Understanding the History of Baseball Caps

Posted on December 05 2019

Somewhere in the world, each and every day, when they get out of bed, someone looks through their selection of baseball caps and plops one on their head. They are now ready to face the day! Baseball caps are a fashion statement, an essential part of America's favorite pastime, and an essential part of the wardrobe of many. We wear them inside out, forward, backwards, and sideways. No matter which style is chosen, a baseball cap can proclaim your love for a particular brand or a special team.

Where did all of this begin? How did it become everyday part of the lives of so many? Baseball caps have their very own story. Let's look at a little history.

Baseball stadium under roof view with fans

Why Do We Wear Baseball Caps?

Today's baseball caps are worn for any number of reasons including the following:

  • To be a part of something bigger.
  • To shade our eyes from the sun.
  • To show our allegiance.
  • To make a statement.
  • Just to be cool.

 A Timeline for Baseball Caps

How have baseball caps become popular promotional products from the uniform staples of yesteryear. Let's look at a timeline:

1849 – During their games, straw hats were worn by the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club. This kicked off the future of baseball with teams that were comprised from working-class men.

1860s – The first baseball caps as we know them today are worn by the Brooklyn Excelsior's. Eventually, this team would be the Brooklyn Dodgers and play in the World Series, though in the 1860s, they were amateurs.

1890s – For clubs like the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics, a popular style of baseball cap was the pillbox shape.

1903 – A stitched visor hat was introduced by Spalding. Producing 1 million bats per year, this company was a leading manufacturer of sports gear.

1905 – Logos first appeared on caps courtesy of the baseball team known as the Detroit Tigers. Though, through the years, their design has changed a number of times, these hats sported their iconic old English "D".

1920s – The United States had numerous baseball clubs playing in it, each one of the MLB teams finally having an official logo. Soon to follow suit would be the amateur leagues.

1940s – Community teams and little leagues were established in the United States. They wore hats made from latex rubber and were named after local businesses.

1943 – A group of World War II pilots known as The Black Sheep Squadron helped make baseball caps exceedingly popular. For every hat supplied by the MLB, the airman promised to shoot down one enemy plane!

1945 – During the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers, rally caps were observed nationwide. Superstitious fans wore their hats inside out, upside down, or in any other unconventional manner.

1950s – Baseball caps became advertisements with the rise of screen-printing. Smaller startup companies and big-name companies were using giveaways for brand promotion.

Now let's jump to 1994 (though much happened between the 50s and the 90s) – The MLB adopted the New Era Company as their official manufacturer.

1996 – A special New York Yankees baseball cap was requested by Spike Lee. His wish was honored by the New Era Cap Company . So began caps in a variety of styles and colors.

2018 – Creativity and technology has an impact on old favorites. Fun features like LED lights are incorporated into baseball caps.

Hat Heaven has throwback designs from times gone by, plain hats, or modern hats with your favorite team logo. Look through our impressive selection today and you're bound to find the cap that matches your personality and taste.


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