Monday, July 29, 2013

New Era Alphabet Challenge - F

Today's cap choice not only represents the letter F in my Alphabet Cap Challenge, but also represents a tough lesson I learned about cap collecting. That is, don't get rid of a cap if there is the slightest chance that you might want that cap again someday. Actually, now I don't ever get rid of any caps.

Well, I did give a University of Wyoming cap to a friend, but that's excusable because I had three of them, and the one I gave her was a few sizes too large. I actually have two entire New Era 24 cap carriers filled with duplicates. But those are for years down the road in case of loss, or God forbid, another theft.

Anyway, the cap representing letter F is...

I really didn't care about losing this one, until it became the one I couldn't live without.

In 1993, on the eve of the inaugural seasons of the newly minted Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins, I decided to make a trip to my local sports apparel store, which if I recall was a Pro Image located in the outlet mall in Barstow. My goal was simply to acquire my first Rockies cap.

I had decided to become a Rockies fan for two reasons:
1) I have family in the vacinity (Wyoming, actually)
2) On visits to see said family, I fell in love with Colorado.

It was difficult, seeing how I had grown up a California Angels fan. I figured it was no big deal. I could root for both. They played in different leagues and never played during the regular season. (a valid statement until interleague play ruined everything) So I was off to purchase that first Rockies cap. When I got there, they also had the cap of the other expansion team, the Florida Marlins.

Now, keep in mind I was not necessarily a "collector" at that point, but there was something about that awful teal and weird fish that just made me have to buy that cap. So I left the store with one of each.

I honestly don't think I ever wore the Marlins cap.

I'm not entirely positive but I believe I gave that cap to my at-the-time girlfriend's younger brother. That was 1995 when that happened. I did not miss that cap until around 2010, when talk started circulating that the Marlins were planning on changing their name to the Miami Marlins and doing a complete rebranding. That would mean no more teal. And it had been many years since the Marlins had donned the all teal cap during a game anyway. Who really liked teal anyway?

I reflected on how I once owned that cap. Oh, what was I thinking? How could I just give a cap away like that? Why didn't somebody tell me that 15 years later I'd really, really be wanting that cap?

So I trolled eBay and eventually found a mid-90s model. High crown and everything. It was fine, but then one day I found a more modern version at Yes, made in China. Yes, it has that uniquely velvety material and pizza box visor, but oh man it's a good looking cap.

I proudly select this cap to represent the letter F, and give my solemn promise that I will never part with this cap again.

And for the record, the one I bought on eBay is inside one of the cap carriers, just in case.

Like E, I have a limited number of F caps. Here are the other two that I own.

I don't know why I bought the Fresno cap, honestly. However, I love the Frederick cap.

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