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Tip of The Cap: The 2018 Home Run Derby

Tip of The Cap: The 2018 Home Run Derby


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Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes

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Brandon Andrus

Ah, the All-Star Break. One of my favorite times of the year. I have been lucky enough to attend at least one Home Run Derby and one All-Star Game. If you can, even if it’s not in your city, I highly recommend going. Especially nowadays. They really focus on celebrating the fans as well as the All-Stars. Something that has bothered me as of late though is the adoption of the team colors for the branding of the game. Much like the Camo or Stars and Stripes series, I hate when I see a team not in their appropriate colors. Especially the old guard. Giants are Orange, Yankees are Yankee Blue, A’s are Yellow or Green. But enough of that, I’ll show why in a minute. So for today, my top three On-Field Workout All Star 2018 caps and two fails.

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#3 The Minnesota Twins

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My feeling overall for the HRD design is mixed. I like the idea of the 6 division stars on the visor and the logo within the circle of 30 All-Stars. But it only works for some teams. That’s because of the colors. This is the only team in the AL I felt it worked. Boston was a close second. My feelings are mixed because the circle of stars makes it feel more of a presidential seal than anything. If this design was in Orange for the O’s, I’d feel less inclined to see it that way. But it is Washington, so I’m sure it is there to invoke the “Gov’ment” feel. So much of Washington DC architecture is Greek revival, so perhaps a laurel of gold instead to add another color? I dunno. It’s fine, but not my favorite compared to previous years.

#2 St. Louis Cardinals

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Here’s where the HRD design succeeds. The team colors match and I prefer the circle design in the red. Plus, you can’t go wrong with one of the best logos in all of sports. The red outlined in white over the navy… classic Cards. This hat really says Cardinals All-Star. But there is one design that truly surpasses this.

#1 Washington Nationals

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Of course this is the winner. It’s the home team. The white of the W is bold in front of the navy background. The red outline makes the logo feel almost embossed. Esthetically the whole thing just works for me. It perfectly invokes the spirit of not only the team but the host city. If I was to purchase one cap from this years HRD set, this would be the one. Now for the two caps that really show why they need to rethink the home team color schemes.

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#2 – Pittsburgh Pirates

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As a Phillies Phan, I can’t tell you how many times people think the P is for Pittsburgh. And when I wear my Buccos hat, they think it’s for Portland! (These are for the non-baseball types of course.) Because of the colors, this hat makes me feel like this is some mashup of the Phillies and Pirates. The Phillates? I mean we had the STEAGLES at one point. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it. Worth the history lesson.) If the logo set inside the circle of stars was a black background, with yellow outline and white P, perhaps it would work. I feel team colors should be preserved somewhere, and that’s the way I think it could have worked. Or I’m completely wrong and it would just look awful. I would just like the center logo to feel more like a patch and less part of the whole. I would also have liked to see the Capitol building large, up front and center. Extending all the way to the button! Adding more “flare” to a Home Run Derby hat feels appropriate to me. But there is one hat that is just plain awful.

#1 – Milwaukee Brewers

Ok Milwaukee, you have to pick one! Enough of this back and forth. Either go full retro and adopt the old, or stick with the new “Wheaties” M. Imagine the old 70s-80s Phillies P in there or Seattle Trident M! What if Washington used the Expos logo? (For you Justin) With that in mind, this logo is completely lost without outline. The red and blue don’t contrast enough. The look is just dense and completely lacking anything interesting. I “strongly” dislike this one and make it exhibit A in y quest to eradicate the use of host team colors from HRD!

So there it is. Fell free to disagree. I would like to see the MLB adopt more of an MiLB flavor for their Derby Caps. Have more fun. Maybe rally type caps or just obnoxious oversized logos! Anything to bring the fun of what the derby is to the design of the cap. I didn’t hate this year’s design, but I think they could have done much better. Tomorrow, I’ll show why I do love the All-Star game caps, and how they nailed the design on many levels.

Andrew Mark Wilhelm

Here’s the main problem with the Workout/HRD hats generally. Every team is shoehorned into the same design and color scheme, typically representative of the hosting team. So this year that means red white and blue combined with stars and the pinwheel logo of the old Expos. Wait, what? Yes that’s right these hats are awful and whether or not it work comes down to how the logo plays in this upsetting design. Because these hats are directly using the Washington Nationals colors and motif I am disqualifying them out of spite for making me look at these things.

Moonshots

#3 – Boston Red Sox

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The simple styling of the B lends itself decently to the pinwheel and the hat and the hat is essentially the same color scheme as the BoSox typically home cap.

#2 – Texas Rangers

Again, the simple T works, and the coloring makes sense for the Rangers. Also, there’s just something about the overt patriotism of this hat that lends itself to Texas.

#1 – Houston Astros

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This doesn’t play by the simple logo rule I established with the last two choices but it has one big thing going for it. A giant star is already part of the logo and just ties together with the 96,000 other stars already on the hat.

Pop-Ups

#2 – Toronto Blue Jays

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Poor Toronto. There was no way this design was going to work for them regardless of which logo they went with. The hat is way too heavy on ‘Murcia, and it clashes with itself.

#1 – Baltimore Orioles

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I’ve never been a big fan of the “O’s” logo. I much prefer the bird logo and that might have actually worked on this hat. As it stands the O’s doesn’t fit in the pinwheel very well on account of it being an off-center oval inside a pinwheel. This causes my eyes confusion and that’s not a good thing to add to an already bad design.

Justin Colombo

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good Home Run Derby hat selection, and I’ve been waiting for this one since it was announced. Thank god they didn’t disappoint.

Moonshots

#3 – Washington Nationals

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The fact that these are not a part of the Nationals alternate jerseys for this season makes me very mad. These are very good, very solid and very Washington, but that’s also what you would expect from the host team. Why isn’t this my number one? I’m losing the vibe a bit. It’s doesn’t stand out, it oddly doesn’t feel distinct. Still, the cap is fire, and you have to recognize that.

#2 – Boston Red Sox

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Hell yeah. This is perfection. It’s not all that often another team gets to benefit so much from a host team’s color scheme, but the Red Sox have and this one is a beauty. It almost feels like a special edition hat made for their minor league affiliate, or some special event. It doesn’t feel like another team’s design. This hat rocks.

#1 – MLB Futures Game – USA

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TWIST. Is this cheating? Possibly. However, I’m in love with this hat. Perhaps it’s my World Cup hangover, or my love of anything red, white and blue, but it’s been a while since we’ve had a solid USA hat. Well, ask and you shall receive. The only other truly America cap has been the World Baseball Classic hat, and that logo is ugly. This, however, is clean and fresh and is effortless. This hat is a “U-S-A” chant in Philly after Bin-Laden’s death. It’s 1000% American. I love it.

Pop-Ups

#2 – Milwaukee Brewers

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I wholeheartedly agree with Brandon, with one minor caveat: I love that they switch logos all the time. I completely agree with everything else, however. The one thing that baffles me about this hat is how busy it seems. The Brewers glove logo has always been a favorite of mine because of its simplicity, but here it looks complex and forced. they probably should have gone with the Wheaties M, but maybe it would have looked way to similar to the Marlin’s M. Either way, I’m disappointed.

#1 – San Francisco Giants

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This just flat out makes my head spin. It’s not just that the hat is red, it’s just that it’s SO RED. That coupled with the knowledge of the actual team colors makes me feel like I’m going to vomit. It’s sort of how I feel about the St. Patrick’s Day hats. Not everything is going to make sense in one color. These Giants hats will sit on a clearance shelf for a very long time.

Enjoy the Home Run Derby and may Bryce Harper be knocked out in the first round by Freddie Freeman.

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