Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Friday, 02.23.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7
 8  9  10  11  12  13  14
 15  16  17  18  19  20  21
 22  23  24  25  26  27  28
 29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Jul 06,2007
Contemporary Collectibles: Hats off to baseball caps
by Linda Rosenkrantz

These days, anyone from your toddler to your grandma might be seen sporting a baseball cap, but there was a time when the only people who wore baseball caps were professional players. They've been around for a long time, and you might consider a collection of the various types of vintage examples to add to your contemporary ones.

To start at the beginning, baseball was not invented out of whole cloth by Abner Doubleday, as legend has had it. Rather, it evolved from earlier games played with bats and balls - something called "base ball" or "base-ball" was played with sticks and balls by both the British and Americans in the 18th century, in particular there was the popular English children's game of rounders, which involved players being physically hit with the ball. (Trivia note: Jane Austen referred to baseball in her 1798 novel "Northanger Abbey.")

As far back as the 1840s, amateur teams were playing along the East Coast and around the Civil War, a uniform style of baseball had evolved. The person who formulated the basic rules was a New Yorker named Alexander Cartwright. He diagrammed a ball field with 90-foot baselines and a home plate batter's box, introduced the hardball (originally a miniature cricket ball), and the following year the earliest game on record under the Cartwright Rules was played on June 19th in Hoboken, N.J. His system was known as the "New York game"; it became the national game in the 1860s and designated the "national pastime" in the 1920s.

As can be seen from early photographs, even the post-Civil War amateur teams wore uniforms, complete with caps. They were very much a unifying factor, imbuing the players with a shared sense of pride and team spirit. On April 24, 1849, the New York Knickerbockers adopted the first official uniform, a simple outfit consisting of a white flannel shirt, blue wool pants and a straw hat.

A few years later, the Knickerbockers switched to caps made of soft, fine merino. Already in place were the two main features of the modern baseball cap: a crown and a visor. In the 1860s, one of the most popular varieties, made by Peck & Snyder, featured a start pattern above the crown, and was designated as the "No.1." Priced from $1.25 to $2 - with muslin and flannel costing less than merino - it was favored by such leading amateur clubs as the Brooklyn Excelsiors, Philadelphia Athletics, New York Mutuals and New York Gothams.

Various types of uniforms shown in catalogs of sports equipment dating from the 1880s illustrate three other styles of caps: the "parti-colored cap" featuring vertical stripes on a pillbox crown and a striped bill, worn by the 1886 world champion St. Louis Browns, and the similar "Chicago cap," which substituted horizontal stripes and a solid-colored bill; the "college-style cap," which was boxy in shape and made from horizontal strips of fabric; the "Boston-style cap," a triangular-sectioned hat with a short front visor and forward tilting crown; the self-explanatory "jockey shape cap" and "skull cap," and the "base ball (sic) hat," which was basically a derby-form cap that never caught on - and neither did an 1895 experimental cap with a green-tinted, transparent bill for protection from the sun.

Further innovations following the turn of the century: placing a team icon on the cap, innovated by the Detroit Tigers in 1901, and the introduction by Spalding of the "Philadelphia-style cap," with the first stitched visor, resulting in a more durable cap. It wasn't till the mid-1970s though, that they really spread to the general population, led by farmers, truckers and outdoor laborers wearing promotional caps given away by beer companies and tractor-makers.

© Copley News Service
1583 times read

Related news

Baseball . . . So it goes by Jason_Love posted on Aug 03,2006

Bend Elks Play American Pastime with Heart by K_Guice posted on Jun 08,2006

Bottom feeding in the world of sports by Nick Canepa posted on May 25,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 16 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?