 season. When the 2010 season rolled out, the Rockies and their high expectations decided to shelve these caps indefinitely, and with little outcry from the fanbase, but opening day 2011 they were reintroduced but were only worn in the Rockies 7-6 loss in extra innings to their division rivals of Arizona.

The Colorado Rockies are currently the only team in Major League Baseball that still have the colour purple as one of their main or secondary tones, and as an alternate the Rockies have an all purple cap which seemingly aren't put into use that often anymore. The last time that the team wore these caps frequently was all of the way back in 2007, but being that the caps are restricted to Opening Day leaves no room for query about when or if they will be put into circulation again.

The purple base cap makes this logo pop so well, it's hard to believe that they wouldn't wear it more often. The cap's logo consists of two separate parts, one of which is layered and the other part that is of raised embroidery, the silver outline and the black interior. The black interior is very subtle and is raised a little too much for the part that is being described, it reminds me of the custom caps that are of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the raised embroidery just seems too high for its own good. The silver thread used for the stitching makes up for this however, it really emphasizes the logo through the context of the available colours.

The Colorado Rockies purple alternate cap consists of the traditional 59Fifty Crown and brim, but the brim is attached to the cap slightly different than one would traditionally see on caps, what differentiates this brim from other caps is that it is attached upside down. Generally the caps have the brim so that the material on the top of the brim stretches over the edge and tucks underneath which is then covered by the underbrim, but this cap takes the two colours of purple and black and uses the black underbrim as the overlapping material but is still used as the under side which is customary of the Cool Base On-Field Fitteds.

The batterman logo is accented by purple and black threading, each of which represent the team colours accurately, but the use of purple thread is more or less washed away in the overall base purple of the cap. The black portion on the rear side of the batterman is a nice accent but should have been used for the former, and the rear side should have used a silver threading which would help the batterman logo stand out better and would be able to express all three of the Rockies' colours in one small area.

The cap as a base isn't all that hard to find, but since it is worn so sparingly on the field, New Era has began producing these as a majority in China and American versions are becoming harder to find by the day, I was able to pick this up at LIDS when I heard the news of their Made in USA retirement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Houston Astros "Flashback Fridays" Throwback Lineup

So what's going on in Texas?

As has been announced, the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros are doing some extreme throwbacks for the 2012 season in celebration of their 40th and 50th birthdays respectively. Although the Texas Rangers have yet to really reveal their full uniforms, caps are excluded in pictures, the Houston Astros are definitely ready to roll with the throwbacks and are prepared to celebrate 50 years with style.

For the Houston Astros, we have been given almost no secrets in regards to the caps, which we are going to assume are New Era, but even if not they will still be reported on. The Houston Astros are picking 6 new throwbacks, one for each of the five decades of the Houston Astros and one representing the original team which were named the Colts.

The jerseys and caps seen above are in a nice time line, Colts are on the left and the decades increase as the jerseys move to the left.

About the moment that the Flashback Fridays were announced there immediately became concerns with the Houston Colt .45's and the pistol which would be represented on the jersey. When this was reported, MLB originally announced that the Houston Astros would not be permitted to wear the jerseys if the pistol was present, but ultimately left the decision up to the team which allowed sanity to dominate over political correctness, leaving the pistol on the jersey.

Regardless of the jersey tops, the 1962-1964 Colt .45s New Era cap appears to be a base blue with what would most likely be raised embroidery on the front panels of the cap reading ".45s" in orange, adorned with an orange button on the top of the crown.

Moving on just 3 years after their formation, the team became the Houston Astros which caused their uniforms to move to the "Shooting Star" which brought about new caps. These new caps for the brand new Astros are a simple navy blue cap much like the .45s, but the cap will be assumed to feature flat embroidery for the orange star that rests in the middle, and a raised "H" in white stitching for the script covering it, and much like the .45s cap the button on top will be orange.

Come the 1971 season, uniforms changed again to the infamous rainbow effect as seen above, but the caps are pretty much unchanged except for the colour inversion. This cap here features the base orange cap which would make this the only other full orange cap On-Field other than the Miami Marlins' home alternate. The logo features the regular star, but stitched in the dark blue and is also covered by the white raised embroidered "H".

Come 1980 the team moved its rainbow scheme from a horizontal stripe along the abdomen to going horizontal down the shoulders, this cap moves back a bit in years to the first Astros incarnation, but the only difference we will see in this New Era cap is the button on top, which is the same base navy blue rather than orange as seen in prior years.

By 1994 the team changed uniform schemes again, the new ones are a pure white with a new stylized and sci-fi like script on the front with a new shooting star logo in gold. The caps are once again a base navy blue and will feature a raised embroidered shooting star in gold on the front panels, but we do not get to see the gold brimmed caps that were also present in this era.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies 2011 Civil Rights Game

This Philadelphia Phillies cap is a reproduction of their caps which were worn On-Field during a 21 year span from 1970-1991. The cap however was not worn throughout the season as other teams do with their Throwbacks, but this was worn during the 2011 Civil Rights game as represented on the embroidery on the left temple of the cap.

The Civil Rights Game was an annual exhibition game put on by Major League Baseball in order to embrace and honor the history of Civil Rights in the United States, but the game has since become an official event which affects the standings of the outcome. The Philadelphia Phillies battled the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field on May 15th, 2011 which resulted in a victory by the Atlanta Braves with a score of 3-2. What perplexes me over the uniform choice is why the throwbacks were selected in the first place, the first Civil Rights Game was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians which caused both teams to wear throwbacks to Negro League uniforms, but the use of traditional throwbacks didn't start until a season later.

This Phillies cap is a base maroon which is a nice throwback and a great colour match to the originals which were worn from 1970 up until the 1991 season and the front logo utilizes the styled swooping “P” logo with full raised embroidery and white stitching. The overall cap looks fantastic from the stitching of the logo all of the way to the batterman on the back, but more attention could have been paid to the embroidery on the side of the cap which designates it for the occasion.

The embroidery on the front logo is done quite beautifully with the raised embroidery along with the swooping motion of the inner portion of the letter, the fact that they were able to make a throwback with such quality is an amazing feature in regards to current New Era Caps, and the fact that it was made in USA is also a testament to that. Although I think the logo looks great on the front of this cap, the main consensus believes that the logo is way too fat and large which takes away from the accuracy, but I believe this is a simple modernization of the original cap.

The embroidery on the side of the cap is lacking however, the quality of the script of “Civil Rights Game” is quite low and leads me to believe that I may remove this feature of the cap, no offense to any person of race or creed, but the cap could look better without the eyesore that has been stitched upon the left temple.

The rear batterman logo is something that is extremely new to this specific version of the cap since the Phillies retired this version of their uniform a few years before the MLB Batterman logo was featured on the rear of the cap, regardless of that fact it does not distract from the overall cap but more likely adds to it since they are such a staple of all New Era caps, let alone the On-Field Fitteds. The colour choices are a tone of blue and a dark red, the choices seem adequate but a light powder blue would have been much more appealing since they would have matched the uniform tops they wore as the throwback and what they wore originally.

Overall I think this is a very nice cap, I would love to acquire its partner being the 2011 Atlanta Braves but I have not put much of a hunt into it so far, but I could wait until this season's game when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Braves for the 2012 Civil Rights Game. If you are able to find this cap I would highly recommend it, I was able to purchase it from the Philadelphia Phillies' online team shop and I assume they are still available for sale. Whether you're a true fan of the Phillies, a bandwagon fan, or even just a fan of the sport, a good throwback like this is hard to find and even harder to miss, don't let the opportunity pass you up if you should consider adding this to your collection!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1999-2006 Arizona Diamondbacks Reproduction by Lee's Sneakers

The Arizona Diamondbacks may have a little more representation on this blog than other teams do, and that is mainly due to my bias being that they are my favourite Major League Baseball team. The Diamondbacks' organization has been a huge portion of my life and I find myself following them daily even when the season is over. Ever since I started to collect New Era caps in 2000, I of course started with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and although my first cap was the purple Home cap my second was of course the Away cap. Buying the cap in the early 2000's it got a lot of use out me over the years but it was eventually retired due to its age.

After years without this cap I decided that I should attempt to replace it, after buying a few deadstock items on ebay I just found that I didn't wear it as much as I used to because it just didn't feel right on my head. After being spoiled with the new and more modern shapes of the 100% Polyester On-Field fitteds I became accustomed to the deeper crown I began to look into the many reproductions that were on the market. After not exactly giving up on my hunt, Lee's Sneakers on Facebook/Twitter posted a picture of their newest shipment which included an accurate reproduction of the Arizona Diamondbacks 1999-2006 away cap.

This Arizona Diamondbacks away cap is a pretty good representation of the caps worn On-Field from 1999-2006, it includes a white sweatband, grey underbrim, along with no New Era flag embroidered on the side of the cap. The cap is a base black which is constructed in 100% wool and includes the original copper “D” snake logo on the front two panels. The only inaccuracy of the cap is the rear batterman logo which include a framed raised embroidery. Going along with the aspect of the accuracies in which this cap does and does not partake in, it utilises the Official On-Field patch on the inside of the cap, the patches also on the interior contrast the colour choice by using black while on top of the white sweatband.

This Diamondbacks logo follows the accurate representation of the “D” logo which is a stylized version of a snake which is embroidered using a metallic copper thread. Inside of this snake there are several details which are prominent such as the diamond detail on the back of the snake which is embroidered in a turquoise thread. The snake is then outlined with a thick but thin raised embroidery in black which is then silhouetted by a thin layer of purple which helps to offset the polarity between the black base cap and the metallic copper threading.

The rear batterman logo is the only disappionting aspect of this cap. It functions as a half-assed version of the raised embroidery of the batterman logo which is worn on the modern day On-Field Fitted but is vastly different being that it is extremely flat and includes no rounded edging which is complimented by a black threaded frame around it. The detail of the batterman is extremely poor but has a better shape than a vast majority of these framed batterman logos contain. Other than the lack of detail and the incorrect version of the batterman, the colour selection is accurate by using the black and purple threading surrounding the pictorial embroidery.

Overall this is a very accurate representation of the original cap worn by the Diamondbacks from 1999-2006. Other than the overall modernized shape of the On-Field Fitted, this cap strays from its origins very softly such as the colours of the logo being that the turquoise colour that was on the original cap has since been discontinued, and the copper threading used is slightly less yellow than the original. If anyone wants to pick up this cap be sure to hit up Lee's Sneakers on Twitter @leesneakers23 or on Facebook!