Sunday, January 20, 2013

January 20- Everett AquaSox

Since 1995, the Everett AquaSox have been the short season-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. I bring this up first because I want to point out that it took them 15 years to introduce this ridiculously practical, yet awesome hat. The old-school pitchfork logo is a throwback to the Mariners teams of the 1970s and 80s, as well as homage to the throwback style the team has reintroduced into their hat and jersey combinations. Seriously though!? 15 years?

The hat was brought in as an alternate/road cap, and has proven to be a huge hit with folks in the Pacific Northwest. Hell, I fell to my knees and bought it immediately after the first glance. There’s something incredibly alluring about it, besides the logo. For some reason the combination of navy blue and teal is soothing to look at, but very entrancing at the same time.

Since the hat has only been in use for the last two seasons, I found it a tad difficult to really pick anybody out worthy enough to grace the front-right panel. After a bit of research only two names really popped out...

#27- Tom Wilhelmsen. I admit, I like to pronounce his name in the traditional German dialect (The “W” is a “V” sound), but most important, Wilhelmsen played for the AquaSox for three games during the 2010 season. While there he went 14 2/3 innings, posted one win and an ERA of 3.68 with 14 strikeouts. Needless to say, with the velocity that Wilhelmsen packs, he didn’t hang around very long. He moved on up to the west side and proved to be a reliable closer for the Mariners in 2012 with 29 saves and an ERA of 2.50. Granted, he had a few outings as a late innings guy before taking over his new role.

#1- Luis Rodriguez was a short range journeyman for six seasons in Major League Baseball. And by that, he only played for three teams in that time. In 2011 he got picked up by the Mariners but was sent down to Everett for a rehab stint, as the nearby AAA affiliate Tacoma Rainiers were on the road at the time. While there he played in three games batting .333 with two RBI. Then, he got sent up to Tacoma. That’s about it.

That’s the problem I have with new hats. There isn’t much of a history established other than what we see aesthetically. I’ll have to give it some time and hope an up-and-coming superstar sports it.

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