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Coronavirus pandemic: Using baseball uniforms as material, OC mom creates hundreds of face masks for cancer patients

A breast cancer survivor is turning former sports uniforms from an high school’s baseball program into protective face coverings for breast cancer patients.

We’re seeing a lot of innovation coming out of the coronavirus emergency. A high school baseball player’s mother had an idea of turning old uniforms into face masks.

The J Serra baseball team in San Juan Capistrano is known as one of the most elite high school baseball programs in the state. With that comes high-quality uniforms. So when Jill Canales heard the material was good for face masks, she decided to check in with her son’s coach.

“I thought I’ll reach out to him, see if he has any uniforms that he would like to donate,” said Jill Canales with BreastLink.

Turns out coach Brett Kay had up to 80 old uniforms to spare.

“The fabric is good, you know it works and you know I’ve been lucky to have some pretty cool sets of uniforms where the fabric is really nice,” said Brett Kay, a coach with J Serra High School.

Jill had the perfect group to receive the masks — breast cancer patients that she works with at BreastLink, a diagnostic and treatment center based in Orange.

“Most of them who are in chemotherapy have severely compromised immune systems,” said Canales.

The face coverings also get sent to RadNet imaging facilities across Southern California. All meant for the patients, their families and health care providers who they come in contact with.

So far, BreastLink volunteers have been able to turn the uniforms into about 300 masks. Jill herself is a breast cancer survivor, so she knows how important this is. Adding baseball to the mix makes it extra special.

“Anyone who’s a baseball fan or has a son who plays baseball, it’s always a great point of interest for them,” said Canales.

Coach Kay says he was blown away by how unique and cool they masks turned out and is glad he was able to turn old memories into new accessories for the greater-good.

“Either I was gonna hoard it for years and years and years as long as I’m the J Serra head coach, or I could do a lot better with it,” said Kay. “And, you know, Jill’s idea was obviously phenomenal.”

Baseball needs more color variety in their jerseys

Get creative!

Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox evades the tag of Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians as he steals second base during the third inning of a game on May 27, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

The last few months have been a veritable bonanza for new NFL uniforms. The New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaniers, and the Atlanta Falcons are all bringing in the 2020-2021 NFL season with some new threads. These uniforms range from fantastic (the Chargers) to boring as humanly possible (the Patriots) to threads personally cursed by the lords of the underworld for their hideousness (the Falcons).

But one thing they have in common? Color! Lots of it. Deep chocolate brown, a full array of blue, metallics of silver and pewter, orange, black, red, yellow—most of the rainbow and then some. That’s something that’s really strong about the NFL as a whole, too: while some teams have overlapping colors, it’s usually very clear which team is which on TV.

The same, ah, cannot be said for Major League Baseball. Look, I get it. Baseball is traditional! It’s been around for decades! Your grandfather played the game! His grandfather played the game also! It is AMERICAN like APPLE PIE and EATING TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD and WEARING CARGO SHORTS FAR MORE OFTEN THAN IS APPROPRIATE. Pshh, color? Uniform design? Why, back in my day, colors hadn’t been invented yet……Etc., Etc.

It is undeniable that there are many great things about baseball, but one of the bad things about baseball—or, the MLB, at least; the minor leagues got this down pat—is that it is often much too careful and conservative about its image. No other league has this problem.

Consider: Rare or bright colors are rare or nonexistent. Only three teams utilize orange. Only three teams utilize yellow in their uniforms, and two use a shade of green. One team utilizes purple. Meanwhile, five teams feature nearly identical team colors of navy blue and red. An additional four teams use navy as a primary color. Four more utilize a lighter shade of blue and red.

Simply put, baseball needs more color variety in their uniforms. When the San Diego Padres revealed their new uniforms, it was a breath of fresh air. They moved away from a completely forgettable navy blue-based color scheme to a throwback brown and gold. But you know what? It works! It works because it’s different. You can tell a Padres jersey is a Padres jersey from any distance.

I’m just thankful during SB Nation Jersey Week that the Royals are a good-looking baseball club. They utilize a striking, bold royal blue as their primary color and compliment it with a powder blue that’s actually part of the overall color scheme rather than a simple throwback (though those are also dope). The uniform designs are classic and sharp, and their alternates work well, too. It’s also nice to see the Royals embrace gold as a part of their color scheme with their Friday gold-trimmed set.

I just hope that any future team looking to re-design their uniform set, or any potential new expansion teams, takes a hard look at what’s there currently and goes in a bold direction. We watch our baseball teams for a long time every year. The uniforms might as well be pleasing to the eye.

These Bears-inspired baseball uniforms sure are fun to look at if nothing else

We’re not that different, you and I. At the end of the day, we all just want to look at cool sports uniforms on the internet.

Thankfully, Chris Pirrone and Phil Hecken of Uni Watch – the long-running blog dedicated to all things sports apparel – found some time on their hands and decided to put it to good use. I (well, technically they) present to you: Baseball uniforms for NFL teams. And here are the Bears’:

These are actually … pretty slick? The orange ones, not unlike their actual football counterparts, gotta go. Blue-on-white is the winning look here, though the all-whites are sharp too. Gray-on-gray is always boring, there’s nothing to be done there. The Bears’ look is pretty timeless, so it’s not surprising to see it translate so well. Though is a home white without pinstripes even allowed in Chicago?

This exercise also proves it’s just truly impossible to make the Bengals’ color scheme look good.

Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis voice their support for Mets to bring back their black jerseys

‘We gotta swag it out!’

On Episode 2 of The Cookie Club, Steve Gelbs was joined by Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis to discuss a number of issues, including one that relates to the team’s wardrobe.

Yes, the Mets’ black uniforms are very polarizing. You either love them or you hate them, and there seems to be no middle ground.

But a good number of people want to see the black jerseys brought back, and it sounds like Smith and Davis are 100 percent on board.

“I mean, the old-school black, that’s obvious, like that should already be in the rotation,” said Smith. “I say we need to bring back maybe the Los Mets ones, the all-orange. I like the orange unis, those were pretty sick, or even the old school 1986 team, the pinstripes, I mean I like that one too. We need a rotation of like five unis so we can swag out. We need the orange. I even like the camo every Sunday for military appreciation night. We gotta swag it out!”

The Mets wore black alternate caps and jerseys from 1998 to 2011, and Smith and Davis are just the latest current members of the team to support the uniforms’ return, joining Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman.

“My least favorite ones are the grey ones. I love the white pinstripes. I love the blue ones, home or away it doesn’t matter, but we need to get those black jerseys back, that’s for fact,” said Davis. “I wish we didn’t ever have to wear the grey jerseys because I would just rock the blue ones all the time.”

Like Tom Brady, These Recent MLB Stars Looked Weird in Other Uniforms

One of the few active athletes with ties to the Montreal Expos is changing teams. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, an 18th-round pick of the Expos in 1995, is expected to finalize a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Brady had been with the New England Patriots since 2000 but will join plenty of other athletes in finishing their career wearing a different uniform.

That trend doesn’t extend just to the NFL, though. Here are some recent baseball stars who, like Tom Brady, wore a different uniform at the end of their career.

Ken Griffey Jr., Chicago White Sox (2008)

MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. closed the 2008 season with the Chicago White Sox.

Even the most diehard baseball fans will be forgiven for forgetting about The Kid’s stint in Chicago. A midseason trade from the Cincinnati Reds sent Griffey, then 38, to the Chicago White Sox at the 2008 trade deadline. Primarily playing right field and designated hitter, Ken Griffey Jr. hit .260 with only three home runs and 18 RBIs in 150 plate appearances.

When the playoffs came, Griffey hit .200 with no RBIs and Chicago was swept by the upstart Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. Griffey didn’t re-sign with the White Sox and instead spent his final two seasons with the Seattle Mariners.

Randy Johnson, San Francisco Giants (2009)

WASHINGTON - JUNE 4:  Randy Johnson #51 of the San Francisco Giants pitches and wins his 300th game, which was played against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, June 4, 2009.  The Giants won the game 5-1.

Randy Johnson’s 22-game tenure with the San Francisco Giants is memorable only because he won his 300th game there. The rest of Johnson’s lone year by the bay was fairly forgettable. The 6-foot-10 Johnson went 8-6 with a 4.88 ERA in 22 games (17 starts) as the elder sage on a young Giants pitching staff.

Johnson struck out 86 hitters in 96 innings during his age-45 seasons and ended his career with an impressive 303 wins. In another sport entirely, Tom Brady is the only quarterback to ever win 200 games. Brady enters the 2020 season with 219 regular-season wins under his belt.

John Smoltz, Red Sox/Cardinals (2009)

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 10:   Pitcher John Smoltz #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning of Game Three of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Busch Stadium on October 10, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Smoltz is the only player on this list with a twofer. Smoltz spent all of his major league career with the Atlanta Braves before both sides parted ways after the 2008 season. Hoping to join a team with World Series aspirations, the 42-year-old Smoltz signed with the Boston Red Sox. However, Smoltz was released midseason after pitching to a horrific 8.33 ERA in eight starts. Smoltz signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and improved to a 4.26 ERA in seven starts for the NL Central champions.

After retiring, Smoltz took a broadcasting job with the MLB Network. Could Tom Brady be in for a similar career when his NFL days end?

Ivan Rodriguez, Washington Nationals (2010-11)

“Pudge” Rodriguez had a few fairly forgettable stints late in his career. Rodriguez struggled as a midseason pickup for the 2008 New York Yankees and opened 2009 with the Houston Astros. Rather than sign with a playoff favorite, Rodriguez spent his last two seasons as a mentor and leader for the Washington Nationals.

Rodriguez hit .255 with six home runs and 66 RBIs across 66 games in Washington. Had Tom Brady stuck with baseball, he may have eventually joined Rodriguez behind the plate. The Expos moved to Washington after the 2004 season.

Travis Hafner, New York Yankees (2013)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 4: Travis Hafner #33 of the New York Yankees slides into home plate safely against the Minnesota Twins on July 4, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

A ferocious home run slugger for the Cleveland Indians, Hafner was one of several aging veterans the Yankees bought high on during the mid-2010s. “Pronk” mashed 12 home runs in 82 games for the 2013 Yankees, but hit just .202 and struck out 79 times in 82 games. Hafner called it quits after his lone season with the Bronx Bombers.

Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels (2013-14)

APRIL 05 2014: Los Angeles Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) jogs the bases after hitting a home run during the baseball game. Angels defeated the Astros 5-1 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. (Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Unlike others on this list, Hamilton’s “weird” tenure came after signing a long-term contract with that team. The 2010 AL MVP, Hamilton signed a five-year contract worth $125 million with the Los Angeles Angels in December 2012. Hamilton hit just .255 with 31 home runs in two seasons in Los Angeles, enduring boos from the home crowd by his second season.

Hamilton was traded back to the Texas Rangers in 2015 after a brief feud with owner Arte Moreno, who criticized Hamilton — a recovering drug addict — for relapsing.

Tim Lincecum, Los Angeles Angels (2016)

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 05:  Starting pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 5, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Another former All-Star who signed with the Angels, Tim Lincecum’s time in Los Angeles was far less controversial than Hamilton’s. The two-time Cy Young winner was a shell of himself when he inked with the Angels ahead of the 2016 season. Lincecum posted an ugly 9.16 ERA in nine starts and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since.

Justin Morneau, Chicago White Sox (2016)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 01: Designated hitter Justin Morneau #44 of the Chicago White Sox runs to first base on a single during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on September 1, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Marilyn Indahl/Getty Images)

Of all the players on this list, Morneau’s 58-game stint in Chicago is arguably the best. The former AL MVP hit .261 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 58 games for the 2016 White Sox. Baseball-Reference measures Morneau’s Wins Above Replacement that season at 0.2. Tampa Bay won’t go far in 2020 if Tom Brady’s value is barely positive.

Jimmy Rollins, Chicago White Sox (2016)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)    Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 14, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 2-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

What is it with the Chicago White Sox and trying to revive veterans’ careers? Rollins hit a measly .221 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 41 games for the White Sox. Rollins likely won’t make the Hall of Fame, but he ended his career with over 2,300 hits and was one of the league’s top shortstops for a decade.

Jered Weaver, San Diego Padres (2017)

Weaver was one of the American League’s best pitchers for nearly a decade before injuries and a history of heavy workloads took their toll. The 34-year-old Weaver was 0-5 with a 7.44 ERA in nine starts for the 2017 San Diego Padres. That was the last straw for Weaver, who finished his career with 150 wins and a 3.63 ERA.

Brandon Phillips, Boston Red Sox (2018)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18:  Brandon Phillips #0 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday September 18, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB via Getty Images)

Phillips’ nine-game stint with the Red Sox is the shortest among position players on this list. Phillips hit only .130 with a two-run home run in those nine games. Unlike every other player on this list, however, Phillips played for the eventual World Series champions. A few months later, Tom Brady won his sixth ring with the New England Patriots.

Adrian Gonzalez, New York Mets (2018)

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02:  Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the New York Mets in action against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on June 2, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Cubs defeated the Mets 7-1 in 14 innings.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Gonzalez made sense as a possible bounceback candidate when he signed with the New York Mets before the 2018 season. The 36-year-old Gonzalez instead hit .237 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 54 games before a midseason release. It wasn’t quite the season he or the Mets expected. Tom Brady should be hoping for a far different fate in Tampa Bay than Gonzalez had in New York.

Felix Hernandez, Atlanta Braves (2020)

Seattle Mariners legend Felix Hernandez was enjoying a strong spring training before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the baseball season indefinitely. Hernandez only turns 34 on April 8 and looked to have earned a spot in Atlanta’s starting rotation. If, or when, the baseball season returns, keep an eye on Hernandez and the Braves.

Phillies, A’s to wear 1920s throwback jerseys in June series

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Matt Breen, the Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland A’s will wear throwback jerseys when they face off for a weekend series at Citizens Bank Park on June 12-14:

It’s unclear if the throwback jerseys will be worn for all three games or just one.

What would the jerseys paired with this hat look like? Below, Dressed To The Nines, a Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit dedicated to the history of MLB uniforms, offers a glimpse at the jerseys that the Phillies wore during the 1920 season:

The Phillies wore the following jerseys during the 1920 season.

The hat pictured will also serve as a giveaway on June 14 to all men ages 15 and over. If the throwback jerseys are only worn for one game in the series, it would almost certainly be that Sunday afternoon, which is also Chevrolet Father’s Appreciation Day.

The A’s, of course, were a crosstown rival of the Phillies during the first half of the 20th century before moving to Kansas City in 1955, and the uniforms worn by the A’s will be Philadelphia A’s throwbacks. This will be the first time that the Phillies face the A’s in Philadelphia since June of 2011.

While they haven’t won a World Series championship since 1989, the A’s have been quite successful over the past decade, making the playoffs five times since 2012 including Wild Card Game appearances each of the last two seasons.

Check out what Phillies will wear vs. Athletics for retro series

The Phillies welcome the Oakland A’s to town the weekend of June 12-14 and when they do, it’s going to look more like 1920 than 2020. To honor the Athletics’ history in Philadelphia, the teams will wear retro uniforms.

The A’s, of course, were the Philadelphia Athletics from their 1901 inception through 1954 when they moved to Kansas City. Oakland has been their home since 1968.

Here is a look at the hats the Phils will wear in that series.

The Phillies have played only six series ever against the Oakland A’s, three in Philadelphia. The teams last met here in September 2017.

Oakland is projected to be very good again in 2020 after winning 97 games two years in a row. Despite the success, the A’s still have trouble selling tickets in their outdated home park. They averaged 20,521 tickets sold per home game last season, seventh-lowest in the majors and over 13,000 less per game than the Phillies.

Citizens Bank Park should be decently filled for that weekend series in June because the weather will be warm, shore season won’t yet be in full effect, and it should pit two competitive teams against each other.

Could you imagine if Philly was still a two-team baseball town?

Wong’s glove, cleats make fashion statement

Bright colors on equipment highlight second baseman’s accomplishments, style

When Kolten Wong needs a reminder of what he’s accomplished, all he has to do is glance at his glove.

Where once there was the standard red Rawlings patch, Wong now has a gold patch. In the Florida sun of Spring Training, it glistens, and it can catch your eye when the light hits it. Only Gold Glove Award winners can have that on their gloves and gear, so Wong — the National League Gold Glove Award winner at second base — earned it.

The gold is not the only thing different about Wong’s new glove, which he debuted this spring. The red from previous years remained the same, but Wong incorporated the Cardinals’ “victory blue” alternate jerseys by having the powder blue color added to the web of the glove.

The welting and the trim lining the glove are now a metallic gold, different from last year’s grey. And across the thumb is “Hawaiian Style” in gold lettering, paying homage to where Wong is from. At the base of his thumb is “16,” Wong’s number, which used to be in black. This year? It’s in gold.

Wong called last year’s glove “pre-Gold.” This year’s is called “blood, sweat and tears.”

“I wanted to look at it and know that it was my last year without a gold patch,” Wong said. “And designing this year’s, I thought, ‘Man, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this glove. I could use that.’ I knew I wanted to go powder blue, and everything just kind of fell together on this glove.”

According to Statcast, Wong’s 10 Outs Above Average ranked 20th in all of baseball and second to Adam Frazier among second basemen last season. Wong beat Frazier and Ozzie Albies for the NL Gold Glove Award at second base, and he was one of six Cardinals to be nominated for the award in 2019; the others were pitcher Jack Flaherty, catcher Yadier Molina, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, shortstop Paul DeJong and center fielder Harrison Bader.

Wong is eyeing 2020 as a back-to-back Gold Glove year, but he’s also looking to continue his offensive breakthrough from last season, when he hit .285 and led the team with his .361 on-base percentage. He found his identity as a hitter, combined it with his elite defense and led the team with his 4.7 WAR, per Baseball-Reference.

“Just understanding that I didn’t need to go out there and try to do too much, me playing my game and bunting, and hitting the ball to the left side and doing what I’ve got to do to get our team in situations to score,” Wong said. “That’s my game, and the defense is me. I think that’s where it started to carry over, when I stopped trying to be that hero, started trying to contribute to the team. That’s when my hitting had the uptick it had.”

Wong’s flair in his uniform — his glove flashes some color on the Cardinals’ infield, and he recently debuted yellow cleats that match the bat on the Cardinals’ jersey — matches the flair seen in his game, with all those highlight-reel plays he makes at second base.

In addition to showing off his style and personality, Wong is hoping his pieces of flair will also attract attention from young kids who have yet to take an interest in baseball.

“For me, this is some of the best times of my life playing this game,” Wong said. “This is kind of me just showing the kids, like, ‘Hey, I’m still having fun.’ I got my yellow shoes. I got my baby blue glove. I’m going to have fun out there and bring a little style to the game.

“I tell you, in St. Louis, we’re always kind of sticking to tradition, but there’s kids in St. Louis, too. And I want to show them that you can have fun, you can use these crazy colors and just enjoy playing the game.”

‘It Just Looks Right’: Price, Betts Settling In With Dodgers As Spring Training Gets Underway

There is plenty of excitement surrounding the upcoming season for the Los Angeles Dodgers — mainly due to the recent additions of pitcher David Price and former American League MVP Mookie Betts.

“This is a new setting for me,” Price said. “It’s my first spring training in Arizona, and I’m excited for it, just to be part of such an iconic franchise like the Dodgers. That is something I’m definitely going to enjoy.”

Both Price and Betts were acquired earlier this month from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo, minor league infielder Jeter Downs and minor league catcher Connor Wong.

“They welcomed me with open arms, the staff, everybody,” Betts said. “It’s tough trying to keep up with everybody’s names, but as far as baseball, it’s pretty much the same, just the camaraderie with the team and everything has been great.”

And according to skipper Dave Roberts, fans will grow to love the newest Dodgers.

“Dodger fans are going to grow soon to love those two men,” manager Dave Roberts said. “When you see a guy in a Dodger uniform and other uniforms, sometimes it just doesn’t look right, but with those two guys, it just looks right.”

And returning to the Dodgers after rumors of a trade deal with the Angels is Joc Pederson.

“It’s unfortunate that I guess stuff gets leaked nowadays before it’s official,” he said.

Pederson said he was sitting at home when he saw rumors of the trade on Twitter, but hadn’t yet heard from the Dodgers.

“That is not necessarily the best feeling,” Pederson said. “So I reached out and got to talk to Andrew (Friedman) and he said, ‘Hey, I would have reached out, but nothing’s official, so there’s nothing really to reach out about.’”

Pederson said he loves playing in Los Angeles, but said he understood that trades happen.

“I also understand that they just got Mookie and things can happen, things can change salary-wise, and I understand that, and it’s nothing to take personal,” he said.

The boys in blue are preparing to defend their National League Championship.

2020 MLB Batting Practice and Spring Training New Era Caps Released

They finally did it! Logos inside of logos.

The New Era Cap Company today has launched the official 2020 Major League Baseball Batting Practice Collection, caps which will be worn both during batting practice as well as during the upcoming Spring Training schedule.

Designs this year feature a logo-within-a-logo design for each of the 30 Major League teams. The caps are made of a new performance fabric — a light breathable mesh with moisture-wicking, and include embroidered team logos on both the front and right side of the cap. These new patches are replacing the annual Spring Training patches we had seen in that spot in recent years. The New Era logo is on the left side, the MLB logo on the back.

“We wanted to have some fun so we centred the designs around each team’s individual logo”, Tim Shanahan, Director of Baseball at New Era told SportsLogos.Net. “To do that, we decided to combine each team’s authentic cap logo with its alternative logo, which created a never-before-seen design.”

Seattle Mariners 2020 Batting Practice/Spring Training cap logo detail

San Diego Padres 2020 Batting Practice/Spring Training cap logo detail

It’s the first time we’ve seen a league-wide total redesign of Major League Baseball’s Batting Practice and Spring Training caps since we headed into the 2018 season. Though we did see some considerable changes to the construction of these caps last year, a clear majority of teams still retained their design from the year before.

Cincinnati Reds Spring Training caps over the last three seasons

Many of the new 2020 caps either feature each team’s usual Spring or regular season cap logo on the front crown, their familiar colours and details stripped away in favour of an embedded secondary logo. That secondary logo gets the opportunity to shine all on its own, embroidered onto the right side of the cap where it’s allowed to break free of the boundaries set by its more highly ranked brother-in-brand.

This style works just wonderfully with some teams, such as the Houston Astros or Detroit Tigers, who won the “I Can’t Believe It Took 120 Years To Try This” Award with a cap design featuring tiger stripes inside their iconic “D” mark. While other teams seemed to struggle to find two logos that worked well together in this format, the Cincinnati Reds had some a tough time fitting their very-detailed Mr. Redlegs logo into the relatively-thin wishbone “C”. The Toronto Blue Jays, looking to avoid an infinite maple leaf loop, had to offset their primary bird logo inside the larger leaf.

“Our design teams collaborate closely with the leagues and the individual teams. Each team chose the alternate logo they wanted us to use and we worked with them to bring each design to life in a way their players, coaches, and fans would appreciate”, Shanahan explained.

As far as side patches go, teams took full advantage of the logo buffet presented to them. While some of the usual suspects, the more traditional-minded clubs, played it safe by simply going with their current primary logo — the Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees. Others brought back logos not used by the team in some time — the Astros are using their 1970s “Tequila sunrise” wordmark and rainbow stripes, the Tigers made use of their old “walking tiger” logo from the 1990s. Meanwhile, the Rockies, as they’ve done previously, paid tribute to their home state by emblazing their logos with the Colorado State Flag.

“Custom caps and logos are on trend right now and that guided our thinking as we developed this collection”, said Shanahan. “We saw a unique opportunity to combine the Authentic Cap logos with alternate logos to create something that hasn’t been done before. We worked hand-in-hand with the teams and they were really excited about the way their logos came together.”

These new caps will make their first on-field appearances as pitchers and catchers report to their respective Spring Training camps as early as next week (yes, it really is almost time for baseball!). The first Spring Training games are less than three weeks away, with the inaugural “Play Ball!” of the decade scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, February 21st.

The New Era 9FORTY “Stretch-Snap” retail version of this cap

As always, players will wear New Era’s 59FIFTY-style cap on the field, for retail the cap is available in 59FIFTY (standard and low-profile), 9FIFTY, 39THIRTY, 9FORTY, 9TWENTY, Casual Classic, bucket, knit, and a visor.