A baseball cap
is a type of soft cap
with a long, stiff bill that may either be curved or
flat. The back of the cap may have a plastic
, or elastic
adjuster so that it can be quickly
adjusted to fit different wearers.
While the baseball cap is specifically associated with those who
play the game of baseball
, it is often worn
as a fashion statement as well as semi practical headgear.
It is very
popular in the United
States, Brazil and Japan.
Traditionally, the bill is worn forward, shielding the eyes from
the sun, but it is also often worn backwards or at other angles.
People with long hair in a ponytail
pull it through the gap in the cap above the adjustor.
In 1860, the Brooklyn Excelsiors
wore the ancestor of the modern, rounded-top baseball cap, and by
1900, the "Brooklyn style" cap became popular. During the 1940s,
latex rubber became the stiffening material inside the hat and the
modern baseball cap was born. The "bill" or "brim" was designed to
protect a player's eyes from the sun. Typically, the brim was much
shorter in the earlier days of the baseball hat. Also, the hat has
become more structured, versus the overall "floppy" cap of the 19th
and early 20th centuries. The baseball cap was and still is an
important means by which to identify a team. Often the logo,
, or team's initial was placed on the
cap. Usually, the cap was also fashioned in the official colors of
a particular team.
The basic shape, including curved bill, is similar to some styles
of 19th century sun bonnets .
Fitted baseball caps, suited to a particular headsize, lack an
adjuster. The cap is normally sewn in six sections, and may be
topped with a matching fabric-covered button
on the crown. Metal grommets or fabric eyelets are often sewn or
attached near the top of each of the six sections of fabric to
provide ventilation. In some cases, the rear sections of the crown
are made of net-like mesh material for extra ventilation. The bill
is typically stiffened by a sewn-in piece of paperboard
Baseball caps are made of many types of material and shaped in
various styles for different purposes. Major and minor league
baseball players wear classic-style caps made of wool
(or, more recently, polyester
) with their team's simple logo and
colors; the logo is usually embroidered
into the fabric.
Formerly, baseball caps came in standard hat sizes. Since 1980,
they have commonly come in a one-size-fits-all form, with an
adjustment strap in the back. This simplifies marketing, but it
reduces sun protection for bald men. More recently, advances in
textiles have led to the "stretch-fit" hat, which uses Lycra or
rubber to allow a hat to have a fitted style while still being
"adjustable" within sizes.
Athletes in other sports wear caps with their team's logo and
colors as "sideline" caps; both types are also sold as authentic
team merchandise in retail stores and are quite popular.
may simply have a company's logo, such as Reebok, Nike or Carhartt; these hats are often made of brushed
tend to prefer the visor form of cap which does not cover the head
but keeps the sun out of their eyes; women also traditionally have
worn visors casually but a trend towards certain youth subcultures
see an increase in visor popularity among both sexes.
Some armed forces also use baseball caps as part of their uniforms,
especially the United States Navy
and United States Coast
. Used mostly with the utility uniform and coveralls, the
baseball cap usually has a command logo on the front to denote
command affiliation. Also baseball caps of a particular color are
worn to denote a specific function of a person or particular job.
examples are in the United
States submarine force, red
baseball hats are worn by drill monitors who facilitate and
critique members of the boat's crew during drills.
the United States Army
, parachute riggers
wear red baseball caps
and parachute instructors wear black baseball caps as part of their
uniform. In Slovenia, policemen
on motorcycles wear baseball caps as a part of their uniform, when
they remove the helmet.
police units around the world, notably SWAT in
the United States and Metropolitan
Firearms Command in the United Kingdom, often wear baseball caps to shield their eyes from
the sun where a full helmet and facemask would be
Use in advertising
Another version of the baseball cap is a plastic mesh cap with a
foam front imprinted with a company logo. This style of baseball
cap is sometimes called a trucker cap
a "gimme cap" because it is given away for free as an advertising
Wearing a baseball cap with the peak facing in a certain direction
may denote membership in a gang. For this reason, some public
schools ban baseball caps. The idea of wearing the cap backwards is
commonly attributed to catchers
as when they began using facemasks, they had to turn the cap around
to fit the mask on. It can also be found in professional tennis
. Another profession associated with the
wearing of a baseball cap backwards is that of photographer,
– for the reason that an
cannot be held
vertically to the eye whilst wearing a baseball cap with the peak
Beginning in the 1980s, the baseball cap came to be associated with
, especially Spike Lee
, replacing the beret
caps can be a fashion statement when decorated with embroidery,
felt applique, patches, metal eyelets, sequins and so on.
Baseball caps provide inadequate protection from solar UV radiation
which is known to cause skin cancer.A typical baseball cap leaves
the sides of the face, ears and neck all exposed to the full sun
light. This design fails to decrease the wearer's risk of
developing melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell
carcinoma.Skin cancer prevention groups do not recommend their use
under any circumstances. For serious sun protection, a hat with a
broad brim or one with a flap covering the neck and sides of face
(often called a legionnaire
should be worn.
- BBC - Happy 59th, baseball caps 18 December