The newest development for this and subsequent seasons is the migration of the Spring Training Chroma patch from the wearer’s left side to the right; the left side is now emblazoned with the New Era flag. Otherwise, this Diamond Era cap remains unchanged from last season.
The 2017 Spring Training patch adopts a warmer hue in lieu of last year’s and would have looked amazing on a brown cap.
The rear of the cap features a plain navy/white Batterman logo.
The underbrim does feature a change; gray takes over for black and matches up with the unique gray sweatband and 59Fifty taping. To my dismay, this year’s Spring Training does not feature the interior design motif featured in last year’s ST cap. Otherwise, there is a unique change made to the sweatband itself:
A change to the rear of the sweatband is how the size and Authentic logo are presented; they're now printed directly to the sweatband instead of applied via separate embroidered strips. The New Era logo remains the only separately embroidered strip on this particular cap. The Spring Training/Batting Practice caps are the only examples so far to feature this new printing; new on-fields still have the separate embroidered strips...for now.
Speaking of the Batting Practice cap...
There isn't any real difference between the two caps outside of the patch; both have gray underbrims and printed size/Authentic logos.
The Friday alternate cap remains relatively unchanged from last year...quite literally.
It seems that New Era decided to recycle some of last year's stock of Friday’s alternate; this cap has a glued New Era flag. How can you tell the difference? Take a closer look; if it pops out more than usual and doesn't appear on the interior of the cap (embroidered straight through) then you have a glued example. Outside of the collecting world there isn't much distinction between a glued and embroidered flag. Many of my ilk have marked this up as a cost saving measure taken by New Era.
Outside of the New Era Flag addition, the details of the cap remain mercifully unchanged. Our advice if you're looking for a Friday example without a glued flag? Wait it out. Next stock runs should feature an embroidered flag. Unembroidered examples are still plentiful as well.
I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the special event caps to be announced, so stay tuned! We may have a lot more to look at on our Padres’ heads soon.