Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Tip of the Cap! Tip of the Cap is a weekly series discussing Baseball’s most important accessory, the Baseball Cap. Is it a cap? Is it a hat? Does it really matter? We’ll probably be using both interchangeably. Every week we look at each league from the Single A Minors all the way to the Major Leagues and ranking their top 5 and bottom 5 hats. What makes us qualified to do this? That’s an extremely good question.
The Texas League is a Class AA Minor League. Their teams are:
- Northern Division
- Southern Division
In terms of personal fandom, none of the authors’ favorite teams have affiliates in this league.
Okay, hats here we come. This is not a great way to enter AA ball, but there are some gems in here amongst a lot of meh caps. Also we need to have a conversation with these designers because without fail, the Copa de la Diversión hats are just better in every way.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm
Man these league is full of terrible, terrible hats. Maybe I was incorrectly expecting quality to go up since we’re moving to AA ball, but boy was I disappointed. I completely disqualified the Springfield Cardinals as all of their hats were bad and their webstore was even worse. Please move into this decade Springfield. Small YouTubers have better online storefronts than you do. Disgraceful. Also, there are 4 teams in this league that play in a state NOT Texas. 4 out of 8. So half. Why is it called the Texas league?
Deep in the Heart of Texas we go! How did they do? Let’s see.
Which hats do we hard swerve away from? Check it out.
Ned Donovan – Corpus Christi Hooks – Christmas Fitted
This is an extremely interesting hat to me. Here’s why. I hate this hat. It also was almost #5 on my top list. But if you’ve noticed, I hate all the Christmas hats, so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However they don’t make Christmas hats for me, obviously someone buys them and likes them. So if I view this through the lens of someone who likes Christmas hats, this is by far the best one I’ve seen. Why? Because the other holiday offerings are generic with a logo on top. This one makes the choice to customize the logo into Santa, AND incorporates their great “CC” hook logo into the pattern. I like that the color scheme is with the team colors, not Green/Red. A lot of thought went into this hat, and I can appreciate that.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – San Antonio Missions – Ballapeno Fitted Cap
Quit it with the food mascots. I am not here for a coonskin hat wearing pepper with arms and legs. Also, Ballapeno? Really? That alone wouldn’t be enough to land it on this list this week though, so let’s add to it a gross shade of beige as the main hat color, and terrible, clashing accent colors and you’ve earned a number 5 placement this week.
Brandon Andrus – Frisco RoughRiders – ’47 Brand Centerfield Clean Up Scorched Red
I guess everything isn’t BIGGER in Texas. This for one has nothing to do with your team, so lame cash grab for people (This is coming from a Philadelphian) who have a very unhealthy obsession with their state identity. Second, as they say, everything is bigger in Texas. Really? Logo is way too small. We have seen some great caps with state outlines on them previously. I am shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that every team doesn’t have a great Texas cap. Corpus Christie at least saved you. Here’s how to fix this cap. Same size logo offset to lower right quadrant and add Frisco script logo Bottom left to upper right and it’s a good cap. Frisco has many great caps. This is not one.
I know, I know, I said no camo. But for the first time ever we have a tie. Why is this a tie? Because I don’t understand the gendering. If you look at these hats, one of them is made for men, and one for women. Which is which? Why on earth didn’t they call them “camo #1” and “camo #2”? If you were wondering, the men’s hat is on the right and the women’s hat is on the left. The women’s hat’s logo disappears into the hat more, which means I guess it’s a better camo hat. STOP GENDERING USELESS THINGS.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Diamond Era BP Cap
The Naturals logo sort of works, just not with any of the team colors. That’s problem number 1. The Crown dangling off the upper left point of the N looks terribly photoshopped which is distressing on a stitched item. That’s problem 2. This shade of red does not work with this shade of blue. Problem 3. Too many issues for one hat.
Brandon Andrus – Corpus Christie Hooks – W Hat Preferred Pick
So You have the best logo in the league and you make it the same color as the cap? Yeah, you fail. A simple white thread would have fixed this. Too bad.
Ned Donovan – Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Whoopty Youth Hat
While we’re on the subject of camo, this may be the most successful accidental camo of all time. I can’t see that logo at all. I keep trying to see it and it disappears into the flowery puke that is this offering. I don’t have much to say about this hat but when I saw it I immediately hated it.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Corpus Christi Hooks – Hat Dano
This is the Guy Fieri of baseball hats. If I need to explain to you why that ends up here, I’m not sure we will ever understand each other.
Brandon Andrus – Northwest Arkansas Naturals – X Ray Floral Snapback
X ray = Stupid idea. Floral = Worse Idea. Snapback = COME ON! The name itself sucks, so you tried to spruce it up with flowers and reflectors. No woman in her right “natural” mind would wear this. Chuck it in the bin.
Ned Donovan – Midland Rockhounds – Speed Tech Adjustable Hat
So many problems. For one, this logo sucks. Plus this specific version of the logo is completely impossible to see due to bad color blocking. Plus the patterned white with a grey brim is NOT a good look. Especially when the crown button and the grommets don’t match. However I have one major gripe with this hat. It’s called “Speed Tech”. Putting weird racing stripes on a hat is not tech. This will not make you faster. Buzzwords are the bane of my existence and
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Corpus Christi Hooks – Christmas Fitted
We’ve seen this trend of Ugly Christmas Sweater on a hat before and it ended up on the bottom 5 then. Same thing goes here. This version gets extra negative points for making the Hooks alternate logo even worse by putting it in a Santa suit, and then adds insult to injury bu including the superior Hooks logo not once, but twice to the sides. Please don’t wear this hat. Not even ironically.
Brandon Andrus – Midland Rock Hounds – Tone Tech Redux StretchFit
That name is mouthful. And the cap is a mouthful of puke. You know that feeling. When you throw up, but it stays in your mouth and you swallow it back down. That is this cap. I normally like cartoony logos, but I don’t like their logo to begin with. Then they make it monotone, the same color as the cap (WHAT IS WITH THIS LEAGUE AND THE MONO LOOK?) and fuzzy. They have a chance to improve, take this as the first lesson in what you are doing wrong and build from there.
Ned Donovan – San Antonio Missions – Ballapeno Fitted Cap
I want to be clear, before I rip this one a new one. The cap below by my two colleagues I didn’t list because I don’t accept it as a legitimate cap. Ear flaps are disqualifiers.
Now then what the hell am I looking at? A jalapeño in a coon skin cap wearing what moccasins and an utterly confusing shirt. Added to a fully ugly crown color, batting practice fabric, and bad brim. This hat is a hard swerve and if you can’t figure out why we don’t need to be friends.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Arkansas Travelers – OC Camo Hunting Cap
Look, if there was ever a reason for a cap to be camo, it would be an honest to god hunting cap, which this is. But why does an actually hunting cap need a logo. And what’s the point of a logo if you can’t see it. Though, one could easily argue the Travelers logo is so bad it’s made better by not being seen. This piece of head wear does not need to exist. Period.
Brandon Andrus – Arkansas Travelers – OC Camo Hunting Cap
I know. I said no camo. But this is beyond offensive. Not military camo and not a baseball cap so it breaks my rule. Leave it to Arkansas to put a cute cartoony possum on a hunting cap. To it’s credit, you can barely see the logo. IT’S Camouflaged! That is 3 mono blended logos in this league. Are you afraid to display them? Look, I get it. People hunt a lot down there. But does this thing even sell? I have seen some bad caps in the past few weeks, but this has secured number one for all of them.
BOTTOM 5 POLL
Now for the big winners. Which hats are entering our shopping carts right now?
Ned Donovan – San Antonio Missions – Home Alternate Fitted Cap
I have to admit I made a mistake, and I’m man enough to admit it. I picked this hat on a very specific criteria that then, upon some research, I discovered I was wrong about. But I’ll leave this up here as my official shame. Here’s what I got wrong:
I am a sucker for when a minor league team shows incredible custom branding of their major league affiliate. The Connecticut Tigers winners from our very first Tip of the Cap article are a great example. This right here is a phenomenal play on the Milwaukee Brewers logo. You have the classic “m” in the blue and gold, but it’s a church (Missions) with a bell in the proper branding. All in all this is fantastically well done.
Okay, now I’m back. The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t the major league affiliate of the Missions, the Padres are. The Brewers were the affiliate in 1972. So, you know, Brewers, these guys are doing you a great homage.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Arkansas Travelers – Kids Pink A-Horse
If you’re going to do a pink hat, this is the shade to do it in. And the Travelers horse logo is much better than their other monstrosity. The red also really contrasts nicely with the pink, making it stand out without looking out of place. Also, major props for making a pink hat and not gendering it. Which is a problem this team has that we’ll get to in a few moments.
Brandon Andrus – Arkansas Travelers – Batting Practice Cap
I don’t get the name. I don’t get the horse logo. But this is MiLB to me. Change your names to the Varmints or Awesome Opossums and just make this your primary. Such a fun logo. Reminds me of an episode of Tiny Toons when they went down south on summer vacation. Love Possums, love overalls, and love tramps. You get all three in this cap. Wish it was an alternate. Their other stuff is just so serious. PS the toddler cap for the Travs is the first I’ve ever liked. Keep going in this direction guys. It’s a good one.
Ned Donovan – Tulsa Drillers – 2018 Stars & Stripes Navy 39Thirty
What. An. Awesome. Logo. A simple clean 39Thirty is a site to behold. Sometimes you need an all black cap that allows the logo to shine through. This is that time. The side patch I could take or leave. If there was an option without the Texas League patch I’d take it, but also I don’t hate it. Rep your league, good on you. This four color logo creates great space for the idea, and its branding is elegant and unique. I love the oil drip off the end of the drill. This is a stellar cap. Consider it bought.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Corpus Christi Hooks – 2018 New Era Batting Practice Hat
If you’ve read any other installment of this series, you probably know what this is here. I just love this shade of blue when it’s accented with a dark blue button, brim, and logo. And I enjoy this Hooks logo. It manages to get both the team name and city in one simple design. Solid work. If this was their on field instead of their BP cap it would probably be higher.
Brandon Andrus – Frisco RoughRiders – On Field Smiling Teddy
I have an old Rough Riders cap so I’m due for an update. I liked a lot of their caps, but I LOVE this one. The Teddy mascot is bully. BULLY I SAY! (If you don’t get that reference take American history class again) The colors are great and unique. This cap is classy yet fun. That’s hard to pull off. A great place to catch a game btw. They get what it means to be MiLB. Head on down to Frisco and grab this one.
Ned Donovan – Corpus Christi Hooks – Flex Fauxback
- This is the best logo in all of MiLB. It’s just perfect.
- We give a lot of love to flat brims in this league because these days they have some of the best designs, but I am truly a sucker for the classic 39Thirty. They’re just better hats. They fit your head better, the crown is form-fitting, If there is the same hat in both flat brim and 39Thirty, I’m probably going with the latter.
Now that that’s out of the way, this is also my favorite color scheme in the hat world. Red, powder blue, white. They incorporated it into the logo perfectly to give you the hook and the star on Corpus Christi. Add in a grommet that matches whatever panel it’s on, and a red crown button and you’re looking at a fantastic cap offering.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Frisco RoughRiders – On Field Smiling Teddy
This is minor league to a T. A unique shade of red topped by a logo that is both whimsical and aggressive somehow. Smiling Teddy is 1000% better than their stacked R’s logo and this is a hat just begging to be worn, even if you have no clue where Frisco is or what sport the RoughRiders play. This is my favorite, non-Copa hat of the week.
Brandon Andrus – San Antonio Missions – Flying Chanclas Fitted Game Cap
I do love their SA cap with the Davey Crockett Coonskin Cap S and Alamo A, but their DIversion cap is the best in the league (If not the MiLB). Anyone with an Abuela knows this reference. The colors are great, the logo is fun and it’s POWDERED BLUE! I am a sucker for powdered blue. Nailed this one out of the park. Great cap.
Ned Donovan – Frisco RoughRiders – Smiling Teddy Bromley Captain Snapback
This would be my favorite hat in the whole league if it wasn’t for the textured hat. I get the love that my colleagues are giving to the On Field Smiling Teddy option but when comparing color schemes this one can’t be beat. Then you have great color matching with the brim/crown button matching the ribbon strip on the hat, you have the blue matching the RR collar, and then you have completely new colors in the hat and face that make your eye draw immediately to the logo. The grommets are matched to their respective panel which means you never notice them. Great hat.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – Tulsa Drillers – Petroleros de Tulsa Official 59Fifty
Yellow and black work so very well together. They’re also the complete opposite of Blue and White, which are this Dodger’s affiliates normal colors. So this hat definitely stands out from most of their offerings. And when you take the Black and Yellow and color block them in this way, it’s just beautiful. The vent holes and button frame the logo so well on this hat. And that logo is just fantastic. It doesn’t necessarily scream out Copa league as much as some other designs do, but that’s okay. It’s still another inclusion in the “our Copa designs are superior in every way” line of hats.
Brandon Andrus – Tulsa Drillers – Official Game Cap 5950
Always loved this look since the rebranding. It’s a great look. That’s all I can really say. Their Petroleros cap is a close second to the Flying Chanclas, but I wanted this cap for a long time. My solid number two.
Ned Donovan – Tulsa Drillers – Petroleros de Tulsa Official 59Fifty
Add another one to the list of hats from the Copa de la Diversión hats that is superior to the standard offering. Why is it that great designers are showing up in droves for the copa and can’t be bothered with the team’s actual logos? If they spent half the time on one great cap for their main team that they seem to on these rebrands, the MiLB would be a better place. Yellow is a great color for a hat if you do it correctly, and black and yellow are one of the best pairings out there. The thing that makes this design, however, is the subtle yellow stitching around the white panel. That touch right there is the mark of a great designer, because without it the hat wouldn’t quite be tied together.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm – San Antonio Missions – Flying Chanclas Fitted Game Cap
This is maybe the most fun hat we’ve seen yet. The colors are playful and bright, as is color blocking. And the logo/mascots is downright hysterical. The amount of stories I’ve heard my hispanic friends tell that included their mother or grandmother chasing them down with a flip flop, or chanclas, and then throwing it at them is very high. It’s a culturally relevant concept that is funny without being offensive. And I am very much here for that. And the fact this is the on field cap worn during Copa games, and not just some novelty items is great. Love love love this hat.
Brandon Andrus – Corpus Christie Hooks – New Era Fauxback Fitted
Where has this cap been all my life?! Drop the current alternate look Hooks and just go full on with this one. One of the cleanest designs I have seen ever for a MiLB team. The only team to incorporate the great of Texas properly. It also represents the brand well with the hook. The city is clearly where it belongs with the star. And everyone say it with me, POWDERED BLUE! I am seriously thinking of breaking my rule of having to attend a game to purchase the cap and ordering this one online.
TOP 5 POLL
I could take or leave this league. Their best hats, however, were at a major league level, which bodes well for the move up to AA. Excited to see what’s coming!
Andrew Mark Wilhelm
I need to bring something up that I alluded to at the beginning of my top 5. Take a look at these two hats.
Can you figure out why one of them is a men’s hat and one of the is a women’s hat? At least one of them isn’t pink to signify the “lady” hat, but why are we giving men and women different designs in 2018. If it’s a sizing thing, why not just offer every option in both men’s and women’s sizing? But I doubt it’s that since there aren’t women’s sizing options for fitted hats. So why would adjustable hats be any different? QUIT GENDERING THINGS THAT DO NOT TO BE GENDERED.
All in all, some great stuff coming out of this league. A lot of odd names (Travelers, Missions, Naturals). On that note, thank you Northwest Arkansas for not making a “I Like Naturals” cap. You’re a classier group than the Downeast Wood Ducks. That being said, what is with this general location names. Why not the Little Rock Travelers or Fayetteville Naturals? Your current names seem overly long to me and we have no idea where you play unless you live there. Maybe some rebranding is in on the horizon. We can only hope.
Do you agree with us? Hate us? Do you have a hat that you think should be winning this battle? Drop it in the comments, tweet it at us, throw a picture of yourself wearing it on instagram and tag us @the_turf_sports. We’re on Facebook, Reddit, and even Linkedin if you care to follow us there. Right below where you’re reading this (well, past the ad), there are some share buttons. So it’s really easy to send this to your friends who will hate our selections. DOOOOO IT.