Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July: Grading the MLB Stars and Stripes Caps

It's Independence Day in America, or as baseball fans like to call it, "The Day America Avoided Potentially Having Cricket or Soccer as Our National Pastime."

After the barbecue and before fireworks, take some time to watch games going on today and be thankful we're a free country with the greatest game on earth in full display.  

As in the past, MLB has decided that teams will be decked out in patriotic display with their to honor this country by spraying the stars and stripes over our favorite team logos.  Here's how it will work: teams that are playing home will have a white cap and teams on the road will have a gray cap.  Some will have red brims and some will have blue, but I haven't figured out an pattern to that.  

We already know that teams like the Athletics, Orioles and Rockies will look just, awful thanks to their natural, unpatriotic color scheme, but there are a couple teams that will shine.  I know that it seems ridiculous to review baseball caps, but I've already done it before (2013 batting caps review here) and I'm feeling extra patriotic so let's take a look at some of the best designs we'll see on the field today...

Since we were originally (and probably still at heart) a heavily biased Chicago baseball blog, we'll start with the two "home teams" from the Second City...

It will look good with the Cubs natural red/white/blue scheme, but imagine how much better they would have looked at in Wrigley with a white cap in their pinstripes.  

Not a bad look for the South Siders.  The red outline is not overdone, there's no blue to distract from the color scheme and the stars intertwined in the black "Sox" is perfect.  It will look fine with their home whites, especially with a white-based cap with a home white uniform which I've wanted to see for a while.  

Eh, this one is only okay.  My team never seems to get these commemorative caps right but it would have been better at home with a white uniform and white cap in my opinion.  

Oh, speaking of that, why the F#$% are we playing IN Toronto?!  This is America's B-Day, dammit and the thought of an empty Comerica Park on July 4th makes me want to invade either Canada or Bud Selig's office, whichever meets less resistance. 

Two words: Picture perfect.  

Their natural color schemes already make this a good one, but remove the stars and the Cards could rock this look for the rest of the season and I would be a fan.

This is a rare style where the gray cap probably would have been a better look as normally the Sox wear a navy cap.  A red brim might have made this better too.  But rest assured that Boston will be rocking this Fourth of July and the thought of a full Fenway during the Holiday and an empty Comerica makes me want to invade Canada again and massacre all their caribou.  NEVER AGAIN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!  

The star in the new Houston logo makes it a naturally patriotic look  but the rest of the Astros' ugly-ass Orange and Blue color scheme will probably make the hat stand out like a war protester.  It would probably also pass as a Honduras World Baseball Classic cap if that country ever wants to get, like, into baseball the next few years.  I know for a fact, these hats won't sell out so if there's a native Honduran in Houston that wants to put a team together, head over to the Astros team store today and buy 25 of them.  

Baseball in the District will be rocking this year and having personally lived in DC, I can attest to this sleek design and a fun city to be in during July 4th.  In fact, why don't they just keep this cap for the rest of the year.  In a patriotic city, it's only fitting that the Nationals get this patriotic design.  Well done, DC, well done...

As much as I hate the Phillies, Independence Hall was the setting of this important day so I should probably include them.  This one will actually look pretty nice with the Phillies natural colors as much as I hate to give credit to anything in Philadelphia.  You got lucky.

Quick history lesson though: The Pennsylvania delegation was one of the two states (along with South Carolina) that originally voted against declaring Independence.  As a punishment, South Carolina was banned from having teams in a major professional sport and Philadelphia was punished by having the country's most obnoxious fans.   

Another quick history lesson: The New York delegation in 1776 at first abstained from voting for Independence.  As a punishment, they got Alex Rodriguez and Mark Sanchez.

Speaking of New York....

No comment except the Yankees still suck.

Okay Canada, we get it, you're from Canada.  Those Red uniforms on Monday didn't make this look any better by the way.  Oh, and if you have to call your national day "Canada Day," that should tell anyone all they need to know about Canada.  Ahhh, Canada: it's like the apartment above the apartment with the sweet party.

Actually Canada's pretty cool (you can drink and gamble when you're 19) and they'll probably get the last laugh with their free healthcare and all...I'm just bitter that the Tigers are playing in Toronto this Fourth of July rather than in Detroit.  But screw Canada.  MERICA baby!   

Just imagine that the "A" doesn't stand for Atlanta and instead stands for "A'MERICA" and it's a lot easier to accept this one.  It should look nice with the Braves home unis.  

I'm not really a fan of this, even though I think I should be.  I don't know if it's the red brim when navy might look better.  Or it could be that the "A" with a halo makes me think of a recurring nightmare where America gets taken over by Scientologists and Tom Cruise makes us a full-fledged theocracy and bans baseball.  In my alternate universe, this is the hat we'll wear as fans when our new national sport is speedo-rugby under Supreme Leader Cruise.   

Wow Cleveland.  You sure managed to pack a ton of negative historical references about our country into that design.  Wouldn't it have been easier to pass out a star-spangled smallpox blanket to all Native American baseball fans.  Or break into Jacoby Ellsbury's house, steal his stuff, infect his family with measles and give him a few beads in return.  

I give this Trail of Tears-ish design two thumbs down.  Apparently so did the Indian's management because the new Cleveland design online now features this...

Well, it may not invoke manifest destiny as strongly as the other design, but it's sure to be less offensive.  That's a good thing but remember that CLEVELAND STILL SUCKS!  

If you are actually interested in buying the commemorative caps, you can find them here: GET THESE CAPS

Just remember, your hard earned money may end up goings towards overpaying a 16-year-old Italian shortstop so think twice about how much you really want one of these.  

But you should also forget about your team's sleek hats they're wearing today or stop teasing your Giants friend about the red/white/blue hats with orange and black.  Even stop fretting your team's playing in Canada (GRRR) because today is really a day about America so wish our great country a Happy Birthday and enjoy part of what makes the United States of America especially great...the great game of baseball. Enjoy the vacation everyone.  Catch you soon!  

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