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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

MLB’s Terrible New ‘Local Market’ Hats Must Be Seen To Be Believed

Alright, listen. These hats, the new line of “Local Market” hats that will be released for Major League Baseball teams, you gotta see them, folks. They are not particularly good. The lede ends here, let’s dive in….

Here is the thing with Major League Baseball hats: The ones that are usually the best are the ones that do not try to do too terrible much — think of the classic Yankees hat, or the blue and red Cubs hat, or the Red Sox hat that are just a base color and a big letter B. Most times that we get these kinds of unique releases, it ends up taking something good and adding way too much to it, either by doing some weird pattern design (an example!) or by adding so much unnecessary stuff that it takes away from what makes the hats great.

These are just a lot — I, a Yankee fan, do not need to own a hat that has a slice of pizza and a boombox on it — and if there is a silver lining, it’s that there appears to be a sense of solidarity in how uniformly strange all of these are. Well, that, and this seems like a pretty fun way to learn about area codes for teams in other markets.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2021 at 04:36 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: new era

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 25, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6020772)
I like clean, classic hats. I am not the target audience for this line.

   2. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: May 25, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6020773)
I readily admit that I am not the target for this product, but who is going to buy these hats?
   3. Tin Angel Posted: May 25, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6020776)
They seem pretty "fly" and "dope" to me!
   4. Walt Davis Posted: May 25, 2021 at 05:40 PM (#6020778)
All they need is the logo of the nearest casino.
   5. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 25, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6020779)
I had no idea the numbers on the Twins hat were area codes until I read the mocking of them. Area codes? In 2021, when number portability is a thing and no one memorizes numbers anyway? No one under the age of 40 cares at all about area codes (and most above 40 also don't care, but might remember a time they were significant).

Aesthetically terrible and symbolically worse. Well done.
   6. Srul Itza Posted: May 25, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6020781)
No one under the age of 40 cares at all about area codes (and most above 40 also don't care, but might remember a time they were significant).


Oh boy. I remember when they started adding area codes to the New York area, and some people were apoplectic about losing the 212.

Is that still a thing?

   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 25, 2021 at 06:04 PM (#6020782)
Oh boy. I remember when they started adding area codes to the New York area, and some people were apoplectic about losing the 212.

Is that still a thing?


Not really, since nobody (not actually nobody, but pretty close) has a 212 cell phone number. Early cell phone adopters mostly have 917, people like me have 646; I think now they are on 347 but maybe some people still get 646 numbers...
   8. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: May 25, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#6020783)
This is an attempt to riff on the NBA "City Uniforms" which were/are alternates that are supposed to reflect the city in some way. The most memorable was probably the Minnesota Timberwolves Prince unis, which had ofc purple and a spin on the singer's symbol:

link

MLB seems to have kind of botched this; it they want to do a cap, just replace the cap logo with a city logo, or, alternatively, do the whole uniform.

   9. Jay Rock Posted: May 25, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6020784)
Manfred likes to squeeze every last penny out of his product that he can get. Just remember the phrase: "There's a sucker born every minute".
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 25, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6020785)
I readily admit that I am not the target for this product, but who is going to buy these hats?
People who really wish that they could put a bunch of clip art on a hat if they weren't so computer illiterate?
   11. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 25, 2021 at 08:11 PM (#6020797)
If they had stopped at just the IL state outline after the cursive Chicago, they might have something.
   12. Perry Posted: May 25, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6020816)
They're unspeakably awful, but as long as they don't wear them during games, I don't really care. There are a lot of really awful "alt" hats out there.
   13. Bhaakon Posted: May 25, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6020823)
On the one hand, this is awful.

OTOH, I remember going to games and seeing people with every remotely baseball/locality-related pin imaginable on their hat, so there's certainly a market for cluttered design.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 25, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6020830)
New Era has apparently pulled these hats from their website, although you can still buy them elsewhere.

I would say these designs are bizarre, but after the Yankees fruit salad hat, nothing in baseball fashion seems that strange anymore.

   15. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 25, 2021 at 10:51 PM (#6020836)
I readily admit that I am not the target for this product, but who is going to buy these hats?

NASCAR fans, maybe?
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2021 at 11:42 PM (#6020847)

Manfred likes to squeeze every last penny out of his product that he can get.


I think Manfred sucks but c'mon, do we really think he had anything to do with this? MLB sold the rights to New Era, New Era wanted to be "fleek" with the youths.
   17. Cris E Posted: May 26, 2021 at 01:29 AM (#6020860)
In my mind I am seeing someone who let his mistress design some hats. And then she managed to get him to release them to the public somehow, maybe by threatening to call his wife or something. Then his boss saw them and they were pulled, and now I wonder how their relationship is going to weather this. I may be overthinking the whole thing.
   18. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 26, 2021 at 04:35 AM (#6020871)
I readily admit that I am not the target for this product, but who is going to buy these hats?


Foreign tourists. The vast majority of whom won't know that the 'NY' (for example) on the hats refers to a specific sports team rather than the city in general, and some of whom will enjoy the additional . . . local color plastered all over them.

I occasionally get the temptation, here in Europe, to ask people wearing a Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Cubs, or Tigers cap if they can name any player who ever played for the team. It passes quickly.
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 05:32 AM (#6020873)
In Europe, I've seen shirts selling with fictional colleges and teams on them, because people like wearing them, but don't know the US that well, and buying rights is expensive. I really like my 'Nebraska Cardinals' shirt.
   20. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 26, 2021 at 06:31 AM (#6020875)
And, in fairness, I'm pretty sure a cool-enough logo and some other good graphic design could make the Chessington Tigers or East End Crusaders rugby team T-shirts sell well in the US. Despite the fact that, as far as I know, those teams didn't exist until the previous sentence was typed. (In Europe, I imagine there's a low-key "I holiday in North America" status symbol attached to these type of hats, even though you could happily buy these in malls in any medium-large town.)
   21. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 26, 2021 at 06:48 AM (#6020876)
No one under the age of 40 cares at all about area codes (and most above 40 also don't care, but might remember a time they were significant).

I had a friend (my age, mid-50s) who wanted to see road signs with area codes and zip codes: "Now entering 48185". He was serious.
   22. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 26, 2021 at 07:46 AM (#6020882)
No one under the age of 40 cares at all about area codes (and most above 40 also don't care, but might remember a time they were significant).

This guy cared. (He's 43.)
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: May 26, 2021 at 08:03 AM (#6020885)
This guy cared. (He's 43.)


So did Dallas Braden, and he's only 37.

   24. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 26, 2021 at 08:10 AM (#6020886)
I saw these described as "Eddie Murphy's jacket in Coming to America in hat form" which is about the most accurate description I've seen. I wouldn't want to wear one of these but I can see kids wearing them. And even if they don't, meh. I can't believe there is a meaningful up front cost on these to MLB.
   25. winnipegwhip Posted: May 26, 2021 at 08:41 AM (#6020890)
Okay Manfred. If you want me to have 37 pieces of flair on my cap then why don't you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair!?!?!?!?
   26. Scott Lange Posted: May 26, 2021 at 08:43 AM (#6020891)
I had a friend (my age, mid-50s) who wanted to see road signs with area codes and zip codes: "Now entering 48185". He was serious.

I think it would be great to know when you're entering a certain zip code's polygonal area.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 09:23 AM (#6020894)
I would actually consider buying this.
   28. BillWallace Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:08 AM (#6020907)
These are so cheugy
   29. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:14 AM (#6020909)
Someone pointed out that one of the area codes listed for the Cubs is in a location where the primary view is the St. Louis Arch.
I think one of the complaints is that the Royals area codes are for locations in Kansas, and doesn't even contain the area code that the stadium is located in.
Toronto is listed with just one area code (416), even though there are two others (905/647).

And let's not get into the stupid symbols they chose for some teams...

"New Coke" and "Edsel" level of failure.
   30. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6020912)
   31. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:52 AM (#6020915)
[30] That's too bad. That Arizona burrito hat was looking mighty tasty.
   32. phredbird Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6020918)

#25 is not getting the love it deserves.
   33. pikepredator Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6020920)
after the Yankees fruit salad hat


I was wondering "how could the top 10 possibly be worse than many of these?"

I was not disappointed. had the top 10 been slideshow-style I would've broken my own rule and continued clicking.
   34. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: May 26, 2021 at 11:56 AM (#6020922)
These hats are unbelievably terrible but also I kind of want the Orioles one
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6020932)


I was wondering "how could the top 10 possibly be worse than many of these?"

I was not disappointed. had the top 10 been slideshow-style I would've broken my own rule and continued clicking.


I have to admit, even though I know the "Popped-out mesh" hat is objectively terrible and I would never wear it, I did look to see if they sell a Mets version of it. Thankfully, no.
   36. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 26, 2021 at 02:05 PM (#6020954)
I feel little bad for the people who designed these - I'm sure they spent months working on them, only to have them released to hoots of derision and pulled from the market in 24 hours.

On the other hand, they're objectively terrible.
   37. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 26, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6020957)
They are bad at their job and should feel bad.

Though it seems more like something driven by a focus group and then sent to a committee to design and build - which mostly results in bad (but not usually this bad).
   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6020958)

They are like the hat version of the car that Homer Simpson designed.
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 02:30 PM (#6020961)

These hats are unbelievably terrible but also I kind of want the Orioles one


Dan Szymborski upgraded it.
   40. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6020965)
I had a friend (my age, mid-50s) who wanted to see road signs with area codes and zip codes: "Now entering 48185". He was serious.


Warning! Warning! Zip Code discussion imminent! Abandon blog, abandon blog!
   41. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 26, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6020966)
I can't find a picture of the cap for the Rangers. What were their local pictures? The Cowboys star? Breast implants? Maybe a Ferrari and a credit card?
   42. John Northey Posted: May 26, 2021 at 03:19 PM (#6020973)
In the Toronto area the 416 is the area code and how many refer to the old city of Toronto (as it is the only place with that area code). The surrounding cities are the 905 (both have multiple other codes now). So for Toronto there was a case for an area code being listed but I don't get it for anyone else. Toronto's also had poutine on it which is bizarre as that is a Montreal thing (we eat it here but it isn't from here or a core thing). Clearly whoever designed these messes didn't do much research, just figured 'lets sell more hats with some local crap on them'.
   43. Mike A Posted: May 26, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6021000)
I can't find a picture of the cap for the Rangers. What were their local pictures? The Cowboys star? Breast implants? Maybe a Ferrari and a credit card?
Unfortunately, it's one of the more boring ones. There's a cowboy hat on front (just like Houston's), a T-Bone steak, map and flag of Texas, and a foam finger #1.

Personal highlights: Atlanta's 9(?) area codes, Pittsburgh's Steel I-Beam, Baltimore's Edgar Allan Poe, Minnesota's hamburger(?), Washington's 1776(?), and Oakland's palm trees(?). It really feels like these caps were an elaborate troll/marketing scheme, but who knows.
   44. pikepredator Posted: May 26, 2021 at 05:57 PM (#6021013)
They are like the hat version of the car that Homer Simpson designed.


It just needs speed holes, then it would be perfect.
   45. . . . . . . Posted: May 26, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6021015)
Minnesota's hamburger(?)


It's a jucy lucy, I assume?
   46. Walt Davis Posted: May 26, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#6021019)
Sponsored by Ma Bell
   47. Mike A Posted: May 26, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6021022)
It's a jucy lucy, I assume?
Ah, that makes (some) sense. Though it should be noted that there is no actual way to tell it is a jucy lucy as it basically looks like a cheeseburger from a 2002 Microsoft clip-art package.

At least one can decipher the pierogi on the back of the Cleveland cap. No, it's not a guy in a pierogi costume like the one that races in Milwaukee, but a...pierogi. I kinda want Cleveland's cap now.
   48. Snowboy Posted: May 27, 2021 at 02:24 AM (#6021076)
Did they make an "alternate local market" hat for Toronto? 716 area code, clip art of a big waterfall, a chicken wing. The Reds hat had an image of the Roebling Bridge to/from Kentucky, this one could have an image of the Peace Bridge to/from Fort Erie. Two crossed Canada and USA flags on poles. One more thing, got it, Edgar Allan Poe made the Orioles hat, so this one can have an image of 25th President William McKinley since he was shot and killed there...Buffalo. Done, print it.

Please wear a mask and respect social distancing as you line up for this gem, Cheektowagans.
   49. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: May 27, 2021 at 07:51 AM (#6021081)
Why not Blackout Restriction Map hats?
   50. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 27, 2021 at 02:23 PM (#6021131)
There's a voice in my head telling me that by immediately deleting these hats, they've become instant collector's items that people will be paying through the nose for years from now...
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: May 27, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6021140)

There's a voice in my head telling me that by immediately deleting these hats, they've become instant collector's items that people will be paying through the nose for years from now...


I was thinking the same thing.

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