Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23- Los Angeles Angels

The first time I saw this cap was sitting on the couch at the MLB Fan Cave, watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim taking on the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 26 of this last season (2012). Ricardo Marquez and I both turned to each other, locked eyes and gave out a simultaneous, “Oooooooohhhhhh!!!” Yes, this hat is that awesome.

This hat is not new, but a throwback to the old life of the Angeles in Pacific Coast League, and also served as the inspiration for the Los Angeles Dodgers logo which has been going strong since 1958. The hat was only used for three years from 1955-1957 when the Angels served as the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs (1932-56) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1957). After the ’57 season the team moved north to Spokane, Washington to become the Indians. But, one thing that is to be noted is that the current Angeles team has no actual affiliation with the old Angels squad other than the name. Therefore, the old school uniforms they wore last May were technically incorrect. But what do I know, right?

When putting together numbers for this hat I had a hell of a time finding any of significance. You’d be surprised what you aren’t able to find within a three-year window. However, there were two names that I immediately recognized and spent over an hour trying to track down their jersey numbers. In which case, when trying to track down minor league numbers from almost 60 years ago, I wish you all the best of luck. I got so flustered that I had to recruit outside help. Luckily, I asked the right guy.

#26- (First off, yes. I did screw up on making the 6. It looks more like a lower case "b".)
John Beare (@Interstate19Cap) and I have been a pair of chatty Kathys for the last seven months or so, and he is definitely one of the guys who I admire that has a lot more New Era Caps than I do. But, where slight envy comes in, so does knowledge. Having seen a photo of the cap as his avatar on Twitter a few months ago I figured that he, of all people, might know how to find both players’ numbers. Sure enough, he did. Tommy Lasorda played for the Angels in their final season and John happened to have a book by a man named Richard Beverage (awesome name) that had this tidbit inside. Lasorda went 7-10 with a 3.90 ERA, which wasn’t exactly the cat’s meow of his career, but how can you blame a guy who had been moved up and down routinely from the Majors to the Minors throughout his career?

#?- The second spot on my hat is still blank on account of no one knowing what number Monte Irvin wore for the Angels. Irvin only played four games for the Angels in 1957, which is not exactly going to make the hunt any easier. While I could just role with another name and number, that would kind of defeat the purpose of what I’m doing. First off, there aren’t really any other notable names from those three years. Second of all, despite only four games, Irvin is a Hall of Famer. Irvin is best known for his time with the New York Giants, winning a World Series title with the club in 1954 alongside Willie Mays. I would almost guarantee that the vast majority of you reading this post probably didn’t even know who Irvin was until I just pointed it out. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973 by the Negro League Committee after his career had come to a close in 1956.

So, if anyone wants to do me a huge favor, and knows where to find that piece of information, it would be more than appreciated.


#15- Success!!! After a month-and-a-half of investigating, an answer has finally been brought to light. A fellow member of the Twitter-verse named Nick Parson (@NicholasParson) is the person most responsible for this find. Prior to the discovery, very little hope was left in the search after a trail ran cold with Parson's contact at the library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Jim Gates. I received a direct message from Nick a few days ago in which he detailed that a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) came across Irvin wearing #15 on his jersey in a program from April of 1957 and relayed the information to Jim about an hour after Jim had told Nick that hope was pretty much lost. Absolutely incredible. I cannot thank Nick Parsons, Jim Gates and SABR enough for making this discovery.

It really blows my mind to think that my dumb little hat markings helped bring a 56-year-old oversight to light. I thought I was just being clever. Wow!


  1. Can you please tell me where you found this hat? I have been looking everywhere for one.

    1. I found it on They might be out right now, but keep checking.