Every once in a while, an article we write elicits such a strong reaction in a reader, that they ask to write for us. In that vein, meet Brandon Andrus, actor, Philadelphia fan, and aficionado for all things baseball cap. He took some exceptions to Ned and Andrew’s selections for the Northwest League. So without further ado, here’s his own Bottom and Top 5 for the league.
Take it away, Brandon
Tip of the “Cap” (That is my vote) to ya! This is Brandon here, Philadelphia Phillies Phan, avid purveyor of all things Uni related and general instigator. Ned and I went to college together, and I find as much as we have in common about the grand old pastime, we have very differing views on Caps. So I thought I’d send in my Top and Bottom five for the Pacific Northwest League just to stir things up a bit. So let’s step up to the bottom!
The Bad and the Ugly
#5 – Tri-City Dust Devils – Fitted Old Home Hat
Andrew and I match perfectly on this. I will say though, I had more in the like Tabs open than the dislike, so stands to reason this is in it. As he stated, it’s not awful, it’s just boring. Completely uninspired and generic. I could see this on a Junior High Baseball Squad, but not an affiliate of the majors. Not a real fan of the home either, so Try City, maybe it’s time for a rebranding or brush up of the logos. Please Tri better 😉
#4 – Vancouver Canadians – Canadians New Era Home Hat in Red
Let’s continue down the uninspired path with this little gem. Seriously Vancouver? A “C” with a baseball! Oh, and the apostrophe is a maple leaf! Where did you get that idea? Wendy’s? (It should be noted, first time I saw the maple leaf apostrophe was a Wendy’s in Toronto. Many companies do it) You are representing a nation. Many teams fall in this boring trap, (Houston Texans, Washington Nationals) but you could do better. As a matter of fact, I believe you did. More on that later.
#3 – Hillsboro Hops – 2018 New Era Stars and Stripes Cap
Ok, here we go. (Puts out soap box) I completely object to the New Era logo creep onto everything it touches, to a point that now their name is in the description of the product. We get it, you make the hats. We now have to endure your damn logo on every hat on and off the field. And you know what, we know you’re part of the reason for atrocities like this! You wanna know how to ruin a great hat? Recolor it, slap some patriotism jargon onto it, and pretend it’s for a good cause. I hate the Stars and Stripes caps. It only works for some teams (Red, White or Blue Primary colored teams.) I mean, have you seen how awful the Orioles or Athletics looked? And this is another perfect example. Hops are plants. They are green. WTF is this?! (Gets off soap box) My suggestion, create themed hats around the state the team resides in or it’s city. Think like the state quarters. Hillsboro could celebrate the Trailblazers of the Oregon Trail, the Oxen that pulled the Wagons, hell even the Conestogas would be a great one-off for the holiday. If the Pizza Rats can do it, anyone can! Anyway, a color change or adding stars and stripes is just plain lazy. Now, if after all that, if this is my number three, what could possibly be worse than this!?
#2 – Spokane Indians – Fitted Ripstop Camo Cap
For all my dislike of the Stars and Stripes bull, The Camo thing trumps it. Let me explain why this cap is so stupid to me. The team is called the Indians. Our nation sent soldiers of our Army into Native lands of “Indians” to eradicate them for over two centuries. So this cap, representing our nations brave fighting force of today, reminds me of the sins of the past. It is just offensive on top of stupid. There are some teams the military camp thing makes sense (Aberdeen Ironbirds, Lancaster Jethawks, the old Connecticut Defenders) but here it’s clearly just a cash grab. And no proceeds go to Veteran services or Soldiers family services. But they make it seem like they would because they sell on holidays. It’s hypocrisy at it’s finest. Sell a cap for people who support our men and women in uniform, and give the illusion it’s for a good cause. All manufacturers learned this from Pinktober, and I am quiet frankly tired of the BS. Save the camo for the real fighting force, and find better ways to celebrate them. But now onto…
#1 – Boise Hawks – Mens Boise Hawks New Era Logo Peak 39THIRTY
Finally there is this. Not the New Era in the description again. (Grrrrrr) To make things abundantly clear, unlike Ned and Andrew, I “strongly” dislike this logo. You know how to make it worse? This. I can’t tell if the logo wants the be the cover of The Never-ending Story or some weird Yin/Yang thing. Or just a baseball Medusa. I miss the old Flying Hawk with the Bat. Simple and Great colors. (I am an Eagles fan, so makes sense I prefer a bird in flight.) And then recolor this weird logo with Red and Green and add some Heather to make it really muddy. Maybe if the foot had a leg I might like it better, but I am not a fan boys. Sorry. This is (in this not some humble writers opinion) the worst. But enough of the bad and the ugly, let’s move onto the good.
Bottom 5 Poll
#5 – Spokane Indians – Fitted Sky Blue Salish Cap
There are so many caps for Spokane that I love. From their Redband Trout, to their traditional Salish logo, to even the Simple S with the feather. I love that the team went out of their way to include actual Native Americans in their redesign and found ways to truly honor their local tribes. And this particular cap speaks volumes to that. I would like to see it as their away cap. And maybe some white to outline the lettering instead of the dark blue. Would need to see the cap in real life. I myself own another Spokane hat, much older. The first iteration of the rebranding, and I feel they’ve just been getting better and better. And as a Phillies Phan, I love powdered Blue!
#4 – Vancouver Canadians – New Era Canadians Maple Leaf Hat
I will ignore the Branding and the use of the term hat to put this beaut number 4. One, I love the contrast, especially color on white. Two, it’s bold. No doubt it’s Canadian. The use of the white on the front panels against the red rest of the crown and visor is indicative of the flag itself. I personally believe the Canadians should make this their primary cap. The “C” as a side logo doesn’t bother me. It’s a secondary logo. But a raised white border inside a strong red maple leaf, that screams Canadians! I think we Americans could learn a lot from this for the stars and stripes set. Perhaps just wear the flag and have the primary logo on the side. Teams can keep their colors and still represent the nation.
#3 – Boise Hawks – Mens Boise Hawks New Era Flawless 59FIFTY Cap
After we digest the description, let me demonstrate I’m not a complete monster. I may “strongly” dislike the Hawks Primary logo, but pair it with an outline of the state of Idaho and then offset them… Genius! This really works for me. I like innovative. I like different if it feels unique. I love the use of cream (Phillies Phan) and it reminds me of one of may favorite hats I used to own for the Fresno Grizzlies. I don’t believe this is an on-field cap, but I think it could really work as an away or at the least an alternate with cream-colored uniforms.
#2 – Hillsboro Hops – New Era 59FIFTY Official Home Cap
Best primary home cap in the Pacific Northwest. It’s regionally tied, it’s not aggressive, it’s just cool. Proud to say I own this one. And on that note I currently own a cap for a team if I’ve been there. I buy them at the games. They had many great hats in the league, and this is one of my favorites. Also love my Emeralds cap (Stomping Squatch not the EMS that the boys loved so much) and hopefully soon Portland will get a team again. Always loved the powdered blue of the Beavers or the bold red and Black of the Mavericks. But this is not my number one. That honor goes to…
#1 – Eugene Emeralds – Eugene Emeralds Monarcas Cap
This is everything I love about the minors. It’s bright, it’s locally tied, and it’s a great promotion for their Latin heritage celebrations. I know many a fathers who could wear this and buy one for their daughters. It’s both masculine and feminine. It’s a great design. The bat of the body, the colors of the monarch along with the team green and the added yellow. And the Yellow button to top it off! Definitely plan to get one next time I’m in Eugene. Which will be soon.
So there it is. The good, the bad and the ugly. I am, if anything, opinionated. Feel free to hate my selections. But I do hope maybe I’ve expanded your opinions of what makes a great CAP. Thanks to Andrew and Ned for letting my give my two cents. B
Brandon is going to be joining the Turf team, writing about many things, but most certainly, caps. In our next Tip of the Cap on Saturday, there will be three authors now — Brandon, Andrew, and Ned.
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