Saturday, December 31, 2011

West Coast Pop



For the last post of the 2011 calendar year, The Fitted Diaries is featuring a San Diego State University Aztecs inspired New Era 59/50. SDSU was founded in 1897, and is the oldest higher-education facility in the San Diego, California area. The Aztecs field 17 varsity teams in NCAA Division 1 athletics. The schools' more prominent programs are their football, baseball, softball, and men's and women's basketball teams. 

To most, the team with the most national familiarity is likely the schools baseball program. Over the years, the baseball program has helped nurture many future professional ball players. One of which, Tony Gwynn, has the distinction of being perhaps the greatest Aztec of all time. Gwynn, or "Mr. Padre" as many refer to him, was perhaps the first to put the program on the map. Gwynn played for San Diego State from 1979 to 1982, where he announced his presence as a true baseball talent claiming many team records. He even performed well enough to be recognized as an NCAA All-American in his final two seasons. Another interesting facet of Gwynn's athletic career, which many aren't aware of, is that he was also a point guard on the schools basketball team throughout his 4 year Aztec career. To this day, he remains as the only athlete in the history of the Western Athletic Conference to be recognized as an All-Conference performer in multiple sports. Gwynn, who is currently the baseball coach for the Aztecs, is in his eighth season at the helm of the program. He has coached many talented athletes, the most prominent of which is starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. 

Strasburg, a flame throwing right hander with un-godly breaking pitches, played under Gwynn for a three season span from 2007-2009. Strasburg began opening eyes his sophomore year, pitching to a record of 8-3. That season, Strasburg pitched to a minuscule ERA of 1.58 while striking out 134 batters in a mere 98 1/3 innings. In his third, and final season as an Aztec, Strasburg did the impossible; he improved: 13-1, 1.32 ERA, 195 K, 109 IP. He was the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, selected by the Washington Nationals. In 2010, Strasburg struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirate batters in his first major league start.. He suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow later that year, and is currently on his way back to the majors following surgery. 

Other notable Aztecs to play in the schools baseball program are former major leaguers: Tony Clark, Travis Lee, Bud Black, Royce Ring, Bobby Meacham, Greg Nettles, Mark Grace, Aaron Harang and Tony Gwynn Jr. 

The Aztecs play their home games at (you guessed it) Tony Gwynn Stadium. The 3,000 seat ballpark has been home to the schools baseball games since the 1997 athletic season. 

The cap featured above has a black brim and scarlet crown. On the front of the cap there is an illustration of an Aztec warrior, wearing a yellow and red head-dress. On the back the cap features the word "Aztecs" in a black, cursive font. Unfortunately for all of those interested out there, the cap is indeed sold out. My best suggestion would be to check on Ebay or perhaps the schools' athletics website HERE

To all, have a safe and happy new year. I appreciate the readers, so please, if you drink tonight DO NOT DRIVE. Until next time, over and out from TFD.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Ray of Hope for a Former Champion


The official countdown for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training is down to a mere 51 days. What does this mean? Well, for starters it means BASEBALL IS ALMOST HERE. Additionally, it means a new era of South Beach Baseball is about to dawn for the Miami Marlins.

The cap above is the new primary on-field cap for the re-branded Miami Marlins of the National League. Yes, what you see above is most certainly a payment of homage to the glory days of Miami Vice and the era that was the 80's. Other than that, it speaks volumes to the new image of what the club is attempting to project; a groundbreaking, exciting, and eye catching product. With the bright blues, oranges, and yellows which seemingly pop off of this new logo. The ball club of the future has arrived, and the one of the past is gone for good.

The Marlins franchise will be beginning its' twentieth season in South Florida, but will compete in its' first with a place to truly call home. For the first 19 seasons of their existence, they played in what is currently known as Sun Life Stadium. Sun Life Stadium is more or less a football stadium, which the Miami Dolphins have called home since 1987. The place is cavernous, cold, and was usually 80% empty for Marlins games, which proved to be a hard field to play for any team with power alleys the size of Texas.

Now officially in Miami, the Marlins will christen there new home tentatively dubbed "Miami Ballpark" on Sunday, April 1st in the first of two scrimmages vs. the New York Yankees. With the overhaul of the organization, it seems as though ownership is trying to remove the tags placed on them by the public in the past. Accordingly, they have made efforts to put the "fire-sale" days behind them. With the additions of short-stop Jose Reyes, closer Heath Bell, and starter Mark Buehrle it appears as though they want to win early and often. This has to be a welcomed change in the eyes of the fans, knowing that they will have a team to root for which should be intact for quite some time.

When the club captured World Series titles in both the 1997 and 2003 seasons, the Miami community rallied around the team with more support than anyone could imagine. A new stadium, new image, and new roster can only lead to a greater fan base. Possibly the most important aspect of the new park is the retractable roof, which will definitely help out on those hot summer days. From my personal experience of attending a day game in the middle of July, some shade will be much appreciated.

The cap above features a black crown and brim, and has a capital "M" accented with orange, blue and yellow. Above is an orange and blue silhouette of a marlin, seemingly leaping off the logo. It represents more than a new beginning; it represents a new tradition of Miami Baseball.

I picked up this new release at Cap City, in West New York, New Jersey. You can find this fitted and the clubs alternate orange cap here, on the stores website: http://www.ecapcity.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=miami+marlins+authentic&x=0&y=0

Happy New Year, and happy shopping.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Footballers Renaissance



It goes without saying that soccer is by far the worlds most popular sport. The pastime of many nations has more than its fair share of stars, living and past, to call it's own. To name a few: Argentina has Maradona, France has Zidane, England has Beckham, and Brazil has Pele. All of these living legends have changed the face of their sport and country to an extent which they may never live to realize. One of these men however, has significantly effected yet another country over 4,500 miles from his home.

As most sports fans know, football caught on early in Europe and Africa. It then trickled into Asia and Australia, where it further deepened its foundation as an athletic power house. All was good and well in the land of the 90 minute game, until North America decided it was time to take a legitimate crack at establishing its own professional league in the late 1960's. This league, the North American Soccer League (NASL), opened it's offices in 1968. The NASL was founded as a merger of two previously unsuccessful and non-prosperous leagues established earlier in the decade. Arguably, the eventual face of the new NASL was the New York franchise which would shortly arrive one the scene. 

Following the first three seasons of play in the NASL, the New York Cosmos had arrived. The Cosmos, shortened from the Cosmopolitans, were named after the multicultural environment in which the clubs fan base thrived. Accordingly, the club drew many fans of all creeds, finding itself as one of the most successful franchises in the league, financially and performance wise. Before the club garnered the affection of the locals, upper management realized they needed a star to ascend the ranks of the league. Accordingly, they pursued the notable yet aging star of the Brazilian league, Pele. This acquisition in 1975 meant one thing, New York was now on the map as a soccer town. 

Although only appearing in barely over 60 games for the Cosmos, Pele had created a passion and more importantly a culture for American Soccer. With the additions of other stars such as Italian Giorgio Chinaglia and German Franz Beckenbauer, the Cosmos completed their time in the NASL winning league championships in 5 of the 14 seasons in which they competed. Soccer was certainly thriving in New York, however nationally it seemed as though things has taken a turn for the worst. The NASL seized operations following the 1984 season due to lack of financial support. 

After a decade of silence on the Western front, a new league would take form. The MLS began operations in 1993. Fans and franchises came and went year in and year out, as did the visiting stars of the world. Although making a serious effort, the new league faced adversity sticking as a popular aspect of North American culture. Fifteen-plus years into their existence, things have recently taken a promising turn for the league, as they now have a consistent ESPN game of the week contract, and have grown to nearly 20 clubs. The more notable news is that New York has been awarded a second franchise, in addition to the Red Bull who play in New Jersey. The newly resurrected Cosmos brand has thrown it's name into the proverbial hat of contention to be that second club, but no word has been given on the
leagues decision.



As you can see by the fitteds above, the area is clearly ambitious about the whispers we've all been hearing. I found these gems at Cap City, a hat store in West New York, New Jersey. It certainly has many of us amateur sports historians giddy, so to say. To this writer, the return of a legendary franchise such as the Cosmos would be an amazing feat to behold. It would be the most anticipated return of a professional sports club to the area, short of the hallucinated voyage back East of the Dodgers or Giants. 

Whether it materializes or doesn't, one thing is for certain. The city would certainly appreciate the fraternization of culture and creed once more. For an are where people are being killed over Nike Air Jordans, it would certainly be eye opening to see some unity.  







Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Majestic Field for a Royal Club


A couple weeks ago, I was able to visit the recently renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. "The K", as the locals call it, has been home to the Kansas City Royals since April of 1973. This was not my first trip to the Royals ballpark, but it was however my first since the organization essentially re-built it. In 2005, when I was first introduced to Kauffman Stadium, the impression I received was not one of shall we say, acclaim. It was old, dirty, unkempt, mentally stuck in the 90's, and seemingly on it's last legs. It's presentation was similar to an elder under hospice care, waiting for the end. 6 years later, "The K" has undergone a face lift, reconstructive surgery, and been awarded the 2012 MLB All Star Game. It really is amazing what $250 million in renovations can do (sarcasm). The sixth oldest ballpark in the league, now looks like the sixth newest. The Royals have added a kids center, behind the center field wall and fountains, to entertain children who seemingly can't withstand a 3 plus hour ballgame. Additionally, the club added a Royals Organization Hall of Fame in the left field stands. Inside, fans can tour for free, and observe multiple artifacts from players such as George Brett and Bo Jackson. The team really constructed this aspect exceptionally well, to which they deserve praise. The club has also added multiple restaurants, food courts, team shops, and even re-designed concourses. Visiting fans are sure to be impressed with the stadium next July 12th, for the mid-summer classic. The team decided to reduce the capacity of the park to just around 39,000, which in my opinion was an incredibly wise choice, due to the following: The ballpark is literally in the middle of nowhere, far away from downtown K.C.,  the team has been less than entertaining in past years, having not made the playoffs since 1985, and the fan base has dwindled due to these notable occurances. While at the game between the Yankees and Royals at "The K", a certain minor league vibe came across me. Fun family atmosphere, affordable tickets, and mediocre athleticism displayed on the field. Hopefully with the coming of Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakis, the Royals can stop looking like a AAA team, and start playing like the A+ organization which they are. The All-Star Game will no doubt be an opportunity to showcase the opulence of Kauffman Stadium, the only question is will it be enough to draw more fans on a per game basis, and additionally lure stars to don the Royal blue and white. The cap shown above is the primary cap for the Kansas City Royals. It has a Royal blue brim, and crown, with the flowing "K" and "C" front and center. A very simple, yet beautiful cap, that should be a staple in anyone's collection. If you get a chance to check out "The New K", do it. It's truly an opportunity to enjoy a baseball game in its rawest form. There isn't a sushi stand, a steak restaurant, or a Hard Rock Cafe, but if you are a real baseball fan, those absences shouldn't make or break your experience. Until next time, enjoy.      

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's all in the Cards...

From Dizzy Dean to Lou Brock, and Stan The Man Musial to Bob Gibson, the St. Louis Cardinals organization is nothing short of remarkable. These are some names, that all baseball fans should be familiar with, and marvel at while viewing the stats on the back of their baseball cards. These are some of the players that are brought to awareness while standing at the front gate, outside of Busch Stadium. Outside of the 2006, 46,000 plus seat stadium, stand 10 statues of the more notable retired Cardinals of all time. They served as a great welcome committee, for my 32nd career ballpark in America. On my third stop of my three city tour, which will all be reverse chronologically noted on the blog, I was able to watch the Cards play the Dodgers for two straight nights. The first night, I was able to find the Sunday edition, home alternate cap for St. Louis which is seen above. The cap, which is one of my favorites in the league, has a red brim, navy crown, and the always familiar red-bird logo dead center. Outside of the gorgeous ballpark, this fan was treated with a more than sufficient education on the great Jack Buck. Jack Buck, who is one of the greatest  baseball announcers of all time, called Busch Stadium I home beginning in 1954, all the way to the later years of Busch Stadium II in 2001. Buck saw his Cards win three World Series titles during his career, in 1964, 1967, and 1982. Today, you can hear his son Joe Buck nationally every Sunday on the Fox game of the week, alongside former Cardinal Tim McCarver. Jack Buck is a legitimate legend of the sports announcing world, and will only grow in legend as the years past. In conclusion, the Cardinals have won 10 World Championships, 17 N. L. Pennants, 8 Central Division Championships, and one Wild Card Berth in 2001. With current great Albert Pujols, and established stars Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, the ball club is sure to see post season play, for many years to come. Seemingly, the question is not if the Cardinals will win another World Series, but when. With a stadium named after a beer company, seasons like this where Milwaukee will likely beat out the red birds for a playoff spot, shouldn't be that hard to deal with. Until tomorrow, keep reading. Another post is just around the corner. Enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Bums From Brooklyn Are Back In Action (sort of)

You have got to love Turn Back The Clock nights at your local ballpark. It gives younger and newer fans the opportunity to see team jersey's of the past, but more importantly it also brings back memories of championship seasons, and hall of fame players. This year, Major League Baseball has involved several franchises in this favored tradition, which has been appreciated by fans for the past several seasons. Those teams are the Angels, the Rays, the Mariners, the Pirates, the Nationals, the Cardinals, the Phillies, the Padres, the Orioles, the Royals, and of course the Dodgers. If you happen to be a baseball fan, who lives under a rock, the cap you see above is that of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The story of baseball in Brooklyn begins in 1883, when the Brooklyn Atlantics stormed the fields of Park Slope. Throughout the 50 years that followed, the clubs name would change on the average every 9 seasons. Nothing substantial seemed to materialize, until 1932 when a culture was born. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Brooklyn Dodgers were born. In an incredibly difficult economic, and social time period for America, The Bums From Brooklyn became a beacon of hope and unity. The Brooklyn Franchise, which became the Dodgers, played in Ebbets Field from 1913, up until their departure to the West in 1957. Ebbets Field was roughly a 32,000 seat ballpark, located at what used to be 55 Sullivan Place, Brooklyn, New York. While in Brooklyn, the Dodgers Franchise captured 12 National League Pennants, and one World Series Title in 1955. Despite only winning a World Championship once,  the ball club seemingly possesses an aura of sorts. Outside of the games being played on the field, they were truly an innovative franchise in the front office. As all of you know, they were the first Major League Baseball franchise to sign an African American to play on a teams roster. This little player, turned out to be one of the true Dodger greats of all time, Jackie Robinson. Outside of J-Rob, the Brooklyn Dodgers also saw  Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax, and Roy Campanella put on the blue and white, while playing in New York; all of which have their numbers retired by the franchise today. When the Giants and Dodgers both left New York in 1957, a void was created in the hears of 2/3rd's of New Yokers. Five years later, which probably seemed like an eternity to widowed baseball fans, MLB brought another franchise to New York in the form of the Mets. The Mets, who wear Blue, Orange, White, and Black, get their colors from the two New York franchises of yesteryear; The Brooklyn Dodgers, and the New York Giants. A subtle payment of homage to the classic history and tradition of baseball in the big apple. The cap above, features a Dodger Blue crown and brim, with the Brooklyn Dodgers B (not to be confused with the Red Sox B) front and center. Honestly, I could talk about the rich history and tradition of the Brooklyn Dodgers all day, but that's what Wikipedia  is for. I hope I was able to impart a little big of knowledge, on one of the biggest franchises in New York Sports history. Until tomorrow, enjoy folks!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Golden Start, During A Golden Anniversary

For the 11th time since 1919, a no hitter has been pitched by a player...with the team on the losing end having scored a run. It's the first time it has happened since the 1993 season, when Houston's Darryl Kile fell victim to the harmless occurrence against the New York Mets. Regardless, it still counts for an official "no no", and will be in the record books forever. Today's pitcher of fate, was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Ervin Santana. Not only was it a great start for the Angels' right hander, but it was his first win against the Indians in 7 career starts against "The Tribe". He is the third American League player, and all around Major Leaguer to pitch a no-hitter this season; The other two, Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, and Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins. His no hitter, was the ninth in the history of the Angels franchise, and first since 1990 when Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined for the rare feat. The cap he wore during today's game, was identical to the one you see above. This season, for the Angels 50th anniversary, the club is wearing multiple fitted caps spanning 162 games, honoring all the eras of Halo's baseball. The cap above, represents the current era spanning 2002 to now. The fitted hat features the typical Angels red color on brim and crown, and the Angels "A" front and center. The differences are the gold halo encircling the "A", and the 50th anniversary patch located on the side. This cap can be found at any of the normal cap outlets, such as Lids, New Era, MLB, etc. To me, this was a must buy cap, due to the classic look it exhibits. Santana, despite having a sub 4 ERA, now only has 6 wins on the season. Maybe this start can serve as a jump-start to the proverbial heart of the Angels organization. With only 57 games left and a record of 57-48, the Angels are only 2.5 games back of the division leading Rangers. Keep an eye on the Angels come Sunday, to see if they make some moves at the trade deadline. A hitter wouldn't be an awful idea, considering their high RBI man is Torii Hunter with a mere 49.  Until tomorrow, it's been real folks. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3 days in the desert heat, never felt this sweet



Welcome back to the blog everyone, sorry for the absence of late. I come bearing great gifts, pictures of a recent acquisition while in Phoenix, Arizona at the MLB All-Star Break. The three pics you see at the beginning of this post, are shots of the 2011 Diamondbacks All-Star edition 59/50 on field New Era Cap. The brick colored gem you see before you, has been "blinged out" to a certain extent. On the cap bearers left side, the 2011 MLB All-Star game primary logo has been added, in honor of this past Tuesday's All-Star Game played at Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The back of the cap, as seen in the bottom picture, has been adorned with two gold stars in honor of a teams' player being named to an All-Star roster. The cap you see above, is a replica of the ones that Diamondbacks Justin Upton and Miguel Montero wore during the 5-1 N.L. Victory this week. The side patch is nothing new to the All-Star break, as far as New Era caps are concerned, but this does mark the first season in which stars were used. Personally, as a hat connoisseur, I find the gold decorations to be an extremely nice touch to the caps. The stars add a more intimate feel  to the fitted, whereas you can now represent a specific player as opposed to a team as a whole. I felt it was necessary to go with the D-Backs fitted to commemorate the event and my trip, due to the fact that they were the host ball club. The three day period consisted of: The XM Futures Game, which showcases tomorrows stars and perennial Hall-Of-Famers, The Home-Run Derby, which was won by Yankee Robinson Cano, and the A.L. vs. N.L. All-Star Game. All three days were extremely special to me, because I was able to watch some of my favorite athletes compete, and even win certain events. Yankees catching prospect Austin Romine went 2-2 off the bench in the Futures Game, with a RBI. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was able to capture the Home-Run Derby title, by defeating Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the final round 12-11. David Robertson made his All-Star Game debut, pitching in the second inning of the ballgame, while fellow teammates Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson made appearances as well. Not being used to the 108 degree temperatures was something that required adaptation in order to deal with, but good baseball and good friends always ease struggles such as that. This was truly a 3 day period which I'll never forget; I have this fitted, and memories to last a lifetime. Until tomorrow, adios readers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

50 plus years of grooming tomorrow's stars

Among the shadows of Mount Rainer in Tacoma, Washington, the crack of a baseball bat and the smell of freshly cut grass has been no stranger to the locals. For more 50 years consecutive years, Tacoma has played host to AAA baseball. Presently, The Tacoma Rainers, who get there name from the afore mentioned 14,000 plus foot elevated mountain, call the city home. The Rainers franchise, is currently affiliated with their seventh big league club. Before being linked to the geographically compatible Seattle Mariners, the club was paired with the Athletics, Indians, Yankees, Twins, Cubs, and Giants in reverse chronology. Regardless of the affiliation over the seasons, the club has been a member of the Pacific Coast League, playing in the Norhern Division. Tacoma's history of baseball, however, didn't originate a mere half century ago. Starting way back in 1904, Tacoma had a club known as the Tigers, who played to a first place finish in both halves of their first season. Accordingly, the club won the cities first ever Pacific Coast League title. A mere half season later, affiliated baseball left Washington State until its much anticipated return in 1960. During its current string of teams which have played in the city, the club has called Cheney Stadium home. The park, which was opened in 1960 upon the arrival of the club, has gone through multiple renovations to bring it up to respectable standards based on present day technology. In it's current form, the stadium can seat 9,600 fans at capacity. As if the 50 year history and survival of the club isn't enough to testify for the love the locals have for their club, the original structure was erected in a mere 42 days in order to begin play in time for the inaugural season. That my friends, is commitment and passion. Over the years, some big name players have made stops in Tacoma. Some of which are: Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco, and Mark McGwire. The cap shown above, and current logo seen, was first used last season in 2010. The fitted, has a navy brim, navy crown, and a capital "T" for Tacoma in front of a snow capped silhouette of Mt. Rainer. This is a great cap, which I hope to acquire on my trip to Washington, later this summer. As if the cap isn't nice enough to just pick up strictly based off looks, the history discussed in today's post hopefully gives you some added incentive to appreciate the team. The cap can be found on Lids.com under "Tacoma Rainers", or on the team website HERE. Until next time, keep exploring the world of baseball. There's always something new to learn.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The next great "Roman" leader begins his journey

Growing up as kids, most of us either played many summers of little league baseball or softball, with aspirations of one day potentially making it to the big leagues. We all had high hopes of hitting the game winning homer, or pitching a no hitter while playing in our back yards; but reality set in for most of us...Key word: MOST of us. Today's post is in honor of someone who I grew up with, who actually made it through the trials and tribulations of High School, Collegiate, and Cape Cod League baseball to realize the ultimate dream. That person is Tom La Stella. After years of practice and determination, he finally was granted a chance at greatness. Following two season where he lit it up for The Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers, in the Big South Conference, La Stella was named 2011 player of the year and drew national attention. During this years MLB Draft, La Stella was taken in the 8th round, by the Atlanta Braves. He has been assigned to the Rome Braves, who's cap is shown above. The Rome Braves play in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division. The Club, which is part of the Class A level of minor league baseball, have been in the SAL since 2003. The Braves have won one division and league title in their inaugural season in Rome. The Rome Braves play at State Mutual Stadium, a 5,000 plus capacity park in Rome, Georgia which features identical dimension of the parent clubs' Turner Field. The Rome Braves claim many MLB roster members to their on field alumni. Some of these players are: Jason Heyward, Jeff Francoeur, Tommy Hanson, Brian McCann, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The clubs lack of league titles may be an attribution to the great development of the players they draft. If you can't keep these great players down, you're roster in A ball will develop some holes subsequently. The cap shown above is the Home On-Field New Era Cap of the Rome Braves, and can be found on on Lids.com. It features a Braves red brim, a navy brim, and the Roman-esque pillar with an R and a ball flying across from left to right. This is a special cap to me, due to it being the first professional cap worn by an old friend of mine; hopefully you all like it as well. On that note, I wish my my friend good luck in his trip to "The Show". I know it will only be a matter of time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fear The Deer

In an effort to shoot a "what's up?" to one of my friends who's away for the summer working in the baseball world, today the blog features the team that serves as his employer. The State College Spikes, who have been an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates since the beginning of the '07 season, have had 28 seasons of history as a franchise. The team has has multiple cities to call home in the past, those of which are: Newark, Hamilton, Glens Falls, and most previously Augusta, New Jersey as part of the Cardinals organization. The Spikes, who play in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League of Minor League Baseball, host their home games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. MFaLP for short, is a 6,006 fan capacity ballpark (including standing room) in University Park, Pennsylvania which also hosts all Penn State Nittany Lion baseball games. The Spikes are managed by former minor-leaguer Dave Turgeon, who most recently served as an assistant coach on the Virginia Tech Hokies staff. Some notable Spikes that have ascended the ranks all the way to "The Show" are Brendan Ryan and Jason Motte, who are both alumni from the Cardinal affiliate days, and most recently Daniel Moskos and Tony Watson who both made their Major League debuts this season for the Swinging Buccos of Pittsburgh; Additionally, Zach Duke made a brief appearance on a rehab assignment while with the Pirates in 2007. The cap, shown above, is the official road cap of the club which I found at Lids HERE. It features a navy crown and brim, with a male deer or buck front and center staring with eyes of determination. Also, the alternate and home fitted caps, along with other on-field wear can be found at the Spikes official team store HERE. The Spikes are a team of little history in Pennsylvania, but great potential of success. Due to the continually prized draft picks the Pirates seem to be continually racking up, the club is bound for glory in the near future.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Franchise Screwed from The Start


Tonight, in honor of reaching the 10,000 view plateau, I chose a cap that, despite its quirky, cheesy quality, happens to be a favorite of mine. The Lansing Lugnuts are a Single A franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League. The Lugnuts, who have been known as such since 1996, have been affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays since the 2005 season. In the past, the ball club has been part of the Chicago Cubs organization from '99-'04 and the Kansas City Royals organization from '96-'98. The team, which calls Lansing, Michigan home, plays their games at Cooley Law School Stadium. The park, which was originally known as Oldsmobile Park in recognition of Michigan's automotive prowess, seats a resounding 13,527 when the lawn seating is filled to capacity. This park not only serves as the home to the Lugnuts, but also the Michigan State Spartans of the NCAA. These two teams have competed annually since 2007 in a game which is known as "The Crosstown Showdown": a game which pits Professional vs. Amateur in a competition of talent. In the 5 previous games, which were meant to mostly involve the collegiate community and give collegiate athletes to play on a professional level, has been won by the Spartans twice in five games. The event impressively drew 100 fans short of 13,000 in 2009. The Lugnuts, who have had a somewhat unsuccessful past, have only won 2 league titles in '97 and '03, and only three division titles in '96, '99, and '08. The Lugnuts have had a few former players who have made it to "The Show"; Some of these players are: Carlos Beltran, Felix Pie, Mark Prior, Travis Snider, and Carlos Zambrano. Despite their lack of titles, the development of players who can hack it at the next level certainly seems to be one of their strong suits. This cap, which I found HERE at Lids.com, features a black crown, black brim, and a cartoon version of a Lugnut (no need for explanation here). To me, it's a clean cap which embodies the playful nature of Minor League Baseball. Maybe the franchise can provide some proverbial torque to the competition, and make a run at the top. The Lansing Lugnuts are currently in first place with a record of 27-18, so keep it up guys. Maybe you can even beat a NCAA team this year...if you know what's good for you.   

10,000 views!

Thanks to the viewer-ship of all our readers, I am pleased to announce the accomplishment of the 10,000 view plateau! Thats right, 10,000 everyone! I'm extremely appreciative of the following this blog as accumulated, which gives me faith that my writing and studies of professional sports are appreciated by all. Only 80 some posts into this venture, we have reached a great milestone in the progression of this project. Keep reading, and telling your friends! You can be sure there will be more fitteds examined, and teams explored. I appreciate feedback, so if theres anything you'd like to see changed, or anything you would like to stay let me know. You can follow the official facebook page with additional info and pictures HERE. Be on the lookout for another post later on today, and remember your input and loyalty is key. Thanks again, now let's go for 20,000!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

98 years of "touring" sounds like a lot of miles

Welcome everyone, to this Wednesday edition of The Fitted Diaries. This cool little guy you see on the cap before you, represents the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League. the SAL is a host league of members of the single A level of Minor League Baseball. The Tourists, who have been in existence since 1915, have recently endured a re-branding process. The changes include, but are not limited to: color way, logos, jerseys, and mascots. The mascot, named Ted E. Tourist, has been re-designed to look like THIS, the jerseys like THIS, and the caps including the one above like THIS. All in all, I think the changes were for the better, as the old set up was beginning to become slightly overlooked and deemed bland among baseball fans. One thing that cannot be erased, as old logos and mascots change, is the incredible history the club claims. As the title of todays post infers, the team has been around for nearly 100 seasons. The Tourists, who have been an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies since the 1994 season, and have also claimed the Rangers, Orioles, Reds, White Sox, Astros, Pirates, Phillies, Dodgers, Cardinals, and the Red Sox as parent organizations previously. If that doesn't serve as a role call of success, I don't know what does. The club has called McCormick Field home since way back in 1924. Yes everyone, that's the Coolidge administration. The old ballpark, which underwent renovations in 1959 and 1991, is a cozy 4,000 seat facility. A little know fact about the park, is that it was the sight of a scene from the 1988 movie Bull Durham. The ballpark is home of what may be the most unintentionally sarcastic scoreboards in all of baseball. The road area reads Visitors...The Home portion reads Tourists... Genius! One things for sure, with the prestigious history this club has endured, it will keep the fans coming for years to come as one of North Carolinas largest "Tourist" attractions shall we say. The cap shown, which is the home cap of the team, features a navy blue brim and crown, with a caricature of the man on the moon as assumed by most with glasses and a Tourists cap on his head. Not that the team needed it, but this re-branding has certainly given the club new life and with any luck another 98 years of baseball in Asheville.    

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Many tedious hours of detail

Yes folks, it's real...and in Sharpie. The one of a kind fitted is the adaptation of the Lakewood BlueClaws alternate fitted. The freehand design was painstakingly handcrafted by personal friend and artist Niloy Shah. Niloy and I met as roomates two years ago, and immediately struck common ground in both of our passions for fitted New Era caps. I noticed in his collection there were designs drawn on them, much simpler than the one on the BlueClaws cap shown, but similar in structure. Once I had uncovered the artist to be himself, I knew I had to have one. After some begging, and compensation through a few dinners, My hat had begun to be designed. 18 hours later, we have the cap shown above. Within the inlay of the design, we see many unique detail assets unique to my requests and personality. On the front, we have a 24 which is my favorite number, and the number of Robinson Cano my favorite Yankee player. There is also a bowling pin on the cap wearers left on the front panel, signifying one of my passion which is bowling. On the left side of the cap, there is a bowling ball with "AMF" tagged on it. On the back of the cap, which I may say is my favorite section of the fitted, displays the Fleur-de-lis. This is significant due to my adoption from the state of Louisiana years ago. Also, my name in Arabic is written out on the lower right side, due to my fathers origins from which I get my last name. Finally on the cap wearers right side, we conclude our tour of customization. If you look close enough, you can see the artists tag, as he left his initials "NRS" small in the middle. Most importantly, my home state has been given a shout out as "JERSEY" has been included in the inlay of the intricate design scheme. The cap was designed with three fine tip Sharpies, using the colors red, blue, and black. You could stare at this cap for hours, and see something new every time. Wearable are has never seemed so fun, as you are sure to get questions and looks of interest every time you take to the streets with this cap on your head. The plain cap, which served as Niloy Shah's canvas, can be purchased at the official Lakewood BlueClaws team store HERE. Hope you enjoyed this one, it really is a treasure to me as a cap collector. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Swashbuckling SHU

Good afternoon everyone, we've got a college cap featured today on the blog. As you may or may not have recognized, the logo featured on the cranial gem above is that of the Seton Hall University Pirates. Seton Hall began using the logo set, along with THIS ONE, in 1998. As you can see, it features a shadowing silhouette technique, which I feel gives the Pirate some appreciated character. Seton Hall athletics fields fifteen Division 1 level teams, that participate in the Big East Conference alongside the giants of the league such as Syracuse and Villanova. Some of the more prevalent programs are the Men's Basketball and Baseball clubs. The basketball team, which currently plays in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, originated in 1903. Millions of free throws and a hundred plus seasons later, the team has 9 NCAA tournament appearances, 4 sweet sixteen seasons, 2 elite 8 bids, and 1 run all the way to the final four in 1989. Although they have never been able to capture the always elusive NCAA Championship, they can claim a NIT tournament victory in 1953. The basketball team has retired 8 player numbers, some of the more notable of which are #24 Tony Dehere, and #44 Nick Werkman. Now to turn the page to the baseball team. The Swingin' Pirates have fielded a few above average, and notable baseball players in their baseball programs history. Some of which are former 1995 American League MVP Mo Vaughn, lifetime Houston Astro and 3,000 hit club member Craig Biggio, 1995 American League Silver Slugger Award recipient John Valentin, and current Philadelphia Phillie Jason Grilli. Whereas they don't get as much notoriety as the club deserves, they clearly know what they're getting when they offer scholarships. The Seton Hall Pirates cap seen above has a black crown and brim, with the popular Pirate face logo on the front in Hall blue and white. On the rear of the fitted, is the SHU letter mark logo, used sparingly on school merchandise seen HERE. I received this fitted from one of my friends, who happens to work at the school bookstore on campus. Being a St. John's University student, I've seen the Seton Hall Pirates compete on multiple fields in multiple venues. Lastly, shout out to my boy Matt Steier, who received his finance degree at the Stillman School of Business this May. In closing, being a New Jersey Native, I give you the Pirates fight song:  Onward Setonia, We are bound for victory. Hazard Zet Forward, We will honor that decree. Onward Setonia, Stand up proud and stand up tall. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! For the Blue and White, and the glory of Seton Hall.    

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A "Bould" Addition to the Can-Am League

Before you take the time to read todays post, take the time to wish your Mom a happy Mothers Day, and let her know you appreciate all she does for you. Now that that's out of the way, lets talk about the not so familiar cap above. The hat you see, is what will be the home cap of the Rockland Boulders. I'm sure you may be scratching your head, while you question yourself "Who the heck are they?" The Boulders will be participating in their first season, in professional baseball as a member of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (The Can-Am League). The Can-Am League, which is in its eighth season of play, welcomes three teams to their operations this summer. In addition to the Boulders, the Newark Bears, and the New York Federals will play in the league as well. The Rockland Boulders, who will be managed by former big league pitcher Dave LaPoint, will play in Pomona, New York at Ramapo Ballpark; a currently being constructed venue, which will hold just over 4,000 fans. As someone, who was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, this is most certainly a welcomed franchise, which will provide affordable entertainment for the whole family. Play for the Boulders begins on May 26th, with the initial home-stand beginning on June 16th, as stated on the teams official website which can be seen HERE . The teams home cap, shown above, features a blue crown and brim, with a capital B front and center. Additionally there is a baseball flying outwards. The cap can be found in the team store, which can be reached on the Boulders site linked above. Will the Boulders get off to a "Rocky" start, or will they experience some smooth sailing? Only time will tell, as play begins in less than three weeks. Now Play Ball!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's not just a drinking day for ignorant Americans

Hola, and let me be the first to say Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know it's been a while since I've posted last, but bear with me I am a student trying to get a degree. Today, in honor of the holiday that most of us Americans perceive as Mexico's day of Independence, let me shed a little light on its true history and where it occurred. In 1861, the French Army invaded the town of Puebla, Mexico in hopes of conquering territory and controlling the city. An overwhelmed and undermanned Mexican resistance fought diligently, and finally overcame the 8,000 French troops with only a mere 4,000 men. The Mexican Army fended off the illustrious French opposition, which ended up being the last European army invasion in North American history to this day. Now that The Battle of Puebla and the holiday are put in perspective, lets talk about the towns historic baseball team. Los Pericos de Puebla are the baseball team that has played in the city of Puebla, Mexico since 1942. The club, which participates in La Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, has won 4 league championships, the last of which came in 1986. The team has had several on and off stints of activity due to lack of funding and support. The last absence of play occurred from 1995-2000. Upon the recent revival, the club has had relative success in the last decade, culminating this past season when they fell just short of a league title. Thats the story of the Parrots, maybe one day I can visit and enjoy the culture of the city. The cap worn by the team can be seen HERE , as sported by a player last season. The cap features a yellow brim, a forest green crown, and a green and yellow parrot centered in front. So today, when you are sipping on a Corona or a margarita and possibly watching baseball, take a second to reflect on the truly incredible feat the men of Puebla accomplished 149 years ago today. Adios y ahora nosotros bebemos!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An expansion of futility

1969 must have been an interesting year. The New York Jets win their first and only Super Bowl, Apollo 11 put the first man on the moon, and Major League Baseball expanded with 4 new teams. These teams were the San Diego Padres, The Seattle Pilots, The Kansas City Royals, and of course the Montreal Expos. Out of those 4 teams, two have moved cities, one has never won a World Series, and shockingly one has never even played in the World Series. Sound like a fun time to be a general manager? I suppose if you're a fan of the old chopping block. We all know the the Montreal Expos moved to Washington D.C. and became the Nationals a few years back, and that they have signed multiple top rated draft picks, but lets take a minute to see where they've been and what got them where they are. After Montreal lost the Montreal Royals, a minor league affiliate of the Dodgers where Jackie Robinson once played, there was a demand for baseball in Quebec. Naturally, after holding a version of the worlds fair in 1967 dubbed Expo67, the concept of hosting a big league team in Montreal arose, and soon came approval. Shortly enough, a make shift 28,000 seat stadium in Jarry Park was reformatted to MLB standards, and a home was born. After a brief 7 seasons, the club moved into Olympic Stadium, a converted stadium from the '76 Summer Olympics. Now with a permanent home and a substantial following, the club was ready for success. Not so fast. Over the course of the following 29 seasons, the club would manage to capture ONLY 1 division title. Throughout the years, the Expos had such greats on their rosters as Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Larry Walker, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Andres Galarraga, and most recently Vlad Guerrero. Whereas this seems incredibly impressive, the team just couldn't manage to get it all together at the same time. It was one shortcoming after another, and a last place finish to boot. To some, a disappointing past, a reason to forget, but to me it is a bittersweet transition. Clearly it was an organization that was willing to fight for success, which signed talented players in order to put themselves in a decent position, but just couldn't manage to get to the finish line in first. With a new home, fan base, and draft picks which have built hype, maybe the the moment where they turn the corner is just a few years away. Perhaps the days of the Cardinals, Phillies, Dodgers, and Giants vying for National League titles are numbered. We will soon find out. The cap above, which served as the home fitted of Les Expos de Montreal most recently, has a royal blue brim and crown with the unique Expos primary logo front and center. The M which is centered overall stands for Montreal, the E on the left in white stands for Expos, and the B stands for Baseball. Classic Logo, with a troubled past. Maybe the new Nationals W will prove to be better luck, only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Are we there yet?

Welcome back everybody, and happy hump day! The weeks almost over, and we've got one of the most aesthetically pleasing caps of all time today. This cap, which the Seattle Mariners wore in the early to mid 90's served as the crowns to many of the royal family in Kingdome history. Greats such as Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, and Randy Johnson sported this cap in some of the more talent filled rosters in Seattle baseball history. With all those terrific players, can you believe they never once captured the elusive American League Title?; possibly one of the most unbelievable shortcomings in MLB history. After the original incarnation of baseball in the Pacific Northwest with the expansion of the Seattle Pilots in 1969, not many thought America's pastime would return to the region after the relocated one short season later to Milwaukee. Surely enough, King County was awarded yet another crack at it in 1977. Despite a slow start on the track to success, having to wait for their first winning season until year 15th in 1991, the city stuck with the team with hopes of glory one day; they're still waiting. Now in the clubs 36th season, they still have no AL Title, and needless to say no World Series Championship. Along with the Expos/Nationals franchise, they are the only other team to never see the promise land of World Series Baseball. Through the trials and tribulations, here's what they have done: three AL West titles in 1995, 1997, 2001, an AL Wild Card berth in 2000, and won a MLB record 116 games in 2001. 116 games people, thats  70 games over .500 which is truly remarkable. But how do you not win a World Series, let alone miss it all together? In that truth lies the title of the post, "Are we there yet?". The answer: clearly not, because in recent seasons the team has struggled as a whole, missing the post season each of the last 9 seasons. Can they go for a lucky 10? I hope not for their sake; great fans, beautiful newer stadium in Safeco Field, and a developing rotation in the form of Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. Seattle already has one of the higher, if not the highest suicide rates in the country, and another consecutive failed season wouldn't exactly be helping the cause. The cap above, which features a teal brim, navy blue crown, and the beautiful Mariners logo is available at the lids website here if you are interested. Keep an eye on the Seattle Mariners though, maybe they can make a true run at it this year. On second thought probably not, but at least King Felix is worth watching. Enjoy the rainy weather, and the lack of an NBA team, because the baseball won't be much to write home about for yet another season. Until tomorrow, adios!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Full steam ahead for these Captains

Good afternoon fitted fans, feast your eyes on one of my favorite logos in all of minor league baseball; that is up until this season. The cap shown above is the previous home cap of the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League of Minor League Baseball. The captains sail the high waters of the Eastern Division along with such previously featured teams here on TFD as the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The captains are the A ball affiliate of the neighboring Cleveland Indians, and have been since way back when the team was known as the Columbus RedStixx from 1992-2002. If you aren't aware, in A ball, titles are awarded by division for first and second half divisions of the season. Since the franchises creation and humble beginnings in the early 90's, the club has attained 7 first half division titles, 4 second half division titles, and even a league title in last years 2010 campaign. Despite the constant flow of talent on its roster, being that it is a minor league club, they always seem to play into contention, which can only mean great management. In the clubs first year in Lake County, the team managed to make it to the league finals. Although falling short, the franchice set a season attendance record by drawing 458,533 fans despite the cozy confines of their ballpark. That season, the Captains played to a 97-43 record including playoff games. To this day, the leaders of the ship play at Classic Park, a 7,273 seat facility which has seen some of the more incredible seasons in minor league history. Some of todays more noted and accomplished players, that once donned a Captains hat are: Fausto Carmona, Jhonny Peralta, Victor Martinez, and outfielder Ben Francisco. The cap shown, which is still on sale on lids website, features a navy blue crown and brim, with a slightly cartoonistic captain with a bat on his shoulder. Let's hope that with the new logo designs for this season that the magic isn't lost, and the club can continue to turnout successful baseball for years to come. Their season begins tonight a 7p.m. vs the Dayton Dragons; will we see a ship begin to sink, or the powerful engine churn forward into the dog days of summer? The journey begins now, hope they're ready. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Gimmick, Just Around The Curve...

I don't know if you guys have caught wind of this little concept yet, but a minor league baseball team in Pennsylvania is taking the first step into onfield cap innovation this season. That's right, as the illustration above shows, the Altoona Curve, of Altoona, Pennsylvania are sporting reversible home caps this season, which features a rally cap for those late game desperation moments. This past Tuesday, April 5th, the team posted a Press Release displaying the cap shown above completing a 100% team image overhaul. The Altoona Curve are the Double A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and have been ever since their inception into minor league baseball in 1999. They play in the Western Division of the Eastern League, and have found moderate success over the past 12 seasons winning division titles in 2004 and 2010, and capturing their first league title in 2010 as well. The Curve play at Blair County Ballpark, a 7,210 seat facility in its 13th season, which is repeatedly ranked among the top as far as popularity goes in minor league parks. It's most notable features are its beautiful architectural design, the roller coaster from the amusement park next door located behind the right field wall, and also the Allegheny Mountain range view off in the distance. As you can imagine, some of the teams most famous alumni now in the major leagues, are subsequently Pirates of present or past. To name a few of the more successful players: Jose Bautista, Ian Snell, Jack Wilson, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, and Ryan Doumit. Going back to the cap for a moment, to my knowledge this is the first ever attempted reversible cap, with intentions of "Rally-Cap" possibilities. The intended outside of the cap features the new team colors and logo, with a red brim and crown. The "Rally-Cap" side features orange embroidery throughout, and eyes on the front as if to imitate the teams mascot "Al Tuna". Ahh...minor league baseball: so quirky and odd at times, yet undeniably fun. I ordered mine last week as soon as I found out about it, and I suggest you do the same if you want to be a part of fitted history, because I guarantee once people around the country start getting word of this they will fly off the shelves. The cap can be found here . Hope you enjoyed this one, I know I did.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

Everyone ready for their weekends? I know I am, and in honor of the stress I intend on relieving tonight, lets blow off a little more steam with a red hot fitted. The cap you see above is the home cap of the Visalia Rawhide. The Rawhide, who are the single A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, play in the North Division of the California League. They are currently in their third season as the Rawhide, after the recent change in name from the Oaks, which they had been since 1995. The club gets their new name from one of the biggest income producers in Tulare County, Holstein Bulls. Holstein bulls are a large contributer to the success of the dairy community, and as a result Visalia is one of the largest providers of milk in the county. The "hide" play their home games at Recreation Ballpark; a 1,888 seat facility, which opened its doors in 1946. This is definitely one of the lower capacity parks I have ever heard of, being that it houses less fans than college parks I've been to. The teams mascot is named tipper, after the fun loving past time of "cow-tipping" which was put on display in the classic Chris Farley film Tommy Boy. If "Tipper" believes in being due, he should be extremely optimistic; the Rawhide franchise hasn't won anything since 1978 when they won a league title. Keep your head up Tipper, your team only plays in front of remotely no one, and never wins, but it's only a matter of time!...or something. The sweet cap featured above features a black brim, black crown, and has an encircled V as if to imitate a branding iron. Cool cap, which features a cultural icon in reflection of the culture of the area. The cap is available here: http://www.lids.com/MiLB/Visalia-Rawhide/20214319 Pick it up if you like it, if not at least you learned something new today. Until tomorrow, peace out cub scouts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

So you guys are pirates, without the boats? That makes sense...

Hey everybody, hope everyone is having a happy Thursday. If it isn't going so well, tomorrow's FRIDAY! If you're one of those people who is having a less than stellar day, maybe this post will change that; or at least distract you for a few minutes. The team featured today is the Bradenton Marauders. You probably don't really know what that is, as I didn't a mere 3 days ago. If you're keeping score at home, a marauder is an outlaw or mercenary who is sustained by looting; as the post title explains, it is essentially a pirate without a boat. Pardon me if I am incorrect, but isn't the boat the whole point of a pirate? Anyway, The Marauders are in their second year of affiliation with the (you guessed it) Pittsburgh Pirates, and they play their home games at McKechnie Field. The Bradenton ballpark, which served as the Pirates spring training home this past March, was built in 1923 and renovated in 1993. The stadium seats 6,602, and is unique in the aspect that it hadn't had lights for night games until 2008. A great way, in my opinion, to keep the game pure and pay homage to the past, but that's gone now. The franchise, which was most currently affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds, has captured 2 Southern Division Titles in the Florida State League, but has still yet to taste the glory of a league title. The team lost the division championship series in three games this past season, but still managed a 76-62 recored in the process. A new team, with a peculiar name, and a bright future (note merely due to the installment of stadium lights). The cap shown above is the home fitted of the club, which features a black crown, black brim, and a slightly playful caricature of the afore mentioned Marauder. Crisp cap, that keeps a fun playful atmosphere involved, which is what minor league baseball is all about. The cap can be found here at the team store: http://marauders.milbstore.com/store_contents.cfm?store_id=92&dept_id=1359&product_id=8487 With a sweet logo like that, it really is hard to ARGGHHHue with. Until tomorrow, enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In a land far far away, named Cooperstown

Sorry for the absence of posts the past few days, as it is registration time for the next semester of school (Yay, more school!). I've tried to put together a fun post in honor of my weekend trip up to Cooperstown, New York to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It had been close to 10 years since my last trip up to the holy land, and this visit did not disappoint. After a tumultuous 5 hour bus ride, we arrived to 3 floors of pure heaven. The NBHOFAM, was opened in June of 1939, and has 295 baseball related personalities inducted into its glory. Baseball has been around for over 150 years, and as you can imagine there is quite a bit of history behind it. The museum displays game used items, such as jerseys, caps, cleats, balls, bats, warm up attire, lineup cards, and trophies. Additionally, it houses multiple lockers of notable players such as Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron. There were some new additions since my last visit, such as the Viva Baseball! area, which has interactive video displays featuring such players as Alex Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero incorporating baseball in the Caribbean. There was also a women in baseball section, which featured some artifacts and history from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was featured in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. The beauty of this museum is that it incorporates everything that represents baseball; MLB, Negro Leagues, AAGPBL, minor leagues, and international baseball. It truly is an interactive history book of sorts, as you can experience hands on learning in its most effective form. The Museum plays host to over 350,000 visitors a year, which truly is amazing if you haven't ever been there. Why you ask? Because the town is TINY. From June to August the town must be packed, let alone induction weekend. The museum only displays a relatively small amount of "the goods", as it has additional storage areas, which houses over 35,000 pieces in the collection. For a mere 20 bucks, you can really treat yourself to a weekend retreat of some interesting history, an authentic experience of Americas pastime, and a quaint little town in upstate New York with a beautiful lakeside view in the summer. The cap above, which was purchased this weekend, features the Hall of Fame's logo on the front, and the words 'Cooperstown, N.Y." on the rear. A clean cap, which represents so much more than words. It represents a century and a half plus worth of history, and the hard work that the sports founding fathers exuded during the dark days of wooden stadiums and dead balls. The official website of the hall is http://baseballhall.org/ where additional info, and the cap can be found. If you live in America, and you love baseball as I assume you do, do yourself a favor and take a trip to Cooperstown, New York. You won't regret it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Just tryin to get a nut...

Why do Squirrels swim on their backs? well... Never mind. How was everyones opening day? Hopefully great, if not, don't sweat it; you still have 161 games to go! The cap you see above is the official on field cap of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. If you're a relatively big minor league baseball fan, and don't recognize the team name, don't worry. The team is only in their second season in Richmond, as they are a transplant, as a good amount of minor league teams are. Since the Double-A team has been in affiliation with the San Francisco Giants, the club has had 3 team names, 2 locations, and only 1 Western Division Title in the Eastern League. If that doesn't seem like a rough road to success, I don't know what does. The one division title came in the 2009 season, when they were known as the Connecticut Defenders, which provides some optimism for current fans. The team, now managed by Andy Skeels, plays their home games at The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. The Diamond is a near 10,000 seat facility with over 30 seasons of history, as it housed the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves from 1985-2008. Where as it isn't a glorious new facility, it's still a place to call home for somewhat of a nomadic franchise. As a nod of confidence to the teams future in the capitol of Virginia, the $1.5 million has been invested in renovations for new seats and a team store in order to make the old park more warm and cozy. Additionally, the club plans to add indoor batting cages to provide space for extra practice space before games and at-bats for players. After all is said in done, if it doesn't work out as a permanent home, at least Richmond has VCU in the final 4 this year. If you like the cap, its available for purchase HERE . If not, come back tomorrow and maybe you'll see something you like. Until tomorrow, enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Check out the Twitter Page!

Hey everyone, I know you're all watching baseball but if you get a chance follow us on Twitter @FittedDiaries to show your support and catch some extra content. Let's Go Yankees!

Opening Day 2011

Yes folks, finally IT is back. OPENING DAY! Baseball once again enters our homes and hearts for another season. Today, we are all in first place despite whatever team we have rooted for our entire lives. Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland, it doesn't matter what the past is; this could be your year! Not only do we look forward to the fun of going to games with friends, or the tailgating some of us take part in before rivalry series, but it is realistically also a day for family. Today serves as a tradition for some, to share with brothers, cousins, and of course fathers. Whether you're taking off today to catch a game, have MLB.TV so you can see the action you absolutely can't miss, or are going to sacrifice your time to actually miss the games, it is officially time to get excited. The balls being smashed with the crack of a bat, the smell of the freshly cut grass, and the memorable sounds of the vendors pitching their products and even the dull roar of the crowd before an outbreak of a great play; these are the things we look forward to, and now they're back. If these are the things that get you all warm and tingly inside, then this might as well be Christmas. On the rundown today we have Yankees vs. Tigers, Braves vs. Nationals, Reds vs. Brewers, Angels vs. Royals, Cardinals vs. Padres, and Giants vs. Dodgers. Despite whether or not these are teams you love, take in a little bit of a game, or catch the highlights on ESPN tonight. Opening Day just wouldn't be Opening Day without it. In honor of the great Jack Norworth, Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On the road again...

We are now 1 day away from significant games of baseball. In honor of the proximity of happiness upon us all, we're featuring one of my favorite baseball caps of all time. As you may have assumed, the team were taking a closer look at today is the Inland Empire 66ers. The team is named after the famous route 66, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles and was considered the "main street of America" at one point in time. Prior to it's current existence as the 66ers, the club has had multiple prior "personalities" if you will. The team has been known as the Cardinals, Sun Sox, Giants, Suns, Spurs, Spirit, and Stampede, and 66ers in the franchises 70 year history. As expected, there have been multiple affiliations with the name changes. The big brother clubs throughout the decades have been the Giants, Dodgers, Mariners, Cardinals, and now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The team plays in the South Division of the California League in class-A advanced baseball. The club which has claimed 5 league titles, the last of which was during the 2006 campaign, plays their home games at Arrowhead Credit Union Park; a 5,000 seat stadium built in 2003, located in downtown San Bernardino, California. Among the franchises alumni, are Adrian Beltre, Mike Hampton, Felix Hernandez, Paul Konerko, and of course the great Ken Griffey Jr. Hopefully with the new affiliation with the Angels, the club will find traction, and not burnout another season. Just like the afore mentioned route 66, this club has a long trip ahead of them, until they reach the finish line. The cap shown, features a silver brim, a royal blue crown, and the team crest resembling the iconic route 66 signs which we've all seen. Find the cap at lids, by following this link: http://www.lids.com/MiLB/Inland-Empire-66ers/20185465 Enjoy, and I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Join the official fan page

For all the readers out there, go over to facebook, and join the websites official fan page for bonus info and images. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fitted-Diaries/163305427022423 Don't be afraid to leave suggestions for teams you would like to see on the blog, or learn more about. Get to it!

A mascot named "Rocky Bluewinkle"?...I smell rip off NBC

BASEBALL STARTS THURSDAY! Now that we've gotten that little nugget of information out of the way, welcome to the blog. Today, were keeping it in the realm of the minor leagues and featuring the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Blue Rocks, who feature a mascot named "Rocky Bluewinkle", are located in Wilmington Delaware. The club plays in the Northern Division of the Carolina League in class level advanced-A baseball. The team originated, and has stayed in the same city since its humble beginnings in 1993. The only real changes have been different logo sets, and affiliated Major League teams. The Royals were their parent club from 1993-2004, then the Red Sox took over from 2005-2006, followed by Kansas City from 2007 up until now. The club, which plays in Daniel S. Frawley Stadium, has claimed 4 division and league titles (some in separate seasons). Judy Johnson field at Frawley Stadium is a 6,500 plus seat facility, which has been open to the public since 1992, also serves as the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame. The franchise has seen multiple Major League rookies of the year pass through the roster such as Angel Berroa and Carlos Beltran. The club claims an AL Cy Young winner in Zack Grienke, and a World Series champion in Jacoby Ellsbury. Theres surely nothing to be "blue" about when your a member of the club, the franchise has seen over 100 players reach the show in its history. The cap above features a sky blue brim and crown, featuring the Johnny Bluewinkle blowing steam and looking fierce. The cap can be found here at lids: http://www.lids.com/MiLB/Wilmington-Blue-Rocks/20213264 . See you all tomorrow, and keep reading!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The sister site is up!

When you get a chance today, tomorrow, or whenever, go over to http://dormroomsports.blogspot.com/ and check out what were doing over there. We just started it up, so we need followers and feedback. don't be afraid to support the cause!

Who the hell is John Chapman?

Good afternoon fitted fans, and welcome to the only reason why Mondays are tolerable. Today, The Fitted Diaries features one of the most popular minor league fitteds in all of baseball. The cap you see above is the home on-field cap of the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The TinCaps are the new name for an old franchise located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. from 1993-2008 the club was known as the Wizards, and were affiliated with the Minnesota Twins and the San Diego Padres. Today, the team still remains connected with the friars of the west, as a member of the Midwest League of single-A baseball. New name, new mindset I suppose; since the teams name change (in honor of "Johnny Appleseed" or John Chapman) the club has found success in the confines of their new home. The teams new ballpark, as part of a complete franchise overhaul, is Parkview Field. Parkview Field is an 8,100 seat state of the art minor league stadium, which saw the team win their first, and to this day only, league and division titles. In the clubs history, it has seen such MLB greats as Jake Peavy, Torii Hunter, and LaTroy Hawkins (*not so great) develop in the system while on their way to the bigs. This season, former major league catcher Shawn Wooten will manage the TinCaps in hopes of another league title. Wooten was for the most part a career backup, who knows a thing or two about winning considering he was a 2002 world champion with the Angels. As most would figure, that kind of experience cant hurt a club; but only time will tell. The cap above features a forest green brim and crown, with a caricature of an apple with a pot on his head in spirit of Johhny Appleseed himself. Based of the past success of the franchises' prospects, and the manager running the club this year lets hope the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree...pick up the cap at lids, or follow the link below.

Link to the cap: http://www.lids.com/MiLB/Fort-Wayne-TinCaps/20213254