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TFHS: Spring Training 2016

Let's talk about the new Padres Spring Training caps.

Spring is a beautiful time for baseball fans. The long winter of transactions and speculation gives way to the crack of bats and baseballs making sweet music as they find leather mitts. This particular spring brought something new other than roster changes and dashed hopes: new Spring Training uniforms and caps.

Plenty of teams dug into their backlog of logos and utilized them in some pretty interesting ways. Some teams even brought out different colorways. Our Padres decided to go with this:

The new Padres Spring Training cap is a mix of the modern colorway with the classic split-panel (bell shape). An addition to all Spring Training caps is a patch reminiscent of interstate signs on the side: AZ for teams playing in the Phoenix area and FL for those who spend spring in Florida.

Yellow is included in the back MLB Batterman logo, which I found interesting. Yellow is supposed to be under consideration after the season, so it's sort of odd that it's been included in a cap that's supposed to last 2-3 seasons. There's something about that timeline...but let's move on for now.

Another detail included in ST caps is the inclusion of a league shield: look hard enough and you'll see the National League logo on the right side of this cap.

Underneath you'll find some detail in a word collage adorned with Spring Training words and images. Another detail making its way from last year's ASG caps is the inclusion of gray taping and sweatband.

This cap came out with little fanfare when MLB released the new caps for all 30 teams. Many Padres fans scratched their heads and wondered why there wasn't more yellow. Since Mike Dee explained that the navy/yellow colorway would be up for judgement after the season, I can see why yellow wasn't more prominent in the ST caps. Since our Pads don't have much in the way of a logo catalog right now (Swinging Friar?), it's not like the Padres could have used a different logo on the cap. The split-panel is pretty much the only other design motif that could have differentiated our caps from the norm.

Too bad it's also incredibly similar to the 2014 ASG caps. This sort of thing makes me worry about the ASG caps for this year.

Many of you may have been browsing for your own ST cap and came across this cap:

So what gives? This particular cap is the batting practice version. It's the same cap without the ST patch and interior detail.

I've learned throughout my collecting years that Spring Training caps typically undergo a redesign every 2-3 seasons or so. Of course you recognize the previous caps the Padres have used lately:

But let's look at the new ST cap again...

...there's an awful lot of 2016 on this cap. It's odd that a cap that lasts 2-3 seasons would be emblazoned with a patch that says 2016, isn't it? Well, here's what I think: there will be new "versions" of ST caps every year. Next year we could see a "new" ST cap with the same design motif and new 2017 patch and lining. Why? Well, it gives guys like me more caps to throw money at. The BP caps sans badging satiate those who want the cap without having to plunk down money every year for an updated version.

I wish they would have done something different with the jersey, though...