Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 And I Am Back... Hopefully...

Well, welcome to 2016! A lot has happened since my last post nearly two years ago. One of those being a Super Bowl championship for my Seattle Seahawks! I guess I should cross them off the list or update the picture. Well, it is an old logo.

Anyway, I'm thinking about picking it up again. Posting about caps I have, caps I acquire and caps that I want. Present various sports musings I have. Maybe answer some of the questions that have been sitting in my inbox for the past year and a half. Who knows?

I post mostly on IG now (@interstate19) but I want to give myself some space to expand my thoughts. I enjoyed this while I was doing it before, and I think I had a few page views even.

So if you're still around or just stumbled your way here by accident, I'm gonna try and make a habit of posting.

Any thoughts or questions, feel free!

Happy 2016!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Era Deep Cuts - 7 of 365 - San Diego Padres

Today's Deep Cuts cap is a member of that awesome MLB Turn Back The Clock club. Back in 2011, in order to commemorate 75 years of baseball in San Diego, the Padres donned the uniforms of the 1936 Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres. The result was one of the more interesting designs of all TBTC caps ever worn or produced.

Back in black.
That's right. All black. No logo. Pure awesome. I ventured into a HatClub (probably Victoria Gardens) and grabbed one of these. In fact, I almost bought two. But not to wear it as a Padres cap. The truth is that I was hoping to affix my beloved Junior Gilliam memorial #19 patch to it. I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a fitted New Era cap with my favorite number on it. In fact there are pictures of my cap wall where you can see the #19 patch resting on this cap so I could imagine what it would look like. However, after wearing the cap a couple of times I abandoned the idea and felt, correctly so, that it was best to just leave it as it was. Turns out that this has actually become quite the sought after piece.

It almost has the feel of an umpire cap, or some sort of official's headgear. It does have the MLB logo (in black and white) on the back of the cap. To me, it just doesn't feel like a cap that can be worn casually, which is why I've never worn it since after the first couple of days after I purchased it. Even sitting on the shelf nestled between my two other Padres caps, it stands out. It almost appears as a black hole in the collection. As if something should be there that isn't. It's hard to explain. Among all these other bright caps with sharp logos, there's this blank black cap. Even though I may never wear it again, I will always be glad that I did. And even more glad I did nothing to alter it.

Maybe I should have bought two after all.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Era Deep Cuts - 6 of 365 - High Desert Mavericks

Tonight's Deep Cuts cap comes from my own back yard. The cap of my home town High Desert Mavericks. This team came into existence in 1991 and has basically used the same cap logo for its entire life. They have had solid black crown, black crown/red visor, red crown/black visor... but always the same logo. A stylized M with a black cowboy hat. Very simple, very classy and very underrated. Seriously, you should check out the Mavs' primary cap and add it to your collection.

But, on a fine day in early 2012 it came to my attention that the team was adding not one, but two new logos to its cap arsenal. One of them was an alternate cap which features no letter, but a brooding cowboy. (I'll feature this cap later on as it is one of my favorite MiLB caps) The other was also a first for the Mavericks: A road cap.

The font from the jersey would have been better, in my opinion.

Now, as much as I loved the alternate logo, I was lukewarm at best for this one. The first thing, which was actually something my wife pointed out, is that it resembles the Del Taco logo. The other thing, and this is huge, is why the letters don't match up with any aspect of the Mavericks uniform? I believe the HD should have used the same font as the primary cap and jersey. I'm not sure how well these caps have sold, but the last game I went to, this one was not available, which means either they're not restocking it, or it just sells out. Honestly, because it is my "home team" I really hope it's the latter.

I give the team a lot of credit for updating their logo while keeping the awesome primary M cap intact. I do feel that this cap should be the alternate and not the road, as I prefer the cowboy logo and think it should be the road. Also, I don't really like wearing this one. I should say the main reason I don't like to wear it.has nothing to do with the logo, it's because it is made in China and has a rather large crown. Hopefully next season I will find one either U.S. made, or one that fits a little better.

But it is my home team and I'm always proud to represent. Go Mavs Go!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Era Deep Cuts - 5 of 365 - Lethbridge Mounties

Today's Deep Cuts selection is a cap I honestly don't believe I've ever worn in public. It's the onfield cap of the defunct Lethbridge Mounties of the rookie level Pioneer League. They only existed as the Mounties between 1992-95, at which point they became the Lethbridge Black Diamonds.

Alberta had quite a few affiliated minor league teams back then.

One issue I've always had with this cap is something that is/was typical of caps from the early 90s, that being the high crown. If this cap was available in a contemporary New Era style I would rock that thing regularly. But this cap has a particularly high crown (even though it is in my size) and it just doesn't look right. It is a great piece that I am glad is a part of my collection.

I don't have many onfield baseball caps that use a wordmark as the primary logo. I think the "Mounties" would have looked great on a jersey, where the grinning Mountie holding the baseball bat alone might have made for an awesome cap. But I was looking at something unique and rare. And I've only seen this cap in a fitted New Era version available a few times since I got this one.

New Era Deep Cuts - 4 of 365 - Duluth-Superior Dukes

Due to technical difficulties I was not able to get this blog posted last night. Hoping that doesn't become a habit.

The fourth entry in my Deep Cuts series is a cap I never really had my sights on, but once it became available it set up a new obsession for me. One I likely will never see fulfilled, but as any good cap collector knows, you never give up.

One of the first caps I ordered when my collecting entered a more serious phase in 1996 was the incredible cap of the independent Northern League's St. Paul Saints. To this day it is one of my very favorites in my collection. (#CrewEra13 will remember it was the cap I wore that first day in Buffalo)

I didn't really know too much about the Northern League, or honestly cared. But that Saints cap was sacred to me. It was probably about 2008 or 2009 when I stumbled upon this cap. I'd seen it before, but it was never one that I longed for. But it was on eBay and fairly inexpensive, so I grabbed it.

I can't resist purple and black.

The Duluth-Superior Dukes played in the Northern League from 1993-2003 before relocating to Kansas City as the T-Bones. That makes this cap not only defunct, but rare. In fact I've only seen it one other time up for auction. A pretty simple logo, certainly not as awesome as that other defunct Dukes team from Albuquerque, but as I said, it started an obsession with me. I suddenly had the desire to own fitted (in my size) versions of all six original Norther League teams. I have since acquired one additional, so I'm halfway to my goal.

Unlike my Saints cap, which I wear quite often, I have maybe worn this once or twice since picking it up. I do love the colors, and the logo is simple enough. I just wish it was a little smaller. Actually the thing I love most about this cap is the Northern League logo on the back of the cap. I'd love to see that on the front of a cap.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Era Deep Cuts - 3 of 365 - Modesto A's

After the 2004 minor league baseball season ended, the so-called "affiliate dance" started and resulted in my beloved Colorado Rockies switching Cal League affiliates from Visalia to Modesto. Since the Modesto franchise was certain to change its name from the A's, it would have been logical to wait for the new name, logo and gear to be released before grabbing any of it and adding it to my collection. After all, I pride myself on having a cap from every Rockies minor league affiliate in their history.

Logic has little to do when you're an impatient collector.

Upon learning that the Rockies would be setting up shop in Modesto, I went and grabbed me a Modesto A's cap and jersey, because that made sense, right?

That is one hardcore looking elephant.

As we all know, the team became the Modesto Nuts. A bit of a laughingstock when first announced, but now it is not only accepted, but cherished as one of the more unique names in baseball. But I was proud to have something to represent Modesto, even if it was for the previous affiliate. I wore this cap and jersey quite a bit during the 2005 season, only because I was unable to get a Nuts jersey to compliment my new Nuts cap. I honestly love the jersey, wordmark of which is in the picture. The forest green and black just look awesome together. I've even had offers for both the cap and the jersey, but I could never part with them.

Once my Nuts caps were nice and worn in, the A's cap rarely gets more than a passive glance. It looks amazing on the shelf, but I just don't have the occasion to wear it very often. Maybe once or twice a year. Still, the elephant's face is detailed enough to look classy enough to not be considered gaudy, or silly looking, as some animal logos tend to be. (I'm thinking about a recent canine addition to the minor league circuit)

If I was an A's fan, this would with no doubt be one of my go-to caps. And if there are any A's fans who read this and like the cap, I've seen reproductions of it available on HatClub's website. Great pickup, if you can find it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Era Deep Cuts - 2 of 365 - Minnesota Timberwolves

Today's New Era Deep Cut is quite unique. There's a bit of a story behind it, but I want to save the full version for another time. So here's the Cliffs Notes version: On April 12, 2007 my apartment was broken into and 32 of my caps were stolen. Yes, that was the primary purpose of the break in. One of the caps taken was my throwback Minnesota Timberwolves fitted. Once I was able to take stock of everything that was taken, I started to rebuild the portion of the collection that was lost. The T-Wolves cap I had was pretty basic, and NBA fitteds were pretty tough to come across, so I held out little hope that I'd be able to replace it. A few months later I did stumble across this one:

To this day, the only cap I own with pinstripes.

A genuine Hardwood Classic Minnesota Timberwolves New Era cap. With pinstripes. This is also one of only two caps in my entire collection to have a white undervisor. One other distinct difference between this one and the other ones I've had is the wordmark underneath the logo. Very unique.

It wasn't really my style, but thinking I'd be hard pressed to find one like the one I had, and desperate to fill a hole in my broken collection, I purchased this one. I can't for the life of me remember what website I got it from, but I was just happy to have a fitted New Era cap with the original Timberwolves logo. I've always preferred my caps more basic, so this one was rarely worn. Eventually I did find a basic throwback T-Wolves cap, which I do wear quite often, and this one was relegated to occupying a spot on my shelf.

As years have passed, I've worn this cap maybe three or four times (including as I write this) and it's really sad because it really is a nice piece. However, it is a reminder of a very traumatic event that struck at the core of something I care about very deeply. So when I look at it, I think about why I own it. At the same time I've learned to appreciate it.

I did manage to reacquire in some form 30 of the 32 caps stolen that night. And with that incident now nearly seven years behind me, I can honestly say I am glad that this cap is a part of my collection, even though I never would have purchased it otherwise.

It's like we collectors say: There's a story behind every cap. This one's just a little more on the tragic side.