Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 3- Baltimore Orioles

To be honest, I really didn’t give it much thought until this morning. Today marks the first bowl game I will be missing featuring my alma mater THE University of Oregon since they stampeded the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Holiday Bowl at the end of the 2008 regular season. More importantly, today marks the only BCS Bowl that I’ll miss since Chip Kelly took over as coach prior to the 2009 season. Frankly, I’m cool with this, but like all three BCS games that fell before, I’m still sporting my favorite Ducks shirt and one of the newest additions to my New Era collection, a custom 1901 Baltimore Orioles cap.

One thing that should be known about me is that I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to MLB gear. Every now-and-then I’ll come across something that really blows my mind, but it’s not often. That’s not to say that I don’t like custom gear, I just prefer to rock the classic look. All of that pretty much went out the window; however, when I saw this hat.

During my time in New York with the MLB Fan Cave I had an Oregon Ducks hat that my best friend Sam Spencer had given to me about a month after the Ducks had beaten Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl. Sam is a clothing designer for Nike, so it was easy for him to snag one for me. Little did I know, it was a prototype, and therefore the only one in existence. Sadly the hat went AWOL some time during my time in NYC and I can only assume that it was stolen, as none of the other 173 or so hats I had were missing.

Only for the sake that it was a rare hat do I even miss that hat. The reality is that I don’t really like how Nike hats, fitted ones at that, rest on my head. However, when it comes to Oregon hats, New Era doesn’t have the rights to produce any, so… I just figured to never buy an Oregon hat again… until 3 weeks ago when I came across this at

The original 1901 hat has solid black, and featured the yellow “O” only on the front of the jersey, over the heart. It served as the road uniform for the Orioles for one season before they redesigned their uniforms again in 1902, and then they just flat out moved to NYC in 1903 and became the Highlanders, who then changed their name permanently to the Yankees. The only notable player from the 1901 Orioles team is someone who became more well-known for being a manager, and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame as the general of the New York Giants in 1937, John McGraw. Another important piece of info from this time period is that none of the uniforms had numbers on the back as this didn’t become a fixture until the 1920s for the primary reason of establishing batting order.

What’s even more interesting about this hat is that the “O” is nearly identical to the “O” that the U of O has been sporting since 2000, for football, and 2002 for all other sports. Granted, the Oregon “O” is a bit wider, but you can see where I’m going with this. (Interesting fact about the Oregon “O”, it’s a combination of Autzen Stadium for the outside, and Hayward Field for the inside.)

Knowing these important details, I’ve opted to keep the hat blank. I suppose I could have marked it with 1901, but this really isn’t a 1901 Orioles cap. For now, it will be my “hopefully” lucky Oregon hat. Go Ducks!!!

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