I’m a big hat guy and I particularly love New Era, so I will typically find a reason to splurge on a new lid whenever possible. A few months ago, I spent more than I care to admit on a Wu-Tang Clan hat that had to be shipped from Japan. For the most part, though, my recent purchases have been limited to picking up the Cubs’ newest spring training hat when I visit Mesa.
That will not be the case this year, as the latest designs MLB unveiled Tuesday are…yeah. Each team’s cap features a logo-on-logo design that just doesn’t work in many cases. The Cubs are one of those, with the primary bullseye inside the walking bear. The whole look is just way too busy, but I think the worst part is the white line around the C that makes this look like a knockoff you’d find at Walgreens.
The simpler logos, like the white lettering of the Yankees and Dodgers, don’t assault the eyes quite as violently because they were negative space to begin with. The Blue Jays are perhaps the cleanest of all because the laying is more subtle and doesn’t feel as though one design was simply hammered down onto another until the one on the bottom showed through. The Marlins and Rays also have cool looks.
But don’t even get me started on the White Sox design, which looks like someone at New Era make a huge mistake and just decided to roll with it. Not even having the excellent 2020 Cactus League logo on the back can redeem that one.
MLB's BP/Spring cap designs are so bad that for once I approve of the New Era logo on the side. They should have to own this. (Closer look at all the designs here: https://t.co/GvC3omBTtN) pic.twitter.com/Cu0tobvgQm
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) February 4, 2020
Rather than continuing to drag the artistic design of these hats any further, I’ll point out some of the features that go into making them cost $42 online. Speaking of which, you’re much better off skipping the shops at Sloan Park and heading to a nearby sporting goods store to save $10 or so if you head out to Arizona.
- COOLERA ® technology wicks away sweat
- Dash Mark Mesh technology carries water-repellent properties and is paired with a moisture-wicking anti-microbial sweatband
- DRYERA ® technology repels weather-related water
- Hex Tech® fabric featuring ultra-lightweight fabric with moisture wicking and UV protective properties
- MICROERA™ technology acts as an anti-microbial to reduce odor
Whether any of that actually means anything or not, these hats sure have come a long way over the last few decades. I’m old enough to remember when you couldn’t find fitteds very easily, and the ones you could score were mostly wool and subject to shrinkage. New Era has come a helluva long way since then, and it’s all thanks to a mail-order ad in The Sporting News almost 40 years ago.