Thursday, December 27, 2012

World Baseball Classic Preview: Dominican Republic National Team

The history of the Dominican Republic in the world of baseball is one with much success, talent, and many Hall of Famers. However, in the two previous installments of the World Baseball Classic (W.B.C.), fate has not been as kind to the island-nation. 

In 2006 and 2009, the Dominican Republic was represented by talented coaches and players alike, only to stumble across the finish line both years. In 2006, the D.R. finished the competition in fourth place, as a semi-finalist. The next time around in 2009 they continued to stuggle, despite fielding arguably the best team in the tournament, being eliminated in the first round. Needless to say, they have their work cut out for them come March seventh.

The Dominican Republic fields over a hundred players in Major League Baseball today, along with countless minor league prospects. Today, most would argue that they the most talented athletes to the sport are from the Dominican, and with good reason. That being said, let's meet some of the representatives who will wear the cap above, this year:

Robinson Cano: Robinson is currently the second baseman for the New York Yankees. He has appeared in 4 All-Star Games, 2 Home-Run Derbies (winning one), captured 2 Gold Gloves, and 4 Silver Sluggers Awards. Additionally he was part of the 2009 World Series Champion Yankees team. 

Jose Bautista: Jose is a current outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays. In past years he has provent to be a threat at the plate, posting home run totals over the past 3 years in the 50's, 40's and high 20's accordingly. Over the past three seasons, he has made 3 All-Star Game appearances, captured 2 home run titles, and 2 Silver Sluggers Awards.

David Ortiz: David is currenlty a member of the Boston Red Sox of the American League. In his career, he has been part of 2 World Series Champion teams. Additionally, he has made 8 All-Star Game appearances, captured 5 Silver Slugger Awards, a home run title, and currently is the all time leader in home runs and rbi's as a designated hitter. The Sporting News named David to the All-Decade Team of the 2000's. 

In addition to that big-three, the team will also feature notable players this W.B.C. such as Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Ubaldo Jiminez, and Nelson Cruz. 

 The cap above features a red brim, blue crown and an interlocking "R" and "D" on the front in red and white (traditionally read as Republica Dominicana). On the side, the cap features the flag of the Dominican Republic, and on the back the World Baseball Classic logo is centered. 

Play begins in group C against Venezuela, with games against Puerto Rico, and Spain to follow. 

This cap can be found HERE at New Era. 

Check back in the coming days for the preview of the next team in the series, the United States of America. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Q & A with The Cohen Brothers of Stown LTD.

 One of the most appreciated talents in the world is artistic creativity. The tangible presentation of the inner-workings of the mind for all to see is something we often marvel at. When it's something great, we all develop a desire for it. Original works of art are often extremely pricey and frangile; 2 big reasons which might prevent you from displaying these works, or buying them to begin with. What if you could own and display great art without having to worry about it losing value? Seem too good to be true? Well, not quite.

With the fore mentioned in mind, Brandon and Spencer Cohen, of Long Island, New York, have started Stown LTD. ; a graffiti inspired streatwear company. The unique and eye opening designs come from Spencer, as Brandon handles the marketing and sales aspects of the brand. Together, they have embarked on a journey of outfitting the world with culture and inspiration. 

The following is the Q and A The Fitted Diaries conducted with the brothers earlier this week: 

TFD: Would you call yourself a sports enthusiast? If so, what are your favorite sports/teams? 

SL: Not particularly, but I have love for all New York teams!

TFD: Do you have a fitted collection of your own? If so, how many do you own? 

SL: I have an extensive hat collection to say the least. I have about 5 new era boxes filled. I haven't counted how many hats I have recently, but I would say upwards of 100.

TFD: What was your first fitted? 

SL: It was a navy blue Yankee fitted.

TFD: What would you say is your favorite fitted? 

SL: My favorite fitted is the first hat we ever put out. We refer to it as the OG Stown Fitted. It’s an all-black hat with teal accents and a green under brim. It Features a Medusa like face in yellow, which has evolved into our signature logo. I would love to bring these hats back in future.

TFD: For those who do not know, what is Stown LTD? 

SL: Stown LTD. is a Graffiti inspired streetwear brand whose goal is to create wearable art & inspire everyone our brand reaches. It was started by two brothers from Long Island, New York July of 2011.

TFD: What type of products do you offer? 

SL: We offer fitted hats, snapbacks, clothing, jewelry, and are working on a line of toys. We are however known best for our hats! We’ve put out 4 different New Era Caps to date. We’re about to produce our second run of Zephyr hats. We will be having one of our most exciting products to date coming out soon, which is a fitted hat through Grassroots California.

TFD: Where can the products be purchased?  

SL: You can also check out some of our gear at Karmaloop’s website for independent brands & Select Stown LTD. from the drop down.

TFD: Spencer, what would you say you use for inspiration as a designer/artist? 

SL: I Love art, graffiti and all types of weird shit. I find inspiration in my friend’s reactions when I drop something new to keep putting out something that was doper than the last time. Seeing people rock my hats is the best reward.

TFD: What made you decide to start Stown LTD? 

SL: I started as an artist. I always tried selling my artwork and always found it to be a pain in the ass to go through the motions, and not sell dick as an un-established young artist. At the end of the day I found myself frustrated and underselling my work. At this point I decided I had to apply my artwork to a different medium. At the time, hats were becoming insanely popular, so we took a shot and tried to get some New Era hats made. The rest is history.

TFD: What do you see as the next step for the company? 

SL: I envision the next step for our company to be getting stocked in some influential brick & mortar retail locations. Having an exclusive product is great; at the same time it’s crucial to our evolution as a brand to continue to develop a strong customer base and following.

If you haven't heard of their work before, do yourself a favor and check out the links in this post. Definitely something worth looking into, that will more than likely leave you hooked. 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Jets Sideline Cap

It should be no surprise to anyone at this point of the year that the New York Jets are having a...less than stellar season in the NFL. It is what it is. We, as fans, can't do anything about it, and we're just passengers of pain along for the ride (New York Jets Fan-Code Affidavit). 

That being said, let me introduce the Breast Cancer Awareness New Era NFL Sideline Cap for the fore mentioned New York Jets. This year marks the first year of New Era's outfitting partnership with the NFL, in which they are executing to perfection from most fans point of view. They have been great looking caps that represent each of the franchises, with a 59/50 fit that we all know and love. This specific cap that was released for all October games this year. It's marketed like any other New Era Cap with the size sticker and the league authenticated merchandise sticker, but has a third of a different variety. Located on the left side of the brim is a pink sticker reminding all of the pandemic of breast cancer. The sticker urges all to visit where you can bid on and buy "Pink" items where proceeds go to cancer research, schedule a yearly mamogram, and even learn about the disease. This is truly a great effort and partnership with the American Cancer Society by the NFL and New Era which I commend them both on. 

I know fashion is fashion, and a lot of people will probably just buy it for the unique colorway of gray and pink, but please remember there is a greater cause here of which you can wear the cap with pride.

The cap shown above has a gray crown, with the New York Jets logo front and center where the normally green areas are now highlighted in pink. The top and bottom of the brim is pink, and on the reverse of the cap, the breast cancer pink ribbon is centered with the NFL shield overlapping. 

You can help support and buy caps and other merchandise for your favorite franchise in support Breast Cancer Awareness HERE

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Era X EA Sports NFL Madden Inspired Snap-Back

It took 4 months, but it finally arrived. The New Era, NFL Madden inspired EA Sports Snap-Back is here. This cap is a mail-in exclusive offered through EA. As shown above, the EA Sports logo is located front and center, the company slogan, "It's In The Game", is located on the right side, New Era Flag on the left, and a chalk board play marked up on the under brim. The back features a khaki colored snap back clasp. Unfortunately, this cap was not for sale in stores. However, it is available on eBay, HERE. Definitely an exclusive I'm proud to have, and one I would want if I didnt own it; even if it isn't a fitted.