The 2015 major league baseball season starts this Sunday when the Cubs and Cardinals square off. It’s sure to be an interesting season, if only because Alex Rodriguez is back. Sports Illustrated predicts that the Cleveland Indians will win the World Series. Sporting News says it will be the Cubs. And SB Nation is calling it for the Pirates. If any of those picks come true it will be the end of a long drought for one of those franchises. But odds are, all those predictions will be meaningless by the All-Star break.
Since there are so few certainties in baseball, we decided to focus on something that we know will absolutely be 100% true: that major league baseball players will wear hats on their heads. Some of those caps will be sweet, some will be ugly. To understand which is which, we put together this handy guide that ranks every major league cap.
30. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
I grew up a big O’s fan and was excited when they brought back the cartoon bird. But the truth is, I never wear my cap because A.) there’s just too much orange and B.) the only thing it looks good with is more Orioles gear.
29. OAKLAND A’S
Caps whose brims are different color than the crown always seems a little hokey. When I think of this hat the two things that jump to mind are Coco Crisp’s afro shooting out the sides and Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Art Howe in Moneyball. Neither of which are pleasant images to have dancing through your head.
28. CLEVELAND INDIANS
The Indians have been phasing out the Chief Wahoo logo because, you know, it’s racist. But he is still present on the home caps (road caps have a classy block letter “C”). Even if it wasn’t offensive, the logo would still be goofy. And who wants to look goofy?
27. MILWAUKEE BREWERS
As admirable as it is that there is a major league team named after beer makers, a sprig of barley is hardly the kind of symbolism that incites passionate fervor. Woo-hoo, grain.
26. MINNESOTA TWINS
In case you didn’t know, the T and C on the Twins’ caps stands for Twin Cities. For residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s a way of showing that the team belongs to both cities. For everyone else, it’s just confusing.
25. TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays consistently have the lowest attendance in the majors. The reasons for this are myriad, but the cap has to figure in there somewhere. The dark and light blue colors are fine enough, but the oversized letters and drab font weigh it down. The fact that the city’s initials are also a nickname for tuberculosis doesn’t help.
24. COLORADO ROCKIES
Purple may be the color of royalty, but it’s also the color of Barney. It doesn’t really work on sports uniforms and just screams 1990s expansion team.
23. SEATTLE MARINERS
Even with the nautical compass rose logo, the Mariners hats have lost their way. Even though the use of teal is kept to a minimum, it’s still too much. Can’t we go back to the trident-shaped M of the early 80s?
22. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Just writing “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” is annoying. You’re the Anaheim Angels, deal with it. Also annoying is the goody-goody halo that is being fully penetrated by the tip of the A on the team’s caps.
21. ATLANTA BRAVES
Like the Orioles and A’s, the Braves go with the mismatched colors on the crown and brim. What makes Atlanta’s the best of this bunch is the more classic palette of navy and red.
20. KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Royal blue is a great cap color, and Kansas City rocks it especially well. The way that the K blends into the C gives the logo a nice flow.
19. HOUSTON ASTROS
The Astros figured out how to do throwback right. In 2013, they revived a logo from the 60s that works because of its judicious use of orange and the symmetry of the block letter H atop the five-pointed star.
18. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
The Phillie Phanatic phreaks me out. But I can’t hate on the Phillies caps. The P looks a little like a musical note, which is as good an excuse as any to link to this video of Ryan Howard rapping about Philly cheesesteaks.
17. CINCINNATI REDS
Any cap that is worn by die-hard fan Charlie Sheen and gangbangers from the Bloods has to have something going for it.
16. TEXAS RANGERS
Look at that T. It’s huge. Because everything is bigger in Texas, get it? That might be a little too on the nose, but the Rangers still have a clean-looking cap that represents a lot of things about the team and its home.
15. SAN DIEGO PADRES
If there was a most-improved award for caps, the Padres would take it. Remember those brown and orange ones from the 80s? Those looked like vomit. Actual vomit. The simple interlocking S and D on the navy cap that the Padres currently wear is so much better.
14. PITTSBURGH PIRATES
It’s hard to talk about Pittsburgh caps and not reference the pillbox style that Dave Parker and the Pirates used to wear while smoking cigs in the dugout. Their current style may lack a little of that swag, but they’re much more wearable.
13. CHICAGO CUBS
The same way that the Rangers’ logo is a little too big, the Cubs’ is a little too small. The diminutive C throws the proportions of the cap off.
12. MIAMI MARLINS
There is a lot of color in the Marlins’ caps. But for some reason since it’s Miami it feels O.K. The Art Deco palette even works on the fish.
11. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Squeezing three letters onto a cap isn’t easy, but the Cardinals pull it off.
10. BOSTON RED SOX
When babies are born in New England, I’m pretty sure they have these caps placed on their heads instead of the pink and blue striped ones most hospitals use. Then those hats stay affixed there for the rest of time. Regardless of how you feel about Boston sports fans, the loyalty that this cap inspires is still remarkable.
9. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Giants have won three of the past five World Series and they’ve done it in caps that are black and orange but don’t make you think of Halloween, which is no easy feat.
8. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Get a snake on this mother f*cking cap! Snakes On A Plane jokes may no longer be relevant but the D-backs caps most certainly are. The red, black, and gold colors are a little bit of a rip off of the old Astros ones, but that can’t take away from how badass that rattler looks.
7. NEW YORK METS
In many ways the Mets’ blue-and-orange colorway feels more New York-y than the Yankees, since its shared by the Knicks and Islanders. But the Mets logo is like the little brother trying to call attention to himself. It’s flamboyant and the Y looks like Fallopian Tubes.
6. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Dodger blue is one of those colors that just makes you think about summer, which is a good thing. And the logo with the L crossing the A is one of the best in baseball.
5. CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Maybe it’s just memories of Frank Thomas, but there isn’t a more intimidating cap in baseball than the White Sox’. The black and white motif, the diagonal old english lettering, it all makes a powerful statement.
4. TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Leave it to Canada’s only major league team to go its own direction when it comes to cap design. The blue jay is hardly the most fearsome bird, but in the iteration on the cap, it looks downright regal.
3. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Innovative design is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the nation’s capital. But the Nats are one of the few teams to go with cursive lettering on their caps. The large white W on the red cap is bold and conveys a sense of motion.
2. DETROIT TIGERS
Like the Red Sox’ B or the Yankees’ NY, the Tigers’ D represents much more than just a baseball team. It’s a symbol of the city of Detroit and its spirit. And it’s a good looking symbol. The old english D looks perfect set against the navy cap.
1. NEW YORK YANKEES
As much as I can’t stand the Yankees, I can’t deny that this hat deserves the top spot. The logo is instantly recognized around the world by people who have no idea who Derek Jeter or Babe Ruth are. It’s a balanced design that is simple in all the right ways. But I still hate the Yankees.