Baseball organizations didn't always have official headgear. It may be hard to imagine, what with Major League Baseball (MLB) players now jogging out of their dugouts and onto the fields in organized lines, complete with uniforms matching from head to toe. In fact, most baseball players--be they amateur or professional--are usually decked out in uniforms to match their teams, complete with caps. Now, there is an official MLB cap, and people around the world are wearing them--or spin offs of them--on a day-to-day basis.
1.Players wore all sorts of styles--from pillboxes to sloughly caps--in the early days of baseball. There was no uniformity, even among team players. By Babe Ruth's era, the 1930s, teams were making efforts to coordinate. Fans could wear replicas of their favorite teams' caps, and these baseball caps soon became an American symbol of the common man. They were simple and functional, iconography in line with American ideals, especially at the time.
The Official Baseball Cap
2. In 1954, New Era Cap Co. created the first official MLB cap. New Era designed a cap that was adjustable, lightweight and kept the sun out of players' eyes. It was called the 59Fifty and is still being sold by the company, as of 2010. In some ways, it is similar to Victorian-era sunbonnets, which had a long brim to keep out the sun and a snug-fitting back.
3. Spike Lee is widely credited as making the baseball cap a popular, everyday fashion accessory in the 1980s. A noted, independent-thinking and sometimes controversial director and actor, Lee began wearing the cap when the beret was the popular headgear for directors. As of 2010, he has designed and marketed two unique New York Yankees caps with New Era sold as the Spike Jones Joint series.
4. Baseball caps' popularity has spread worldwide in a massive, multi-billion dollar wave. People from all walks of life wear baseball caps--from celebrities who wish to remain anonymous or casual in public to major political figures such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and George W. Bush. It is a unique fashion in that it is commonplace to see women, men and children from all socioeconomic backgrounds wearing them.
New Era Cap Co. in 2010
5. As of 2010, New Era Cap Co. manufacture all MLB and minor league baseball headgear to sell to the public. Each team has its own insignia, and caps now come in fitted, adjustable, unstructured, visor and bucket styles.