Continuing the trend of our last post, today we feature another avid fitted cap collector, that crossed my path via social media. Showing up on my "who to follow" tab on twitter quite some time ago, my eyes were drawn to his unique affinity to a franchise that re-located to Washington, D.C. a little over a decade ago.
Derick Chartrand is one of us; a true lover of the 59/50. New Era recognized this almost a year ago in their first ever intimate fan experience, "Crew Era '13", along with a few other kingpins of the game. Now, it's our turn to find out what makes him one of the best. I recently had a chance to ask him a few questions in regards to him and the pursuit of fitted happiness. Here's how it went:
TFD: Where are you from?
DC: I'm from Laval, a small town near Montreal, in the beautiful Canada.
TFD: What size New Era Cap do you wear?
DC: I wear 7 3/8 and sometimes 7 1/2.
TFD: When did you start collecting New Era Caps?
DC: I think it was around 2008.
TFD: Do you remember what your first fitted was?
DC: My first one was the old on-field cap of the Baltimore Orioles. It matched my baseball jersey.
TFD: How many caps are currently in your collection?
DC: Right now, I'm at 295, and they are all fitteds.
TFD: Do you have a favorite one or a couple in the collection?
DC: My favorite right now is my custom Expos fitted that I made at New Era Headquarters. The chance I had to do my own cap and to do it the way I wanted was just awesome. I had to do it with the Diamond Era fabric, only because the Expos will probably never have the chance to have that cap made. After that, I asked the designer to add the Quebec flag on the side to make it more personal to me. The result was just superb. My second favorite is probably my Expos on-field Puerto Rico patch, that my friend Benjamin got me on eBay. That cap was one that I was looking for for a full year.
TFD: What is your favorite sport?
DC: My all-time favorite sport is hockey. I've played since I was six years old. I love hockey.
TFD: What teams do you root for in major sports?
DC: In baseball, there's only one team, since my Expos left, and it's the Bronx Bombers. I'm not really a football guy, but I love the Broncos mostly because of Peyton (Manning). NHL for me is Montreal (Canadiens),since I was four or five.
TFD: What is your favorite shop to pick up fitted caps?
DC: In Montreal, there aren't so many cap stores, so it's Lids or Lids online. I also love to order caps from Hat Club, 4UCaps, and MLB Shop.
TFD: Are there any caps that you would considder your "holy grail" that you can't seem to find and desperately want?
DC: For some people it's not much, but the holy grail for me is the Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones patch cap. That was something I missed that I maybe won't find. My friend from Atlanta, Ricky Ruby, said that cap is rare. I would love to come across that beauty.
TFD: You were part of New Era's inagural fan appreciation event, last year, Crew Era '13. What was that like?
DC: It was a dream come true for me and the other great collectors I met in Buffalo. They paid for my hotel and plane; they treated us like we were really important. We had the chance to talk with almost everyone in the company. We saw how they make the caps. That was awesome. New Era really is one of the best companies. The chance I had was awesome and I will never forget the time I spent with the other great collectors.
TFD: Did you come home with anything sweet?
DC: I came back with a school bag; it took two weeks before I received everything else I got and bought. New Era paid for the shipping when they sent my 27 fitteds, head-stands, a 24 cap-carrier, and my New Era glass block. My favorite cap of the package is my "MERICA" 4th of July exclusive, that I bought under the influence of the American boys.
TFD: What is your all-time favorite fitted?
DC: My regular Expos blue on-field cap. For me, it's a classic, but at the same time, it's a piece of Montreal history.
TFD: What do you personally feel makes your collection a great one?
DC: Nothing really. The thing that I love the most about my collection is how I store them. (Seen at the top) I love to wake up in the morning and see my wall. The big thing to remember is that it's not about the number, but about what you have. My collection is mostly on-field MLB and MiLB caps. I also have some NHL and NFL fitteds. Some people are more into comic caps (or other varieties) and that makes their collection as awesome as mine, too. You have to be proud of what you have.
TFD: If people want to follow you and your journey through caps, where can they find you on social media?
DC: On: facebook: Derick Chartrand
Derick really is someone to follow at those extensions. His Instagram is acceptional. He has a creative way of featuring his caps that is parallel to no one else. It's worth a look. I hope you enjoyed todays post. Stay tuned for our next interview in the comming days.