The 30 Best Fitted Caps In Baseball - Part 1

Baseball hats have the most crossover appeal of any single piece of sporting apparel. Everyone from diehard fans to soccer moms own one. Young, old, rich, less rich and everywhere in-between; the top piece of the game is a part of everyday life.

However, once you get into it a bit deeper, that’s where the culture of the cap comes into play. Where it’s known by its true name to those in the know, The Fitted. This is where it starts to get serious, because what fitted you see somebody rocking can say a whole world of different things. Hardcore devotion to the game is still in play, where it is a common link from fan to player. But at the same time it goes into the realm of fashion, as well as regional devotion.

The Fitted may be Major League Baseball’s largest common impact in society today, both in America and abroad. The styling that New Era has exclusive rights to representing the MLB with puts over $340 million worth of hats into the streets each year. But when you break it down, it all comes back to the tradition that those 30 baseball clubs choose to follow.

While there are tons of offshoots and alternate caps, some of which even the MLB clubs themselves take to every once in a while, it’s the standards that still ring out the loudest for me. While some have stood since the early 1900’s, others have only stood since March. However, all caps are not created equal, and to wrap up this week, I’m doing my own personal 30 for 30 on the best fitteds in the game today … well the best of the worse, because it’s numbers 30 through 16 to end this week. We’ll get to the top of the game, for the first pitch of next week.

Let the sure-to-be debate begin …

30. San Diego Padres: It gets no more boring than this. The dull blue on straight white of the newest incarnation of the Pads caps suits the team’s style and product these days pretty well, but if fans are going to show up for this, they might as well at least provide some decent gear for them to buy and suffer in.

29. Miami Marlins: The Death of the Florida Marlins was the intro to a tragedy in the hat world. It started a case of not only messing with a good thing; it’s ruining a great thing. The Marlins had it figured out with the teal and black joints. There was literally no combination that didn’t work right, and the Marlins had a dope logo to boot. It was exciting … the complete opposite of whatever it is they’re doing now. It looks like a Simon Says game threw up black licorice on its shirt. Not the freshest reset we’ve ever seen.

28. Houston Astros: This cap was a radical change from the Denver Nuggets style, way past the Technicolor scheme they rocked until the early 90’s, but it’s gotten kind of old quick. Not sure if the orange styling they added to it helped or hurt really.

27. Cleveland Indians: I’ll call myself bias here, and while they’re not the only perpetrators of this in sports by far, it’s really time to pull the “Ethnic Face” off the cap and find a new direction to head in.

26. Los Angeles Angels: They got better in the uniform over the years, but the cap didn’t come along with it. It’s like a fluorescent red now, when some of the old blue from the 80’s could really do it some justice.

25. Colorado Rockies: Like many others that will come up, the Rockies haven’t turned the corner on cap design, despite a unique color scheme that’s all theirs really. Logo is still strong however.

24. Minnesota Twins: A unique color scheme (dark blue/magenta type red) is their saving grace. But they really haven’t changed it up enough over the years consistently, however the "Twin Cities" edition alternate caps really are strong. They should bring those out more frequently.

23. Seattle Mariners: The M’s look was a huge step forward when they first put the navy blue/teal billed ensemble into effect at the start of the Griffey/Big Unit/A-Rod run, especially coming from their old joints that looked like a fast food restaurant started a company softball team. And while they are still sharp, the pack has caught up to them some.

22. New York Mets: The Mets blue and orange is distinctive, and when they aren’t corrupting it with the black they’ve tried to adopt over the years it’s a much underrated cap. Hell, it’s probably underrated sitting here at 22 really.

21. Arizona Diamondbacks: The D’Backs are a club that needs one of those daytime talk show-style plastic surgery interventions. In their short history they’ve gone through about four radically different appearances already. Their current red/black joints aren’t that bad at all, but it’s hard to tell if they’ll even stick with one for more than a month.

20. Cincinnati Reds: Cincy has done well in keeping their look modern with the hints of black in the mix, and they have one of the best alternate caps in the game with the black dome/red billed ones they put in the mix as well.

19. Milwaukee Brewers: The Beer Men stayed true to their Miller background with their hat, which could double as a can of Miller Lite if you are cross-eyed enough. It could easily come with the two straws into the mouth and fit right in with the theme of their home park/owners.

18. Tampa Bay Rays: Tampa is on their second generation of caps now, and they have come a long way in the process. Their new logo has steadied what was a rough start with the actual Devil Ray on the hat. That idea never set well with me. They’ve gone away from flash and stayed with a steady ensemble.

17. Kansas City Royals: A great hat that’s really embraced by the folks in the area. Plays well with the fountains and the pastures around Kaufmann and would get a lot more play elsewhere if they won more.

16. Chicago White Sox: The Sox have the doom and gloom look down pat. Ever since they got away from the red and blue softball joints of the 80’s they’ve been doing better, but never truly spectacular. They don’t have the gritty image to pull it off, but the shadowy Cell they call home sure helps.

15 through 1 on deck leading off next week … stay tuned, but most importantly, stay fitted up.

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