Thursday, March 31, 2011

Latest Acquisitions (caps)

Been a while since I update this, and I actually have some new caps to present. This is the calm before the storm, so to speak, because with baseball season beginning, minor league baseball isn't far behind. That means new cap designs! The best place to get current minor league caps is Lids. They have an amazing selection of minor league caps, though usually just one design for each team. If you want to see everything a team has to offer, I recommend going to each individual team's home page. Check this site out: I've probably spent more time on this website than any other over the past 10 years. He's pretty consistent about keeping the links updated. Excellent source for all things minor league baseball.

Now, on to the newbies:

Starting with the new caps from the Asheville (NC) Tourists. The Tourists play in the single-A South Atlantic League and are an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Since they are a Rockies affiliate I have to keep up on the latest gear from them. I acquired the home and the road cap. The home cap is unique because the moon glows in the dark. (The Casper Ghosts lay claim to the first caps to do that, but this is cool as well)  I'm not a huge fan of the home cap just because I tend to favor more simple designs, but from a marketing standpoint, I can tell you that these are genius. And from a consumer standpoint I can tell you that they go quickly. I purchased these directly from the team, and it took me a month to get them because the home cap was out of stock. The marketing manager was very nice and patient while dealing with my emails inquiring about this cap's availability. The road cap, I actually prefer. Simple single letter design, a shade of blue not typical of other caps. That's always a plus as well. I love going places wearing unique caps where people have to stop and ask me about them. Can't find these in your local Lids store, kids.

Just for comparison's sake I've included pics of the previous two Tourists caps, including the infamous "Ted E. Tourist" cap, which my wife hates. Me? Of course, I think it's a classic.

New Asheville Tourists home cap.

New Asheville Tourists road cap.

The previous late 2000s design.

The "Ted E. Tourist" design used before 2006.
Next up we have the latest from the Bakersfield Blaze, who play in the high-A California League and are currently an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. I first went to their games when they were the Bakersfield Dodgers, then they went independent and became the Blaze. Their initial cap did not appeal to me, but when they became affiliated with the Texas Rangers and rebranded in the middle of the last decade, they made headlines, and of course I had to get the cap. Originally purchased in 2005, I had to repurchase it in 2007 after an unfortunate incident involving a break in. Naturally they wanted this cap:

Flaming maple leaf? Or some other sort of burning leaf?
Not a very good design, in my opinion, but it got people talking and presumably buying. They kept this design for five years, I believe. In that time I also managed to acquire a Blaze jersey, which I actually like very much:

#19 on the back, naturally.
Anyway, now they have jerseys where the Blaze is scripted. Awesome. So the new cap design was revealed in February, and it is awesome as well. No more Mary Jane. I had to have one. Behold...

Simple. Black. Orange. Awesome.

This does not disappoint. Of course it probably won't sell as well with no cartoon character on it, but damn it sure looks good on my head. Purchased directly from the team. Bravo, Bakersfield!
Next up, a cap I acquired from eBay. It's an old Rancho Cucamonga Quakes cap. It's the first tweak they made to the original design, unnecessarily incorporating their mascot "Tremor" into the design:

The sequel is never as good as the original.
So why did I purchase it? Well, because it was fitted, the correct size and I just had to have it. The original design is indeed a minor league classic. Prior to the Lake Elsinore Storm "No Fear" design, the following Quakes cap was the best selling cap in the minor leagues:

Simply awesome.
To see the current Quakes caps (they've rebranded twice since) check out their official website.
And finally, a vintage New Orleans Zephyrs cap. I've coveted this cap for years and was ecstatic to track one down. I purchased it from the same eBay seller I acquired the Quakes and Whiskey Jacks caps from. He's got a couple more I have my eye on as well. Anyway, New Orleans got the Zephyrs from Denver, when they moved upon the arrival of the Colorado Rockies in 1993. A very simple design, like I prefer:

New Orleans Zephyrs
Their current cap has a different styled "Z", which I do own, but I like this one much better. They also have a road variation which has "NOZ" on it. You can check all of the current Zephyrs designs here.

Speaking of the Denver Zephyrs, I must take the opportunity to highlight the cap they wore. I acquired this cap in 2009. It's more than 20 years old, but still in wearable thanks to my New Era ReCap Kit. It's a bit tight, but I love the colors. The team didn't really do much with the design after relocating.

Denver Zephyrs. 1980s New Era fitted.
Until next time...

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