While some fans may have been tempted to fork over $39.99 just to be able to say they were the proud owners of the worst officially licensed cap ever produced, the entire line was removed from New Era’s site a few hours later, amid a wave of ridicule on Twitter. Insert clip art of a tombstone here.
“It recently came to our attention that a few caps omitted a relevant area code,” a New Era spokesman wrote in an email Wednesday. “In light of this, we removed the collection from our website so we could review the design accuracy of all the caps. We apologize for any unintentional design mistake with regard to this collection.”
I still have so many questions about the Washington Nationals’ cap alone.
For instance, why does the Nationals’ hat feature a 1776 patch — the same patch featured on the front of the Philadelphia Phillies’ “Local Market” cap, mind you — when Washington, D.C., wasn’t founded for another 14 years?
Why put 1901 inside the outline of D.C. when the franchise founded that year — the original Washington Senators — plays today as the Minnesota Twins?
Most importantly, why is there a hot dog on the back of the cap, and if it’s supposed to be a half-smoke, what monster decided adding relish was a good idea? Also, give me a cherry blossom, the Capitol dome, the D.C. flag or “Taxation Without Representation" instead of that generic bald eagle.
“As the self appointed king of #Nats hats on Twitter, this hat is so trash,” tweeted D.C. sports radio producer Mike Callow, who owns more Nationals hats than anyone on the planet.
The Nationals’ “Local Market” cap wasn’t an anomaly among the collection, which was never intended for on-field use. If anything, it was one of the least offensive designs. The Kansas City Royals’ cap, for instance, included four area codes for Kansas but omitted the 816 area code for Kansas City, Mo., where the team plays its games. The Royals poked fun at the entire design in its Twitter bio.
Tampa Bay’s cap omitted the area code for St. Petersburg, where the Rays call home, drawing the attention of the St. Pete mayor.
Area code goofs were the least of the collection’s problems. The hats for four of the five California-based MLB teams featured images of a palm tree, a bear and a hard taco. Cincinnati’s infamous Skyline Chili was represented by a bowl … of something … with a chili pepper on it.
Those are lakes, not the course map for Hole No. 7 on the local muni on the front of the Minnesota Twins’ cap, just trust me.
The front of the Atlanta Braves’ cap features a UFO, a possible reference to OutKast’s 1996 album “ATLiens," or maybe the report of a UFO sighting in Georgia filed in 1973 by future president Jimmy Carter. Either reference is a stretch. The back of the Orioles’ hat features an image of Edgar Allan Poe, who famously died in Baltimore but was born in Boston. The Blue Jays’ hat features an image of poutine, because … Toronto is sort of close to Montreal? Sure.
A few fans took it upon themselves to improve New Era’s designs, and they all succeeded. The ill-fated and short-lived “Local Market” collection makes the unsightly logo-within-a-logo spring training caps New Era introduced last season look like high baseball fashion, which is an achievement in itself.
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