Congratulations to New Era, which has managed to infuriate me yet again with the latest abomination of headgear. A new line of hats emphasizes MLB local markets, which apparently means an excuse to fill just about every part of each hat.
Let’s delve into each frustrating part, shall we?
The area codes
The area codes listed here encompass, in order, Bakersfield, the greater San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, parts of the South Bay and Ventura County, Long Beach and parts of southeastern Los Angeles County, and parts of northern Orange County. I’m glad they at least included 818, since Brody Stevens was one of the biggest baseball fans around.
But what was left off was the Inland Empire and Santa Barbara, not to mention the rest of Orange County. Perhaps there’s only room for so many area codes, but surely 747 and 424 could be axed in favor of, say, 909 and 805.
It feels like the designers here, in their quest to fill every square inch of these caps, decided to take a breather on the food section in the back. The taco is all well and good for Los Angeles, though one might prefer more of a street taco as representation here.
But the main problem is just laziness, in that the taco is also on the caps for the Padres, the A’s, and Angels as well. But don’t worry, not all of the California teams have tacos on their caps, so there’s at least some semblance of variety. The Giants got sushi.
Each cap on the right side has the logo of the last World Series said team has won. Except for the Dodgers, who you might recall won it all in 2020. But after finally flinging the “haven’t won in 32 years” monkey off their collective backs last year, this cap reminds us again of the 1988 Fall Classic instead.
This is likely a timing issue, but also suggests that these caps were designed several months ago and were not revealed until recently, which means there were ample opportunities for someone to say, “Please no, don’t let the world see these monstrosities.”
Oh yeah, and in case you didn’t know, Los Angeles is also known as “the city of angels,” which we are also reminded of in this section in nearly illegible script.
Before you snicker at the Padres cap not including a World Series because they’ve never won one, at least that section of their cap has the swinging Friar, one of the best mascots in sports and infinitely cooler than the vast majority of these caps.
It’s too damn busy
Look, the area codes are bad enough to have on the cap, but to have them share the front with the team logo and some other city signifier is just too much.
And the palm tree is another “4 out of 5 dentists agree” moment for California teams, with the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, and the A’s all graced with palm trees on the front. The Giants at least have the Golden Gate Bridge in this section of their cap, but why don’t the A’s have that, too, or even the Bay Bridge? Come on.
But the clutter is prevalent all the way around these caps, with each panel filled to the brim with gunk. The only time it’s acceptable to be so garish by slapping every logo possible is when you’re Gaylord Perry — or eventually, Edwin Jackson — with a custom jersey or hat an an old timer’s game, or an obnoxious sever at Chotchkie’s.
Whether it’s the California state bear on the side, or the entire state of California plus the entire team name and city spelled out, on the back, there’s just too much going on with these caps.
These are terrible and should never be worn.
Somebody pointed out that the cowboy hat on the Houston cap has an asterisk on it, and now I can’t un-see it. pic.twitter.com/pHD9wmJ2r7— Dr. Meredith Wills (@Bbl_Astrophyscs) May 25, 2021
You know, maybe they aren’t all bad.