This year marks the return of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, to the great city of New York. The world's top talents from the baseball diamond will descend upon the big apple for a three day period from July 14th to the 16th. It will be the first time the spectacle has been in New York since the final year of the original Yankee Stadium, in 2008, where the events took place.
The All-Star Game break usually has a similar format, year in year out; Prospect Game on the Sunday, along with the Celebrity and Legends Softball Game which follows. Then Monday is the AL and NL workout day, followed at night with the Home-Run Derby. Concluding on Tuesday night, with the All-Star Game, itself; it's all very predictable and traditional. There is one big change this year with all that is involved. Any guesses?
This is the first year, in memory, in which the American League and National League will not (wait for it) have to wear those god-awful 39/30 batting practice caps during the Home-Run Derby. As all the batting practice caps have been made this year, the All-Star Game caps are of the 59/50 variety for once, in the Diamond Era variety; one small step for Major League Baseball and New Era, one giant leap for collectors everywhere. There's finally a fitted version of an All-Star Break commemorative cap, that's worth adding to the collection, in support of your league of preference. It may seem like a little thing if you're not as addicted to the cap culture as others, but believe that it makes a difference.
Sure, you could always go with your teams standard 59/50 on-field New Era, with the commemorative patch on the side (and in recent years with the 2 stars alongside the MLB Logo on the back), but this is better...way better. So in an open statement to Major League Baseball's marketing department and New Era, allow me to express the collective thoughts of the fitted-community as a whole: THANK YOU, YOU FINALLY REALIZED THE OLD ONES SUCKED.
The American League's version, which I was able to find earlier today at Citi Field (the site of the ASG), is shown at the top. It has a Mets blue crown, a Mets orange back 4 panels, and 2 white front panels. It has a Mets themed logo with a stylized "A" centered. The National Leagues BP Cap, seen HERE, is essentially the same cap, except with the orange and blue switched, and an "N" located in front, across the Mets themed logo. Both are really nice caps, which I would not be surprised to see fly off the shelves.
This year's Home-Run Derby will be headlined by one player from each of New York's teams; the Mets and Yankees. The AL will be led by the Yankees Robinson Cano, and the NL will be captained by the hometown hero David Wright.
All we can hope for is that MLB and New Era recognize the drastic improvement they've made with the batting practice caps, and keep up the good work. Both caps described above, can be found for purchase HERE.
We have 2 weeks until the fun kicks off, and the competitions commence. Pull hard for your league, because remember, the winner of the All-Star Game clinches home field advantage for the World Series. You could say this makes a bit of a difference. Until next time, enjoy, and keep collecting.