It's finally finished.
After a finale that extended into an encore and a winner decided by a total of three votes, Gaslamp Ball's Padres Cap Tournament has come to a close.
And by a grand total of three votes, here is your winning cap:
Best Padres Cap In History Winner
2016 Friday Alternate - Brown/Gold Split Panel
The return to brown arrives in this clean cap. Taking cues from the 1973 cap, this modern alternate marries both the classic split-panel design with the modern serif'd interlocking SD. A return to brown proved to be a triumph for Padres cap design, with voters sending the #1 seed to the semifinal over the 2004 Home. The 2016 Commemorative proved to be no match for the brown and gold in the semifinal. After two voting sessions, this cap overcame the 1969 Home to claim the title of best Padres cap in history.
So what did we learn during the tournament?
Bring Back The Brown
The brown was arguably the biggest winner in the tournament by far. Though it had a strong contingent in the Historic Bracket (only two caps were navy), it seized the first seed overall in the Modern Bracket and stayed on top to take the overall crown. Many of the Historic Bracket matches proved to be incredibly tough on voters. If there's any proof that the Padres should take on the brown full time, it's in this tournament.
The Padres Are Doing Something Right This Year...With Their Caps
On the Modern side of the brackets, the 2016 caps both ended up facing off against each other. It's been well-documented that the Padres caps of yesteryear were rather bland and uninspiring. The fact that the newest caps in the Padres catalog made it so far in the Modern Bracket (and won eventually) shows that our Pads were long overdue for a redesign, and those fresh colors have been well received.
Don't Bring Back The...Orange?
Or The Historic Bracket Was Hard To Vote For
The Historic Bracket provided the toughest choices in the tournament by far, and it wasn't close. I've read many a comment that lamented the idea of choosing between two superb caps. The toughest matchup by far (emotionally, at least) was a first round Historic match: the '91 Home vs. the '80 Home. Many of you thought the '91 deserved to be in the Modern Bracket and that it didn't deserve the indignity of a first round elimination. I admit that I did not expect seeding to play out like it did: I thought the '91 had a bye guaranteed (it didn't) and that navy would have a shot at a final round (it didn't). Strictly looking at the stats tells us that orange did not do well at all, having only one cap with orange in it make it to the quarterfinal (where it lost to the #1 seed). We'll call it a learning experience for next time. Speaking of learning...
We Know What The Troll's Choice Is
Yeah, the 1948 Wild Card provided for some entertainment, if you like over inflated poll numbers that smelt of ballot-stuffing. Who would have thought a simple cap tournament would be victim to skulduggery? I suppose this is the internet, after all...
We Solved A Mystery
Really, we did. It turns out that the 1998 Alternate (the cap I believed was from 1998) was only worn in 1999. Check out the link if you want to read up on the mystery.
You Guys Are Great Sports
Really, you are. Thanks an absolute ton for participating in Gaslamp Ball's first-ever Padres Cap Tournament! I'm truly glad that all of you jumped aboard on this mission to find the best Padres cap and participated. It means a lot to this cap collector. I hope you had as much fun as I have had.
So You've Made Your Decision...Or Have You?
I don't want to take away from the 2016 Friday Alternate winning out this tournament. Don't get me wrong on this.
Let's just explore this thesis for fun, shall we?
As many of you have mentioned in the comments, you couldn't vote for the '69 Home cap based merely on its style of interlocking SD. Granted, some of you were voting with a eye on the future; that is, which cap would you want to see the future Padres wear. Many of you mentioned that you'd like to see the brown batting helmet the Padres wear now as a cap.
Padres Cooperstown '69 Remix
This version of the '69 colorway implements the classic '85 interlocking SD (which is the best interlocking SD design, right? Right). This cap could be close to what the Padres could choose to don in the future should they decide to keep the brown alive.
Which cap do you think the future Padres should wear?
Also, what have you learned during the tournament? Have you come across any conclusions I've missed? Let's discuss!