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, 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.   


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!