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TFHS Closer Look: The Salton Sea Birds

It's officially real. Check out the Salton Sea Birds cap up close!

The Salton Sea Birds are now alive.

My project to create my own local team (and my first custom cap) has come to fruition. With plenty of thanks owed to Gaslamp Ball's own Tony Losoya for his dedication to the design, the Salton Sea Birds baseball cap looks better than I could have ever imagined.

Let's check it out! I give you the Salton Sea Birds 59Fifty baseball cap!

@PadresNo Hitter

Salton Sea blue (navy) crown and squatcho
Farmland brown (brown) brim and eyelets
Alkali white (off-white) NE Flag
Canal gray (gray) Salton Sea Birds side patch
Salty the Pelican logo

Fellow collector and Salton Sea Birds supporter Padres No Hitter provided the excellent photography of my Birds cap. Here's the front of the SS Birds cap. The Salton Sea blue (navy) crown actually turned out darker than I thought it would. During revisions I believed the navy would be similar to the navy the Padres currently use. After seeing the cap live, I actually prefer the darker navy: it allows the brown to become the "pop" or accent color, which it rarely ever is. The darker navy is the same as the 90s Padres navy as well, so I'll call that a win.

Why navy and brown? I wanted the challenge of merging the two main colors of the Padres into a cohesive cap and this is my attempt at making navy/brown work. I think we did alright. What do you think?

@PadresNo Hitter

Salty the Pelican adorns the front of the SS Birds cap. His wing is actually raised embroidery, so it pops out a bit more than the rest of his body. Why a pelican? The Salton Sea supports 30% of the remaining population of the American white pelican. Tony did an excellent job on Salty's design. He looks as if he's about to send a dinger into the horizon.

In making a cap for a local team, I wanted to avoid the typical desert cliches such as anything heat related or anything with desert animals. Mascots such as roadrunners, sun devils, lizards, and coyotes had been done before. It's also too easy to reference our intense summers (it's currently a mild 100 degrees as of this writing). Going to the Salton Sea and recognizing the saline lake's ornithological importance made too much sense. Salty is one of the two mascots for the Salton Sea Birds; you'll see Ivie the Cattle Egret in a future cap.

@PadresNo Hitter

Here's a side-view of the SS Birds cap.

@PadresNo Hitter

And here's a great look at the side patch of the Birds cap. You can see the reference for the Salton Sea Birds wordmark, right? I wanted the Birds to make plenty of callbacks to Padres history and the excellent font designs of the past. Tony went above and beyond in the Salton Sea Birds wordmark design.


The rear logo is another great design of Tony's: it's the number 760, which is the area code for the Imperial Valley and some parts of San Diego. A popular touch for custom caps is to include area codes to show the origin of the cap. Since the design doesn't scream Imperial Valley, the 760 logo helps to show where the team and cap come from.


The underbrim is Canal gray. Canals are an incredibly common sight here in the Imperial Valley and carry water to the abundant fields that make up the entirety of this agricultural community. It also helps that gray makes for a classic throwback touch to the underside of the cap. Also, this is an official New Era cap!

Here's my official unveiling of the Salton Sea Birds cap for your consideration. What do you think of the first custom cap made by Tony and I? I'd love to hear what you think, and thanks in advance for checking out our creation!

Read more about the Salton Sea Birds: Meet the Salton Sea Birds! - The Salton Sea Birds: A History