New 2015 All Star Game caps are amazing

Behold, the greatest caps in All Star Game history.

Behold, the greatest caps in All Star Game history.

UPDATE II: Turns out the caps are a hoax. Oh well. Hopefully we get something cool for this year’s Midsummer Classic!

UPDATE: Well, good ole Paul Lukas from Uni-Watch has done some digging and apparently players are NOT wearing the pillbox hats during the ASG. Such a shame. Once I know what the pillbox hats are for, I’ll post an update.

Look, I get what New Era–the official hats of Major League Baseball–does by releasing a slew of new “limited” caps each year: profit. Release any new official “on-field” cap, limit the production and no matter how ugly the cap, fans will flock to ballpark shops, hat stores, and sporting goods stores to land their heads on the latest and greatest from the up-state New York-based hat maker. While I don’t scoop up every cap New Era makes (I really don’t need or see any desire for the camo caps teams wear on Memorial Day), I love checking out their latest products–no matter how insane–and I’ll drop some coin on hats each year (generally when I visit new parks).

Before we get to the new caps, here’s a brief history of New Era’s All Star Game caps.

For roughly two decades, New Era has adorned (and sold) All Star Game specific caps, which initially featured super cool player autograph patches sewn on teams’ standard game hats. What I can only assume was a way to start production (and increase production) of the caps, New Era dropped the player-specific caps and went for a standard All Star Game patch.

New Era upped the ante soon after adding a pair of gold stars on the back of the caps, flanking the standard MLB logo, which was an unnecessary, but nice touch. In 2014, however, they revamped the whole program, creating superfluous “Home Run Derby” caps and All Star Game-specific caps, each using New Era’s “Diamond Era” material, typically used for batting practice caps and the occasional alternate game cap. In an interesting change, New Era decided to create game caps that resembled a specific era in the hosting team’s history. For 2014, each team wore caps that essentially resembled a batting helmet worn by the Minnesota Twins in the 1970s. Some looked great; others not so much. Regardless, the program was successful enough to merit another series of caps for the upcoming 2015 All Star Game in Cincinnati, which brings us to this year.

The inspiration behind this year's All Star caps.

The inspiration behind this year’s All Star caps.

The Cincinnati Reds are hosting the 2015 All Star Game and New Era ensured that fans will scoop up more ridiculous hats. This year, New Era modeled the caps after Mr. Redlegs’ famous “pillbox” cap that he sports. The results? Hilariously awful and awesome at the same time. The National League teams will wear white caps, with team colors on the bills, while the American League teams will sport team color specific caps.

I mean, how can you resist ANY of these?

From a purist’s perspective, the hats are egregious and totally unnecessary. Why can’t teams wear their normal game caps and jerseys? Maybe throw a patch on the uniforms and be done with it. However, you can’t sell the same game cap with a patch every year and expect to make money. So give it up, purists, this year’s ASG caps are incredible and despite New Era’s obvious attempts at slipping another $40 out of our wallets, we should all oblige them for the sheer insanity of their design.

Look, New Era’s getting ridiculous with the cap releases. Between new BP caps each year, Memorial Day, July 4th, All Star Game, Home Run Derby, Turn Back the Clock, postseason, World Series, and World Series Champion caps, completists would need a well-paying job (and a hell of a lot of storage space) to afford all of New Era’s caps, but so long as fans keep buying, New Era will keep the sewing machines rolling.

Now, start digging for quarters in the couch cushions because you know you want one of the new caps. Just embrace it. New Era and MLB thank you.

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