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Who Invented The Baseball Cap?

Posted on May 03 2020

A functional article of clothing, the baseball cap or hat is widely worn and convenient. Baseball caps are available in many different styles and donned by people from every walk of life. Celebrities traveling incognito, sports figures, businesswomen and men – virtually everyone wears baseball caps today. As fashion staples go, they belong in both the leisure world and, as of late, in more formal settings as well.

Where did it all begin?

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Baseball Needed Hats

Since the 18th century, baseball games have been played. Few things are more distracting than having the sun hit your eyes when you're trying to pitch, bat, catch, or throw accurately. When baseball players needed a hat, back in the early days, they grabbed whatever happened to be on the dresser, on the floor, or in their closet. But in 1849, team hats constructed from straw were first worn by the New York Knickerbockers. Over the following seasons many different types of hats were tried out by the team. Finally, they decided on a cap made from wool with a crown surrounding their noggins. It had a bill, or attached visor, to offer sun protection. Still in existence today, and one of the most popular hats around, this was to be the origin of baseball caps.

Varieties Available in the Beginning

Where the public was concerned, various cap styles were produced and tested, at first. In the 1860s, a hat debuted that had a large visor and rounded top – the Brooklyn-style cap. By the 1900s, numerous teams were using these hats with a top button.

Transparent visors were tested out by Jesse Burkett, an outfielder, around 1895. They weren't exactly successful.

With a short visor, flattop, and a pillbox shape, the Chicago-style cap was introduced in the early 20th century. Though this style holds a definite place in the history of baseball, it did not end up being entirely enjoyed by the masses.

Emblems and Colors Enter the Picture

Experimentation began with emblems and colors by 1901 baseball teams. The baseball cap with the first team logo was worn by the Detroit Tigers. Soon, a two-toned visor was experimented with by the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Browns. Again, it did not last. What quickly became a baseball standard, however, was the first stitched visor introduced by Spalding in 1903.

By the 1940s, the choice for all MLB teams was the cap worn today – complete with a latex rubber visor.

In 1954, the "59Fifty" by New Era debuted. This baseball cap would become MLB's official hat and is, even today, still manufactured by what became the largest licensed headwear company in the world – New Era.

New Variations on an Old Hat

Today, unstructured and structured baseball caps are made by a number of manufacturers. The following are available with logos, without, with catchy sayings or a single word, plain, in numerous colors, etc.

  • Fitted
  • Distressed (or the Dad Cap)
  • The Trucker
  • The Flat Bill

All Available at Hat Heaven

No matter the style of cap you're looking for, the logo you want, color, etc., at Hat Heaven, we've got your hat. It doesn't matter what kind of music you listen to, your hairstyle, your gender, whether you’re a sports fan or not… With the right baseball cap, you can transform your look into anything you want. Check out the impressive inventory today at Hat Heaven.

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