Thursday, April 3, 2014

Collectors Corner with Mike Perri

     What you see above, may be the sweetest cake ever created. Not literally, well perhaps; but more in the sense of it's payment of homage to the 59/50 New Era Cap, in dessert form. The carefully crafted pastry item was what caught my eye, and ignited a connection of a similar hobbies with Mike Perri, of Canada.

     Mike has also recently found the spotlight through the various forms of the New Era Cap social media extensions, with his carefully organized display of his cap collection, seen below. (It has over 20,000 likes on facebook.) If those two assets aren't enough to draw your attention to the following interview, there's no hope for you.

TFD: Where are you from?

MP: I was born, raised, and still reside in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. It's a small city of 18,000 right near Niagra Falls.

TFD: What size New Era Cap do you wear?

MP: I wear 7 1/4 now a days, but will either go down or up a size if I can't pass up a specific cap.

TFD: Do you remember what your first New Era Cap was?

MP: My first New Era Cap was a Philadelphia Phillies Cooperstown cap that I still have. I got it when I was visiting family in  New Jersey/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We ended up gonig to three or four different malls before I found one I really wanted.

TFD: How many caps do you currently have in your collection?

MP: Right now I have 215 59Fifty caps, but that number will go up very soon, as I have a couple orders I'm waiting to get in. Plus I'll be making a trip down to Buffalo in the near future to grab a bunch of new stuff that I'm still waiting to drop.

TFD: Do you have any "rules" as to what makes the cut, in regards to what goes into your collection?

MP: I really have no rules to my collection. If it's a sweet cap, I'll buy it. The only teams I won't have in my collection are the Canadiens, Senators (although I have one that was a gift), Yankees, and Cowboys. I also stay away from comic and movie caps, usually just because I wasn't big into that stuff when I was younger. I feel like guys that have caps from comics or superheroes have a huge passion for that kind of stuff, and I feel like those guys should be the ones rocking those sick caps, not me.

TFD: Do you have a particular way in which you display or store your fitteds at home?

MP: My hats at my house are displayed on my walls in my bedroom. I got the tip from Benjamin Christensen, a huge collector. I use push pins and butterfly paper clips to have them hang on the walls with the fronts facing out. Right now I only have 180 caps on my walls, as I have to take down some stuff to make more room. The rest get stored in plastic bags in my computer desk, for now.

TFD: Do you have a favorite cap in particular?

MP: My most favorite cap would have to be either my Blue Jays 59th Anniversary of the 59Fifty cap or my Mighty Ducks 20th Anniversary caps that just came out this year. Wouldn't be a collector without the 59Fifty and my love for hockey, which started by watching The Mighty Ducks both on the NHL and the movies and T.V. series.

TFD: What are your favorite sports?

MP: My favorite sport is obviously hockey, as a Canadian, but I love all sports. I'll play anything and I watch every sport on T.V.

TFD: What are your favorite teams to root for?

MP: My favorite teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, and the Philadelphia Eagles. You can tell I live close to Toronto!

TFD: You recently went to the NHL Winter Classic, between the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings, in Michigan. What was that experience like?

MP: The Winter Classic easily has to be one of the best moments of my life, so far. Especially being able to spend it with my dad, who got me into hockey, and is the reason I am a Leafs fan today. Just being in the same place as everyone else, knowing there was 100,000 people in attendance, was crazy. The fact that it went to a shootout and the Leafs won made it that much more memorable. I could have been out there all day watching them play. It was freezing and we ended up having to walk 45 minutes to an hour to the game and back, as there weren't many cabs running because of the weather. Even with all that, I'd relive that day over and over again if I could. If anyone has the chance to go to an event like that, do not even hesitate. It'll be worth the money and any weather conditions you might have to face. Haha.

TFD: Did you pick up any special edition caps at the Winter Classic?

MP: Unfortunately, they only had Reebok apparel for the game, so there were no New Era Caps, which was a huge disappointment. I do not have any caps from the game besides a toque. I might through it out and grab a snapback still, just to commemorate the game.

TFD: Are there any caps that you maybe missed out on that you'd consider your "holy grail"?

MP: Some "holy grails" for me, right now, would be New Era's "Capture The Flag" line. The line started out in 2004 and gets various famous people to design a cap, which is made in limited numbers, and comes in a full display box with silk lining, a signed card, and a little mirror. I am trying to find as many as I can from the line, but still have yet to get my hands on one.

TFD: Where is your favorite place to shop for New Era Caps?

MP: My favorite place to shop for my caps is none other than the staring place of the company and the headquarters of New Era, the New Era Buffalo Flagship Store. It is about a 45 minute to one hour drive, depending on the border wait, so I don't always get to go just to browse. I will usually pick out a bunch of caps over a month and then go pick them all up. I actually have the honor of saying I can consider the manager, Billy, as a friend, now. We're always talking caps. Crazy the friendship caps can bring you.

TFD: What are your thoughts on the fitted community?

MP: The fitted community is amazing! I have built friendships with so many guys just talking about and sending each other caps that aren't available in each other's areas. I've gotten caps from the United States, Canada, and even the Netherlands. I've also shipped out caps to the U.S., other parts of Canada, Europe, and Mexico. We're always hunting for hats for other guys, and everyone is doing the same back; a very tight knit community whose always looking out for each other.

TFD: If the readers are interested in following you on social media, where can they find you?

MP: You can find me on facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
        facebook: Mike Perri
        Instagram: @PERRIM16
        Twitter: @perri_mike

     Toss me follows and don't be scared to send me some messages. I'm always down to help other collectors with questions or getting caps for them that they can't find on their area. Stay fitted and keep collecting!

     I'd like to thank Mike for getting back to me with the answers to my many questions, very quickly. I hope all of you got something out of it, and hopefully added a follow on social media. Until next time, keep collecting!

-Matt Aballi
Twitter: @MattAballi
Instagram: matt_aballi

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