Monday, December 13, 2010

SMALLS TALK: Minor League Hats are the Way to Go

Almost makes getting to the Bigs not even worth it...

*Relevant Tangent: So I'm in the gas station yesterday and I see a kid wearing the hat of the MiLB team I played for last season. Holy shit! We're like 2,000 miles away from that city and this kid's wearing this hat like it's no big deal. So I obviously say something cause stuff like this is still cool to me and he says he had no idea what team it was but he found it online and thought it was cool. Bingo! Knew exactly where he was coming from. I, of course, spent the next 5 minutes telling him about the team, the city, the stadium, our average attendance, our record last year, my batting average, the reason for my slump at the beginning of August, and our clubbie who makes the best chicken salad East of the Mississippi. By the time I had snagged a Sharpie from behind the counter to personally sign the gallon of milk he was purchasing the kid was 3 blocks away.

The New Era 59/50 has got to be the most popular hat in the world. Every baseball player from little league through high school can be seen sporting his favorite team's lid to homeroom, and come college the collection has grown so extensively that you're even able to match different hats with particular outfits and colors. While the MLB hats are a classic look, it's easy to grow tired of the same old teams. Can you go anywhere without seeing someone wearing a Red Sox, Yankees, or Dodgers hat? Even hats of the less popular teams started flying off shelves because people were looking for a new look, and all of a sudden White Sox, Angels, and Tigers hats started sprouting up everywhere. There aren't enough good-looking hats to go around, and even when they come up with a new hat (usually a throwback ironically), that hat quickly becomes old news because everyone is starved for a fresh new 59/50 that they think no one else has.

In college, I wanted my own look, so in class one day I started surfing Mickey's Place and Starstruck on a quest to find a new hat, one I had never seen before, something original. Boom, it hit me like Roberto Alomar's spit hit John Hirschbeck's cheek- MINOR LEAGUE HATS. They're perfect. They present the same baseball look that's accomplished with the big league caps, but instead of picking from 30 teams, you have close to 200 teams to pick from, with each one usually supplying two or three different options.

On top of the variety, the Minor League hats are more fun. With names like the Modesto Nuts and the Chatanooga Lookouts they don't take themselves too seriously, and their logos are usually more interesting and vibrant than those in the Majors. Major League Baseball is a business, and each team is a big time organization. Their look is their identity, and so they can't afford for it to constantly be changing. They want their logo to be permanent and recognizable, while conversely some Minor League teams switch up their logo and colors on a yearly basis.

In addition to the plus of never running into someone with the same hat, Minor League lids are a great conversation starter. Generally no one will know the name of the team you're repping and will then inevitably ask. But the real fun comes when someone does recognize the team- "Myrtle Beach Pelicans, no way! I have a house on Myrtle Beach! I used to go to their games all the time as a kid! Let's hang out, I'll buy you drinks all night! This is awesome!" Every time.

Some Favorites:

1 comment:

  1. I like Minor League hats so much, I bought a poster last year with all (as of) 2010 hats on it...always a "new one" spotted on it!