Friday, May 25, 2012

Before The Braves, there were Crackers

Hey everybody. Just keeping you all up-to-date today, on one of the more recent fitted acquisitions to the ever growing collection. This is an Atlanta Black Crackers inspired New Era 59/50.   

This particular 59/50 was most recently worn by the the Atlanta Braves in a 1997 "Turn-Back The Clock" game against the Philadelphia Phillies (playing the part of the Philadelphia Stars). The game paid homage to two former Negro League teams from before the breaking of the color barrier by Jackie Robinson in 1947. 

The Black Crackers operated from 1919-1952. Their stint as a member of the Negro League, was sandwiched around a couple runs as an independent club. They adopted their moniker from the all white club in town (the Atlanta Crackers), whom they shared their home park with.

The original Ponce de Leon Park was first constructed for the 1907 season. The 20,000 seat ballpark lasted up until 1923 when a fire ravaged the venue. A second edition was re-created for the 1924 season, although this time it was dubbed Spiller Park, in honor of the Atlanta Cracker's owner Tell J. Spiller. The unique aspect of the park, which was demolished in 1965, was a Magnolia Tree located in the outfield. The interesting quirk of this obstacle was that balls hit into the tree were deemed in-play up until 1947. The historic tree, which had seen players the likes of Babe Ruth lodge balls among its branches, still stands in the parking lot of a shopping plaza now on the site. 

The only championship the Black Crackers captured was the 1938 second half title in the Negro American League. Unfortunately, their championship series with the Memphis Red Sox was subsequently canceled following "Umpire Controversies" surrounding the games. 

The cap above features a navy brim and crown, with a bold all-white uppercase "A" front and center representing the city of Atlanta. On the rear of the crown, is the New Era adopted Negro League logo, which is branded across their wide range of league related caps. 

I found this cap at , where they have a solid selection of Negro League caps to choose from as well. 

I hope I was able to share some knowledge on today's subject to make your Friday slightly less painful. Have a safe and great Memorial Day Weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fan Cap Collection with Angel Del Rosario

Check out this feature video from New Era Cap Co. which breaks down the extensive collection of a personal friend and fitted connoisseur Angel Del Rosario. We featured Angel a few months back in the first edition of our Q and A collectors series. Enjoy. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The 1972 Chicago (Red) White Sox

If you happen to be watching a Chicago White Sox game this summer, and something seems "a little off", take a deep breath and relax. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK. The hue on your television screen or computer monitor is not on the fritz, it's merely a Sunday home game on the South side of the windy city.

By most standards, 1972 was an average year for the Chicago White Sox: the club finished the regular season with a final record of 87-67 (a mere 20 games over the all important mark of .500), they found themselves 5.5 games behind the American League West Champion Oakland Athletics at seasons end, and they were destined for another long off-season in the middle of a 55 year championship drought. Although the next ticker tape parade, in celebration of the teams third title, seemed to be an eternity away, a certain first basemen gave the teams fans something to watch.

Dick Allen, a 31 year old infielder, took the Chicago fan base by storm with his inspiring offense. Allen, who averaged 25 home runs and 80 RBI a season over his career, quickly opened eyes across the nation. The first basemen slugged 37 homers and drove home 113 runs that summer, which was good enough to take home MVP honors in the American League, and make a start at the All-Star Game in Atlanta. Allen would spend two additional seasons in Chicago, before moving onto Philadelphia and Oakland, where he spent the twilight years of his career.

Other notable players and coaches to take the field for White Sox that summer, include: Rich "Goose" Gossage (more notably of the New York Yankees), Wilbur Wood (who was also an All-Star in 1972 and won 24 games), and manager Chuck Tanner, who managed 6 seasons on the South Side (Tanner also won a World Series Championship with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979).

This cap is more or less the same one we all know and love today, outside of a couple key differences: The diagonally interlocking "S" "O" "X" logo on the front has a slightly more "boxy" font to it, and the primary colorway is a bright red other than the typical black worn on their primary cap. All in all, it really is a beautiful cap. I give New Era and the White Sox credit for bringing back an all time classic look, that I wouldn't mind making a somewhat regular return to the field past 2012.

 The cap can be found and any of your major New Era retailers, but this one in particular I picked up at Cap City in West New York, New Jersey. The link to the stores website is HERE.

I hope you enjoyed today's post, and maybe even learned a thing or two. Have a great weekend.