The All Star Game festivities are among us and with that, new hats to stare at!
As has become tradition since the 2014 ASG in Minneapolis, MLB and New Era will trot out new hat designs to pair with the special jerseys worn for the Home Run Derby/media and the star-adorned regular jerseys for the actual game. Prior to special game caps being made for both events teams just had generic American and National league caps for the Home Run Derby (which were seldom worn, if at all) and regular on-field caps with the All Star Game patch slapped on the side for the respective All Star Game. This year marks the 4th year for event-specific caps and 49 years since the nation’s capital has hosted an All Star Game (same birth year as the Padres - 1969).
In a bit of a departure from previous seasons both caps have themes and references to the host team and its past. Let’s dive in!
Home Run Derby/Training/Media 59Fifty
This cap is very much in theme with the hosting Washington Nationals. Six large embroidered stars rest on the brim, three per side. These may represent the NL and AL divisions though I haven’t seen any official word corroborating that. The cap logo is a circle featuring 30 stars (one for each team) and the interlocking SD logo with a navy background. National League teams are rolling with a red cap this year to match the red jersey;
Arena American League teams have navy caps and jerseys.
Featured on the cap’s left is the All Star Game patch in red, white, and blue. This patch is a soft patch in contrast to last year’s Chroma patch and features the Capitol building. There is a slight satin feel and the patch itself is more malleable and flexes with the cap.
At the rear of the cap is the MLB Batterman logo in matching red, white, and blue.
The underbrim of the cap is matching red and the sweatband is navy. Included as a neat detail for the wearer is the unique star panel taping. A nice touch! This cap was a gift from Zak Tanne over at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment. My thanks to him for his generosity!
All Star Game 59Fifty
The reference here is obvious, no? While not explicitly stated in any official marketing, this year’s All Star Game caps are clearly influenced by the Washington Nationals’ previous iteration as the Montreal Expos. The pinwheel look is ubiquitous with the cap the Expos wore from their inception in 1969 through 1991. In lieu of eyelets silver stars have been embroidered into the crown; the New Era logo is embroidered to match.
The patch on the side of the All Star Game cap is rendered in the matching team colorway. Here you can see the pinwheel design go from white to gray to light navy. Yes, I wish the team kept yellow as a third color too...but it might have looked a bit garish in this application.
At the rear is the MLB Batterman logo in metallic silver.
The underbrim and sweatbands are pure retro: kelly green and white. Also found within the cap is special panel taping with muted navy stars.
Here’s a look at all the designs from the National League and American League courtesy of our friends over at Sportslogos.net. Only sticking point for me: the Toronto Blue Jays were ever-so-close to having the pinwheel most like the Expos, yet their side panels are...gray. An odd choice given the Jays have a true 3rd color, but I digress as it may have been too on the mark.
Both caps should be widely available via your favorite hat retailer and of course at New Era.
What do you think of this year’s caps?