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history of baseball caps

You have probably searched for a lot of articles about the baseball hat history by now. However, for some reason, no article has provided you with the full information yet. It seems like fashion experts have a lot of catching up to do. 

Baseball caps have been around for a while now. It’s intriguing how this hat has turned from a traditional sports uniform into a modern fashion statement. Luckily, we have gathered all the important facts and other details that you need in this article. 

Read further to learn more about the history of the baseball cap:

What is a Baseball Cap?

If you’re a fan of baseball or have ever heard of the sport before, then you may have already noticed that the players wear a unique hat during the game. A baseball cap is a soft, rounded cap with a curved peak. The hat was originally designed as a part of the traditional and modern sports’ uniform. 

It has a stiff bill projecting in the front, which protects the player’s eyes from the sun. A design or a logo is typically displayed in front of the cap too. Back in the day, logos of baseball teams are usually displayed in the cap’s front. Nowadays, relevant companies have also found it useful for marketing.

Baseball caps also have an elastic or plastic adjusted at the back, so that it will fit on the player’s head size. 

The Early Beginnings of Baseball Cap

The first baseball cap was made out of straw. Nowadays, it may now be known as a yachting cap. There is also an argument between the Knickerbockers and the Excelsiors as the real pioneers of the baseball cap. 

It is said that baseball caps were first worn in 1849 by a baseball team in New York City named, the Knickerbockers. Soon afterward, merino wool caps came into the picture. It featured a crown and a “bill” or an attached visor.

In 1860, the Brooklyn Excelsiors first wore the modern rounded-top baseball cap, which featured a long peak and a button on top. Soon, it was famously called “the Brooklyn style baseball cap.” This version of the hat is also the closest design to the modern baseball cap.

So who do you think officially wore the first baseball cap? Let’s just say that the first traditional baseball cap was worn by the Knickerbockers, while the Excelsiors wore the first modern baseball cap. Case closed!

The 20th Century

During the 1900s, the baseball cap was not structured and the peak was shorter. However, the peak was later changed for the sake of the players’ protection of their eyes from the sun during their game.

In 1940, manufacturers decided to put latex rubber instead of buckram inside the cap. This new addition to the cap is what made it known today as the baseball cap. According to the producers of the caps, the structure of the hat remains more or less the same throughout the years. The only biggest change in the design is the color of the fabric. Logos have also become essential thanks to the Detroit Tigers.

It wasn’t until the 1970s when the hat became more than just a sports piece. Nowadays, it is socially acceptable to wear it outside the field. You don’t need to be a baseball player to be able to wear a cap. What was once only worn in the ball fields is now an accessory to most wardrobes. 

Different Types of Baseball Hats

There are two different kinds of baseball hats: tall crown baseball caps and soft crown baseball caps. This may sound self-explanatory, but here’s a more in-depth description of the two respective hats: the tall crown cap is often horizontally striped, while the short crown cap is made of six or eight sections of fabric. 

Other types of baseball caps are classic style caps, baseball caps with standard hat sizes, baseball caps with an adjustment strap in the back, stretch-fit baseball caps, and trucker caps. There are still other baseball-like caps of different materials and purposes. 

Baseball Caps in the 21st Century 

Not all baseball caps go to sports clubs or baseball players. Aside from athletic sports, they are worn in the armed forces like the United States submarine or air force. In fact, there are more than 40 million baseball hats sold each year in the United States alone. The New Era, a famous hat factory, produces 72,000 hats per week.  

These caps are also used by police forces and Sherriff’s departments on the West Coast. This is also the case in some countries in Europe like Slovenia. Wearing it backward also used to be a trend, but we don’t recommend that now.

Aside from being a functional and versatile cap, it is also a stylish headpiece for the rest of the world. Nowadays, it is part of casual wear. Even baseball players then started exploring different versions and styles of the hat.  

When ‘90s rappers like Ice Cube and Easy E started wearing the cap, it soon became associated with hip hop music. Hollywood directors like Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee have also pulled off this stylish hat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What do you call the hole in the back of a baseball cap?

The hole in the back of a baseball cap is called Closure. This is generally an adjustment strap attached fixed on the back panels for adjusting to your head size. Generally, there is a half-circle opening to allow the strap to be changed. The most popular straps are made with a plastic, buckle, or Velcro closure.

What is the difference between a snapback and a baseball cap?

A baseball cap is a type of hat with a slightly curved brim, while a snapback is a 6-panel baseball cap with a flat brim.

Is cap and hat the same thing?

A cap is a type of hat with an unshaped crown and a visor. A hat, on the other hand, may refer to any headgear with a crown and brim of any size or form.

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