"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Minute

Man, it’s hard to believe but I’ve gone the past two seasons without a regular Yankee hat. Yeah, I wore one that I got a cap day last year but it doesn’t fit right so it didn’t become a regular piece of gear. I used to buy the cheap hats with the snaps on the back for five bucks on the street. I’d break ‘em in with lots of love then eventually lose ‘em (which is why I only bought the cheap ones). But I dig it when you see an old hat, one that someone has had for years like this one that I caught on the train today.

So, what about you guys? How old is your Yankee cap? Do you wear a fitted one? How many do you own?

Whadda ya hear, whadda ya say?

34 comments

1 thelarmis   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:30 pm

i wear the regular cheap yankees hat w/ the snaps or velcro strap. i always wear them backwards. i can't really see well with the bill in the front. i used to wear them 'properly' back in the day and i'd put my hair thru the back hole. pony tail down to about my waist. but i've been wearing them only backwards for over 15 years.

i had one that was super old and broken in. just got to the point where it was unwearable. i did save it though and know exactly where it is! the replacement i got, is a bit nicer, with a raised/puffy interlocking NY (replete w/ 2-toned outline) and YANKEES printed where the snaps would be (it's velcro). i like that the Yankees name is right there on my forehead, when i wear it.

i try not to keep it in my knapsack where it gets crushed or wear it on gigs that are in smoky bars. i've been pretty successful in keeping this one in great shape. i never lose things like this, so this one's been a keeper!

i also have a yankees winter hat that i generally only wear when it's brick cold. it's super heavy and it fits too tightly, so it squeezes my brain when i wear it. i see the NY baseball hat all over the place here (they call 'em "ballcaps" in the south, which really irritates me...). i have to ask the person if it's "just a hat" or if they're a "fan"...

2 rbj   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:30 pm

Got one, well I do have a painters type cap as well. Got it as a law school graduation present from my Property Law professor. Who's an Orioles fan. He made a remark about half way through the semester about how Yankee fans wouldn't wear their caps in his class. I took that as a personal challenge and wore my painters cap. Got called on every class for the rest of the semester. Also got an A in the course.

It's the red white & blue 1914 (?) model. Fitted. got it in 1993, so it's 17 years (yikes!) old. The white's not so white anymore.

3 ms october   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:30 pm

that hat is grimey!

i own 3 - 1 traditional fitted, 1 fitted with pinstripes (i know, i know, but i think it looks good), and 1 cheapie i wear in the rain to run errands and stuff.
i like a crispy hat - all 3 are pretty new, and i don't wear them a ton.

4 knuckles   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:31 pm

Mine’s a regular old fitted job, maybe 5 years old, and needs to be replaced. The dog has chewed on the brim, and it’s gotten soaked in the rain so many times that it’s probably a full size smaller than it needs to be.

I was just thinking last week about replacing it with a “low profile” version of the official model (so it looks more El Duque, less Hideki Irabu), but at $35 bucks and then more cash for S&H, seems a bit steep.

5 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:37 pm

I have about half a dozen Twins Enterprises Franchise caps that I alternate through.

6 TheGreenMan   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:39 pm

I've got four Yankee caps, but I only love one of them. One of those old "closer" caps that became popular back in the mid-90's. A bit smaller and lighter than your standard fitted cap. I used to go through 2 of those a year, I was wearing them so often. This last one I've had for about five years now since I really don't wear hats anymore. Grew my hair out past shoulder length a few years back, and I look slightly insane when wearing a close-fitting baseball cap. I still break it out on occasion though. My girlfriend wears it way more often than I do.

7 nettles   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:44 pm

I've got 6, but the main ones I wear are a Twins Franchise and a 5950 Low Crown. I have a wool Low Crown that's just about had it and it's retired from further wear. I just replaced it with a new Cool Base model that I'm prepared to not like as well, but going to give it a chance anyway.

I have one green St. Paddy's Day model and a blue/red 1910 edition, but the rest are all the standard Yankee blue model. Don't really care for all of the other mutant variants.

8 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:47 pm

I've had countless ones over the years, but at the moment I have three. A white-front Twins Enterprise one I picked up at lids, a wool 59/50 fitted from probably around 2006, and a fitted 2009 WS New Era.

I mostly rock the 2009 model, but if I go to a game in the summer and its dumb (yes dumb) hot I'll just grab the Twins since its so light.

9 Shaun P.   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:49 pm

I actually have six, which makes me feel a little strange, but I'm sure there are folks out there who have me beat.

One is a fitted cap, about 4 years old but a little big now and so rarely warn.

One has a blue bill, but the cap is white and the interlocking NY is blue, with snaps in the back. That one is 19 years old, and was actually a gift from me to my brother on his 13th birthday. He used to wear it constantly, but took excellent care of it. After he graduated college and was moving out of our parents' house, he was going to get rid of it, but I insisted he couldn't do that. So he gave it back to me. I wear it every so often; its in remarkably good shape for its age.

One is a fitted cap from the "100th anniversary" season in 2003, with the commemorative pin they sold that year. I've worn it only once. It looks too nice to wear.

One is a chintzy one that was part of the '99 Serious champs package from SI (and says "1999 Champions" on the front). I usually wear that one to do dirty work around the house; its probably my least favorite.

Then there are my two regulars. One has velcro straps in the back, with "Yankees" on it; the underside of the bill is gray, and "NEW YORK" is in tiny print on the front of the bill. The interlocking NY is in a circle, and it says "Yankees" and "Est. 1903" in script. My wife got me that one just after we got married; its my go-to cap when I wear one out.

My other regular is a plain old classic Yankees cap with the snaps in the back. Its sun-faded and slightly grimy, from long wear. One of my closest friends bought it for me in Central Park, down the block from Mickey Mantle's restaurant, on my one extended trip to NYC in late 1997. Since I got it just before 1998 (and wore it almost every day that season), I've always treasured it. Outside of the playoffs, I wear it infrequently, to try to preserve it as long as possible.

10 thelarmis   ~  Mar 15, 2011 3:50 pm

[6] nice. i'm glad i'm not the only long hair here! : )

i usually have my hair in a pony tail and i wear my yanks hat backwards, so i kinda look i have no hair at all when i wear it. i'm always shocked when people don't recognize me in a hat.

i mostly wear a Penn State beanie/skully/whatever the hell they call it. not a baseball hat and not quite a winter hat...

11 The Mick536   ~  Mar 15, 2011 4:14 pm

I have one from 2007. I wear it in Burlington without much trouble. At the last SABR meeting, one person refused to get into the club picture unless I took it off.

I have eye trouble and no hair. I wear it indoors, outdoors, all doors, turning it around when I take photos.

When I moved out of Brooklyn in 1999, I gave away two 1978's, one was my wife's which she only wore when we went to a game at the Stadium.

In the 80's I had a 1961 Cooperstown Collection jacket with a white hat with blue brim from the beginning of time. Allegedly Steiney saw me wearing them when I was under seige and asked one of my friends to tell me to not to wear them.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 15, 2011 4:18 pm

It's great that so many of you have more than one but a series of them. Awesome.

13 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 15, 2011 4:31 pm

I have one fitted purple-tinted (yeah, I know ... but I'm a purple gal) SF Giants cap that I bought when I went to the World Series last year.
I've got a couple of cheapo Yanks and Mets caps.
My preferred hat is a rare "Baseball Prospectus" velcro cap, given to me by Christina Kahrl. She says I have 1 of only 20 made.

14 Jon DeRosa   ~  Mar 15, 2011 4:37 pm

the current style official fitted yankee caps look like lincoln's stovepipe hat on me. too much empty air between the canopy of the hat and skull. so i was working on finding one of those throwbacks that fit a little tighter for years. problem was, the "small" size was too small, felt like my head would pop, and medium was too big, looked like i was wearing an empty bag on my head.

i finally found a size small that was cut just big enough in 2009 in at la guardia airport of all places.

15 Jon DeRosa   ~  Mar 15, 2011 4:41 pm

upon reading all of your posts, i think i have the Twins Franchise soft dome as in [5] & [7].

16 Capital Yank   ~  Mar 15, 2011 4:54 pm

I've probably got 10 or 12 yanks hats, but only regularly wear about 2 or 3 of them. My favorite by far is my fitted 5950 I wore almost daily in high school in the early aughts (noughties? double-o's? two-thousands? anybody actually think there's a legit name for last decade?). That one has gotten a bit tight over the years, but man I love how faded, frayed and perfectly molded to my head it has become. Besides that I mostly wear a new-ish fitted 5950 that doesn't leave a red mark on my forehead after wearing it all day, like old reliable, and a cotton one with snaps in the back for the days it's "dumb" hot. Usually I stick with the fitted though.

Since moving away from home my mother has gotten into the habit of buying the random bombers hat she finds on sale in a store or picks up for me after the Yanks grab another world series banner (only one so far, but I'm perpetually optimistic at this time of year that the end of the season means one more will arrive at my apartment unannounced in the mail!). She knows I don't need to add to my hat collection, and really only wear the one most of the time, but it's just another connection Mamma Dukes makes sure we maintain now that she's got an empty nest. Some of the ones she sends me are definitely a bit garish for my tastes, but every time I get one it makes the day that much better and I proudly line my closets shelves with the good, bad, and ugly.

17 bags   ~  Mar 15, 2011 5:36 pm

okay i'm going to sound vaguely crazy but i have a new era hat that i painstakingly ripped the mesh webbing out of the inside of and then had every so slightly altered by the tailor guy at my dry cleaners to take some room out of the crown so now it lies a little flatter on my head.

i love this hat. fits me like a glove. so to speak.

18 Raf   ~  Mar 15, 2011 5:52 pm

I had two Yankees caps, I only have one now. The one I have I picked up sometime in the mid 90's; fitteds were $20 then.

It's rare I wear the Yankees cap, if I wear a baseball cap, it's from whatever team I'm playing on at the time, or a Yomiuri Giants cap a friend sent from Japan a few years ago.

19 Eric   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:00 pm

Only three. Oh well. Really, it's down to two.

17] LOL. I did the same thing with my Virginia Tech Yankees hat (sans taking it to the tailor). I learned a few things the day I took a knife and scissors to it: the fitted New Era 5950 hats are bulletproof; there is foam underneath the "NY" thread; and that the orange thread from the "NY" was in our office for months. I heard no end of it from my wife, who would find miniscule pieces of orange thread laying about and then tape them to a heart or other nice note that she'd leave behind for me. Seriously, we found orange thread in the office when we moved and left California.

So there is that hat, which is, BTW, from when the team went to Blacksburg during 2008 ST and played the Virginia Tech team. I remember that Jason Giambi struck out, ha ha.

My (and my wife's) fave is my all-black Yankees hat, which reeks of Evil Empire and really scares John, Tom, and Larry. My other one, the standard blue and white, never really fit right, so I gave it to one of the kids here (Oklahoma) on a baseball scholarship and he took it back to the Bronx to give to some poor kid with a smaller dome than mine. That sounds kind of wack as I'm reading it now, but it was practically brand new.

And Bags, if you want a hat that fits better, the low crown 5950s by New Era are great.

20 bags   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:17 pm

Thanks Eric. Appreciate it.

21 Branco   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:29 pm

[17] Yo, Bags.. How much did that cost? I'm about to cut the dreadlocks I've had for the past 10 years, and I'm worried about all my fitteds becoming un-fitteds.

22 rbj   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:34 pm

I should add that I have two Mudhens caps (fitted), one game type, the other a lightweight one that's perfect for hot summer nights. I also have a fitted Capital City Bombers (Columbia SC) cap -- it was the Mets low A team in the 1990s, the place was a dump, not up to handicap access. But they weren't able to get funding so the team relocated to Greeneville SC. I did get to see people Jose Reyes & Angel Pagan & David Wright play. You could tell right away that those guys were ticketed for the majors.

23 Branco   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:44 pm

... As for Yankee hats, I have several. My everyday fresh one and an older one that I don't mind wearing on set and getting dirty are the standbys.

After that I have the one I wore to every game from 2006-2008 and which I smeared field dirt on before the last game at the old house. That one's retired. Likewise, I have my inaugural season from 2009 with new field dirt smeared across the front.

I wore a 2009 WS hat to every game last year, and will do the same until they make it to the WS again. I also wear a blue and orange Yankee hat to Mets and Knicks games.

There's a few more different colored ones I wear if I'm feeling like mixing it up, but the above are the regulars.

24 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:48 pm

[8] I've got the 2009 New Era too.

25 briang   ~  Mar 15, 2011 6:59 pm

i usually only have one in constant circulation and it has to be real light light poly/cotton blend and have the plastic snaps on the back. i like how the material just kind of dies and it's like a handkerchief and i can keep it in my back pocket when necessary. i wear these ones til they are just dead..usually several years and then i find one to tide me over til i stumble upon another perfect one. i sort of hate the "authentic" ones cuz the mesh pokes through in places usually leaving a barb to stab me in the hand or top of the head. not cool. i have been looking for one of the short bill, all navy with the NY on the front and the leather band but have had no luck.....if you see one holler!

to bags: awesome. fit that shit.

26 hiscross   ~  Mar 15, 2011 7:08 pm

The day after the Yankees won the 2009 series I put an old Yankee cap on the dashboard of my MDX. I also have a "Who is John Galt?" license plate frame.

27 Start Spreading the News   ~  Mar 15, 2011 7:14 pm

I don't like paying for Yankee merchandise since I think they got a lot money. So most of my hats are from Hat days at the Stadium. They range in age from my college days in the 90s to last years Hat day. I have four hats in all. I did pay for one hat. Some one gave me two free tix to an afternoon game. All of my friends had to work. So I sold the ticket at face value outside the Stadium. I used the money to buy a white Yankee hat since it was hot and I needed something to protect my head.

28 Just Fair   ~  Mar 15, 2011 7:15 pm

The one I currently wear I got in Cooperstown about 5 years ago. It used to be blue. Now it's more of a whitish-grey color. One of my fellow coaches told me just yesterday I needed a new one. Hell no. It's got a few more years of being whipped around my family room. : )

29 YankInEugene   ~  Mar 15, 2011 7:23 pm

I've got a Yankee cap from cap day from about five years ago during one of our trips back east. Didn't know it was cap day until we arrived at the stadium and was pleasantly surprised that it was a pretty good quality fitted cap. I also have a white knitted hat that a friend of mine found and gave to me knowing I was a Yankee fan. I don't wear it very often as it rarely gets very cold here.

30 Raf   ~  Mar 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Looking at my cap collection, I have the following caps

Chattanooga Lookouts
Hudson Valley Renegades
Milwaukee Brewers (MLB Cooperstown Collection)
Montreal Expos (MLB Cooperstown Collection)
(2) Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB Cooperstown Collection, rec league team)
Minnesota Twins
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles (1966 smiling bird edition)
Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers
California Angels
LA Dodgers
SD Padres
Brooklyn Cyclones
Washington Nationals
Texas Rangers
Cleveland Indians
NY Yankees

31 thelarmis   ~  Mar 16, 2011 12:42 am

all this hat talk is making me think of 2 things:

1) Mike Keneally's beyond brilliant debut solo cd: hat.

2) Bronx Banter shirts. we need them, Alex. would be sooo cool!

32 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 16, 2011 2:29 am

I have a fitted cap I got back in the late '80s that still fits just right. I wear that somewhat regularly, but the NY is turning brown and the cap is fading a bit, with the stitching turning a different shade of blue than the rest.

I also have a newer model fitted that I now wear more often only so as not to completely destroy the old one.

For a long time my go-to was my 1920s throwback, 8-panel, short brim, low-crown Babe Ruth model.

I also have a 1915 throwback I bought in Cooperstown, white cap with blue pinstripes, blue brim, red NY, also 8-panel, sort brim/low crown, but I rarely wear that one.

When I played softball for work I wore a Cooperstown Cap Co. 1970 Orioles Cap (more accurate logo than the currently available throwbacks) because a) I love that cap and b) it matched my company's logo (Penguin Books, orange & black bird).

I will also rotate through a blue away Nationals cap bought at RFK and throwbacks of the '80s Brewers glove cap (all blue home) or original Mariners cap (yellow pitchfork M). I have a couple others as well (1950s NY Giants Cooperston Cap Co, some mL caps, one Cape Cod League cap bought at a game there) but don't wear those as often.

I'm constantly thinking of buying more, particularly given my thinning hair and increased time spent in the sun with the kid and/or dog (seems like a good excuse, no?). The only catch is I'm primarily interested in throwbacks and a real stickler for accuracy, and pretty much every throwback you can find I can find a flaw in (even my Mariners cap is too dark of a blue, though the Brewers cap is perfect). With Cooperstown Cap Co. (which had it's own issues) out of business, can anyone recommend a place to purchase accurate throwbacks (read: not the Cooperstown Collection stuff)?

33 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 16, 2011 4:08 am

I'd totally wear a Bronx Banter shirt.

Also, this thread made me check out lids, and I found at lest three more Twins 47 Yankee hats I want.

34 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 16, 2011 8:27 am

I've run through many Yankee caps in my time, from the cheapies to the fitted. I only have one now, a cheapie woolitin I wear during spring or fall (too thin for actual winter weather.) I've had a fascination with hats for years, but I can't wear a lot of them because of my dreadlocks (I either wear a tam or a woolie) and the fact I have a big head regardless. But my body's not out of proportion with my head, so if anything I look like an oversized kid.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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