Major League Caps Hit a Fashionable Home Run

Zakk Bluford

There is no denying the dominance that some baseball teams maintain over the sport in a variety of ways. The New York Yankees win the most, as America was recently reminded with the team’s 27th earned (or bought) championship arriving just last year. The Boston Red Sox have the most tradition with a retro team name, a die-hard fan base and a world-famous stadium that, so it appears, will never fade away. The San Francisco Giants have the most beautiful fan-base and will undoubtedly win 10 World Series in the next 10 years (editorial comment). However, there is one type of power that a few teams hold that is much harder to analyze: the power to sell hats.

Some teams sell more hats than others for obvious reasons. The abundance of Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers caps can be explained by the gargantuan metropolitan areas that each team resides in and the millions of fans that come with them. The popularity of headgear for the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals can be explained by the abnormal enthusiasm of their fans.

But the Pittsburgh Pirates? The Cincinnati Reds? The Montreal Expos, a team that doesn’t even exist anymore? How can one explain the plethora of individuals that roam the streets, schools, and syndicates of this country wearing these logos? The answer is that the purpose of these hats has moved past imitation of the players on the field to something that most baseball fans don’t know a thing about: fashion.

The surprising popularity of each of these seemingly irrelevant teams’ hats can be explained by their genius logos and the overall look of each cap. The Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos) had the highest sales over the last few years, possibly because of their recent inception as the team of America’s capital, but probably due to their simple, yet attractive design. The squiggly “W” on the front of the cap catches your eye while staying out of your face and people are drawn to the patriotic red, white, and blue.

The Cincinnati Reds, a team that has stayed out of the playoffs as of late, has smothered the heads of millions in recent years because of its hat’s suave simplicity: a white “C” in the middle of an all red cap. Not only is this base simplicity attractive, but it also allows for plenty of interesting color configurations that keep “fans” buying.

Lastly, the most perplexingly popular hat belongs to the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 1992. Many seem to be attracted to the bad-boy black and yellow color scheme, while many people don’t even know what the “P” logo stands for, identifying more with the letter than the team it represents. Who knew that sports fans were so chic?