Major League Baseball today unveiled their new series of batting practice and Spring Training baseball caps for all thirty MLB teams to be worn during the 2018 season. These caps will be worn during Spring Training games and for any pre-game activities during the regular season.
The New Era caps, which will be known as the “PROLIGHT 59FIFTY” are replacing the Diamond Era caps worn for five seasons from 2013 to 2017. They are made of a new featherweight polyester, twenty-six percent lighter than the Diamond Era cap material, which the Buffalo, N.Y. based company is calling the lightest on-field fabric in Major League history.
Fabric aside the most noticeable change across the league is the elimination of the embroidered logos on the cap, the team logo on the front and the MLB “batterman” logo on the back will both be a beveled rubber badge, even the New Era logo on the left side will no longer be embroidered, now silicone printed. For games in Spring Training, as has been the case for the past two years, an additional non-embroidered patch will be added to the cap on the right.
The majority of the caps will be retaining an existing design but there are a few teams which will be sporting either an entirely new logo or a logo they’d never previously worn on a cap before. The Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, and Philadelphia Phillies are a few examples. The Colorado Rockies will be wearing a state-flag design across their alternate logo, bringing back some memories of the old NHL Rockies who wore a similar design on their uniforms in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Oakland Athletics are reaching back into their past, wearing a green and white version of the old Philadelphia Athletics caps, worn originally from 1929 to 1950. The “A” on the logo added an extra tick on the upper left side in 1951, and finally the “‘s” was introduced in 1970, two years after the move to Oakland.
Cincinnati, like the A’s are reaching into the past but much further into it than the relatively recent 1929 that Oakland went back to. The Reds will go back an additional sixty years to wear the style of “C” made famous by the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, recognized as the first professional baseball team.
Additional teams will be wearing previous designs on a new cap, such as the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays.
“We worked tirelessly with our internal Product Management team and consulted with a handful of MLB players and Club equipment managers to create a cap that performs better on the field of play.” Tony DeSimone, Baseball Business Unit Director at New Era said in the press release. “We also made sure to add an on-trend look and feel that players and baseball fans everywhere will enjoy.”
As always, player performance is the number one priority when it comes to a new type of fabric or construction in a league-wide rollout. These new caps focusing on the weight (lightest in MLB history) and the feel.
“The new PROLIGHT 59FIFTY caps look and feel fantastic.” says Noah Garden, Executive Vice President, Business at Major League Baseball. “The feedback from players, including Buster Posey and Bryce Harper, has been very positive, so we think our fans will also be enthusiastic about the new style.”
Let’s take a look at all of the new caps, to be worn both for Spring Training and Batting Practice, broken down by league:
Click any of the graphics above for a larger version.
There will be no mass league-wide change to the jerseys teams will be wearing during the Spring and batting practice, teams will continue to wear the Majestic style worn the past few seasons during 2018. This will mark the final year that Majestic will be producing on-field uniforms for Major League Baseball teams, Under Armour will be taking over that role in 2019.
Caps are *available now*, you can purchase one or just check them out here.