Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7- Reading Fightin Phils

It’s not often that I come across a hat that I really NEED for my collection. Yes, there are hats that I suppose I need in per team in order to fulfill my New Era-style Pokemon collection, but a lot of the ones that I see on the market are ones that I’ll see on the shelves and internet for months to years down the road. No, I’m talking about “love at first sight” hats. The ones that make you stop in your tracks, pull out your wallet and shell out whatever bit of cash they’re asking you to pay. This, my friends. This is one of those hats.

I came across it on HatClub.com when I was on the hunt for a, brace yourselves, San Francisco Giants hat. I know. Most of you are crushed to hear this, but I assure you I have a great post for that hat in a few months. Anyway, I immediately stopped perusing the other hats when I saw this because I had never seen a logo quite like it. At first I thought it was a custom design for a particular brand. I wasn’t really sure for what, so I took to the interwebs to find out a bit more about it before I threw it in my cart. As it turned out, it’s a Minor League cap for the Reading Fightin’ Phils. Once I got confirmation I threw it and the Giants hat in my cart and checked out.

The story behind this hat is really not that interesting except for the fact that the team, the Reading Phillies, had one of the longest running team names in Minor League Baseball. From 1967-2012 they were know by this name, but at the end of the 2012 season the Phillies’ management opted for a change. With other teams this has been viewed on both sides of the coin. Some teams have become more financially successful while others have had to eat a huge loss. All ready two months into the season I can only imagine that this has become a huge success for the AA affiliate. 

Due to it being a new hat, let alone a Minor League hat I unfortunately don’t have a tremendous amount to say about it. I always try to focus on players and the accomplishments that took place while wearing this hat; however, since this is new to the season there isn’t a whole lot to say at the moment. Perhaps down the road I can update it at season’s end with a few numbers. I’ll be sure to keep a sharp eye out on that. What I can say is that this is their home cap. Now, this sparks a little bit of a question because on the team shop Web site it does have it labeled as the home cap; however, on Wikipedia it is labeled as the home alternate. I will merely leave it as such until I get word from the team or anyone else in the Reading, Pennsylvania are who knows before I make any edits.

I suppose I can add what drew me to this cap, the fist. There was an old show on Comedy Central in the late 1990s called Upright Citizens Brigade; it was a sketch comedy show that featured the likes of Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Amy Poehler. The show itself was as a result of the New York City-based comedy troupe in which current MLB Fan Cave Dweller Nick Mendillo (@grevalt) is a member of. Every show was 30 minutes long and had an ongoing story throughout. The episode in particular that I’m thinking of was season three, episode 10 entitled “Thunderball.” As it would turn out, it was the final episode before the show was pulled from the air.

“Thunderball” had nothing to do with the James Bond flick with the same name; actually, it was a name of one of the greatest fictional sporting events in television history. Pro Thunderball, as it was known, combined football, baseball, dodgeball, street fighting, pit fighting (there’s a difference), demolition derby and stripping, and was played by borderline homicidal maniacs. For the sake of not blathering on you can watch the episode here, but broken up into three parts: Thunderball!!!

The essential piece of this is the name of one of the teams, the Decatur Fist. And, as you can see, their mascot is a guy running around in a giant fist costume. In 13 years that image has never left my mind, and when I came across this hat that was all I could think about. The “F” logo is comprised of ostrich feathers and the fist as the cross is the arm of their new ostrich logo. As unusual as their may seem, it actually makes perfect sense since the team’s mascot is derived from one of the in-between inning shows of an a hot dog vendor named Phrank who rides around on an ostrich throwing hot dogs at people. I realize the last few paragraphs will lead you to the conclusion that I’m high and/or making this up, but I assure that I’m telling you the truth. As the season progresses and I acquire more Fightin’ Phils hats the story will come together a little bit better.  As for now, I have a sweet new hat that will always remind me, and probably you now, of one of the darkest comedy shows in TV history… and baseball.

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