Old School MLB Hats That Can Still Be Worn This Summer
January 20, 2020
Major League Baseball season is well under way, and several teams have already debuted updated hats and uniforms for this season. While the new and (sometimes) improved versions of MLB caps are normally trendy when they are initially released, a few older designs continue to be popular for years, or even decades after they were worn on the field.
As the weather gets warmer, the sun rays get stronger, and the number of outdoor activities increases, summer is the best time of year to update your hat collection. Aside from enhancing your personal style and protecting your head/skin from excessive exposure, a good hat collection lets you show your team allegiance all at the same time. Let’s take a look at a few baseball caps from the past that will still look fashionable during the dog days of this coming summer:
The Brooklyn Bridge; Coney Island; Brooklyn Brewery; great rappers like Biggie, Jay-Z, and Fabolous; Williamsburg hipsters; and more recently the Brooklyn Nets. These are all immediately associated with the NYC borough, however, until the 1950s, the biggest game in town was the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The team thrived in Brooklyn until moving to Los Angeles in 1957, and while in New York were responsible for signing Jackie Robinson and breaking baseball’s color barrier.
The most well-known version of the hat featured a classic white “B” on a royal blue cap that continues to be popular with rappers, hipsters, and Brooklyn natives today–a full half century after they played a game at Ebbet’s Field. The hat is classic and immediately evokes the nostalgia of “Old School Brooklyn” in a way that has stood the test of time. This one appeals to a wide variety of people attempting to add some classic flavor to their otherwise modern outfits.
From 1969 until 2004, the Montreal Expos had one of the most unique logos in all of professional sports. The “M” (for Montreal) on their cap doubled as an “E” and “B” (for Expos Baseball) and resonated with both Canadian and American fans despite the team usually not being very competitive.
The Expo’s original “Pinwheel” design featuring segments of red, white, and blue remains one of the most unique in baseball history and when the hat was subdued in the early 90s to be monochromatic royal blue, the originality of the logo still kept the hat somewhat popular. In 2004, the team played their last game in Montreal, and debuted as the Washington Nationals the next season, with a logo and uniform based on the defunct Nationals of yesteryear. At this time, the old Expos gear became a sought after item on eBay and at sports memorabilia outlets. The logo is still popular today and is available through companies like Mitchell & Ness, New Era, and other retro-centric brands.
The Florida Marlins brought big league baseball to the sunshine state in 1993, and then brought two World Series championships in 1997 and 2003 before becoming the Miami Marlins (with completely overhauled uniforms) in 2012. The original Marlins logo did not change much in the two decades it was used– it always featured a marlin wrapped around a capital letter “F” in a cool shade of aqua that fit perfectly with the tropical vibe of the state they represented. The cap was an immediate hit across the country when it debuted in the early 90s with its’ bold color scheme that would look at home on Saved by the Bell or Beverly Hills 90210.
The original Marlins hat is still available at most MLB online retailers and has stood the test of time as one of the best caps to rock in the summer for over two decades.
San Diego Padres
Most MLB teams occasionally sport alternate versions of their logos for special occasions. A lot of the time, these alternate caps feature more menacing versions of the team’s usual mascot (the Diamondback’s snake, the Blue Jays’ very muscular Blue Jay, etc.), but the San Diego Padres go in the complete other direction, with an alternate logo that can only be described as ADORABLE. For a few games every year, the Padres replace their interlocking “SD” logo with a cartoonish Padre (AKA Father, AKA Priest) swinging wildly at an invisible pitch. The graphic immediately brings to mind classic cartoons like Looney Toons or Peanuts, where the characters either miss the ball and spin around several times, or hit the ball around the world–but never anything in between.
While the hat gets used very sparingly on the field (probably because it’s arguably the least intimidating logo in sports) it does make a great hat to wear to BBQ’s, the beach, and other laid back summer activities.
For decades, the official hat of Major League Baseball has been the New Era 5950, and while teams have experimented with countless logos and color schemes, the actual design of the hat itself has changed very little over time. One exception to this rule was the stove top hat, worn by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 70’s. The hat featured the black and yellow color scheme synonymous with the Steel City, but on a hat that looks like it was from the 1870’s instead of the 1970’s. This one took terms like “Old School” and “Throw Back” to a new level.
Rocking this version of the Pirate’s hat is not for everybody, but for those brave enough to take this leap with their personal style, the cap provides a fun, retro, and completely unique look.
About the Author