7 Interesting Facts to Know About the History of Baseball Caps
By Space Coast Daily // August 2, 2022
The baseball cap has been a staple of the American consciousness for well over a century. But what gave this iconic headwear its particular shape? How has it evolved over the decades? Read on to find out all the amazing facts you never knew about the baseball cap.
1- The first baseball caps were made out of straw.
Through the years, baseball caps have primarily been constructed of wool, but have also been made out of cotton, polyester, blends of cotton and synthetics, and even leather for fashion purposes. Many baseball caps have eyelets or even mesh panels to provide ventilation to the wearer.
2- Baseball caps were originally called Brooklyn-style hats.
Headwear was a staple of fashion during the nineteenth century, but at first, baseball players wore whatever style hat they chose. They were first designed in the 1860s for a baseball team in Brooklyn, New York. Whether that specific team was the Knickerbockers or the Excelsiors is lost to time, and the two teams argue over who originally pioneered the soft structured cap. Eventually, the demand grew for a brimmed cap to protect players’ eyes from the sun.
3- Baseball caps were not worn for fashion purposes until the 1970s.
Up until that time, they were exclusively part of an athlete’s uniform, and there was a stigma against wearing them outside of the baseball diamond. Through the middle of the twentieth century, as children became more involved in little leagues and wore their baseball caps outside of the game, they became a popular accessory for many youths. When Magnum P.I. first aired in 1980, Tom Selleck’s trademark look made baseball caps seem far cooler even for adults and their popularity has remained strong ever since.
4- The hole in the back of a baseball cap actually has a name.
The strap on the back of the cap that allows the fit to be adjusted can be made of stiff plastic, elastic, leather, or even Velcro, but the hole created by that strap is called the closure.
5- Baseball caps require a twenty-two-step process to create their signature six-paneled shape.
Despite its long history, the structure of the baseball cap has changed surprisingly little. Early baseball caps were lined with buckram, a cotton fabric heavily stiffened with glue. In 1940, baseball caps underwent their biggest revolution when manufacturers began to add latex rubber to the fabric, giving the hat more inherent structure.
6- In Finland, only police officers are allowed to wear baseball caps.
Many nations include baseball caps in their police or military uniforms, including Turkey, Slovenia, some United States police forces, and certain groups within the United States Navy, Coast Guard, and Army.
7- The most complex logo ever found on a baseball cap belonged to the Florida Marlins.
The logo on the front of the cap contained 10,966 stitches. The Detroit Tigers were the very first team to add their logo to their baseball caps rather than using them purely for practical purposes.