Baseball players wear hats on some occasions, and some will wear them during the day; others will wear them at night. While some will call it baseball caps, others insist it is a hat. Baseball players can wear such hats just for any reason, but in most cases, it is for their collective good and the team’s good. The first set of baseball hats was made from straw and was worn by the New York Knickerbockers in 1849.
So Why Do Baseball Players Wear Hats?
Baseball players wear hats for many reasons; to block the sun’s rays, provide a shield from stadium light, and create a team identity.
The History And Types Of Baseball Hats
The baseball cap also referred to as the hat, is a well-rounded soft cap with a soft peak. It has become a part of the traditional baseball uniform since it was invented. The hats were designed to protect the players’ eyes from the sun’s rays. Today, these hats are more of a fashion accessory than for protection.
The hat has the team logo on the front, and it also comes with a plastic or an elastic adjuster at the back to adjust it to the size of the head. Sometimes the logo of a sponsoring company appears at the front of the hat instead of the team’s logo.
1. History of the Baseball Hat
The first baseball hat was made from straw, and it eventually became a variation of yachting caps. The first version that looks like today’s modern baseball hat was designed in 1860, and it was the Brooklyn Excelsiors that made it famous. The 19th-century baseball cap was not well-structured, and its peak was much shorter, providing less protection from the sun. The peak was later elongated to make it more effective against sun rays.
In 1940 manufacturers of new baseball hats decided to put latex rubber, a stiffening material, inside the hat. There were also drastic changes to the colours of the fabrics used in making the hats since the 1940s. The Detroit Tigers were the first to put their team logo at the from of the baseball hats, and since then, most teams have followed in that direction.
Baseball players used to wear hats made from wool; today, we have hats made from materials including polyester and brushed cotton. Most baseball hats that come with no adjusters are sewn in multiple sections and come with a button at the top that is covered by the matching fabric.
Fabric eyelets are allowed in the hats to provide adequate air circulation to players. This feature is outstanding when baseball is played under hot conditions. Some sections of the mat are covered with nets. More than a thousand stitches may be used to make the logo at the front of the hat. The Florida Marlins logo, for instance, involved the use of more than 10,000 stitches, and it was one of the most classic logos ever made on a baseball hat.
2. Types and Styles of Baseball Hats
From the history of baseball hats, these beautiful components of the game are categorized into two styles, and these are; Tall crown baseball hats and soft crown baseball hats.
The tall crown baseball hats are characterized by the tall crown or horizontally-striped crown, while the other option, which is the soft crown, is characterized by six to eight sections of fabric. There different types of baseball hats you can find today, these include;
§ Classic-style caps
§ Standard height size hats
§ Baseball hat with back adjustment straps
§ Stretch-fit baseball hat
§ Trucker cap.
§ Other baseball hats with different materials.
The classic style baseball hats are those made from wool or polyester materials. They often contain team logos embroidered into the fabric and are frequently positioned in the hat’s front.
The baseball hat with standard height sizes are the most regular hats you see around. They often have straps at the back while the front height is raised slightly higher than the height of the middle and back.
The baseball hat with back adjustment straps in the back is also common, but the height of the front may not be raised higher than other sections of the hat. The straps at the back may be made of plastic, elastic, or any other material that can be hooked and released. The trucker baseball hat is one made with mesh with foam at the front that is imprinted with a logo.
For a very long time, baseball hats were produced in the standard hat sizes, but from the 1980s, baseball hats began to appear in different sizes with back straps as the main source of reducing or expanding the hats sizes. Today, you can have baseball hats made of lycra which is a stretch-fit material that can fit all head sizes.
3. Commercial Side of Baseball Hats
In the United States, more than 40 million baseball hats are sold, either to individuals or baseball teams across all tiers.
The New Era that happens to be one of the largest sports manufacturing companies in the country, produces as much as 75,000 baseball hats a week, and most of its hats are sold to sports clubs and their fans.
The use of baseball hats is not limited to the sport alone, and It is common to find people wearing baseball hats in athletics, golf, tennis, and some military attires. The United States Airforce and the Submarine do wear baseball hats often for certain ceremonies and missions.
On the western coast of the country, it is quite common to see state police forces and the Sherrif department wearing baseball hats. The baseball hat has become a part of casual wear to ordinary people on the street. Since the early 1990s, hip-hop artists and movie stars have continued to wear baseball hats, thus making the accessory to be more acceptable to the general public.
Improving Your Baseball Skills- Tips And Ideas
The baseball game involves using three main skills, and these are; throwing, catching, and hitting. The following tips can help improve your baseball skills tremendously.
It would be best if you learned to find an ideal release point to become a better thrower. This means you should avoid flicking your wrist unnecessarily. It would be best if you learned to take the ball out of the glove, then create separation with a down and then create an upward arm path while you stride towards the target.
With this technique, you will feel a much better connection in your lower half when you release and push the ball. This movement will create less strain on your arm. You will also get more velocity from the larger muscle groups that will eventually lead to more accuracy. You may want to throw whiffle and tennis balls sometimes to help develop repeatable motion skills.
Developing better hand and eye coordination is critical to developing catching skills. Learning the act of proper positioning is also important to catch the ball.
You need to develop an athletic stance that comes with a wider base. Make sure you learn to keep your butt down while your back is flat. Make the body ow while the arms are extended, plus a slight bending of the elbows while putting the gloves out in front of your body.
Your glove should be opened on your off-hand and ready to transfer the ball to the waiting hand. Once you can learn to field ground balls, you should work on your approach to any ball. It is quite common for most players to wait and allow the ball to come to them instead of approaching the ball properly.
It would be best if you learned to keep your feet moving around the baseball while you stay low and finish the momentum in the direction of your throw.
Baseball players who are more offensive will become better hitters. Your objective is to improve timing and maintain a process. You must learn to take time between reps and not rush everything like most young players.
You should find a better approach by checking your feet and stance before each swing. Maintaining this approach will help you begin in a good position. Don’t focus too much on mechanical adjustments, but rather use the ball as your direct feedback mechanism. Poor timing is often responsible for misses than mechanism.
One thing you must work on is to make timing adjustments based on speed, and that means you might be early or late for most incoming balls. Most times, you need to make adjustments to your speed without changing your swing pattern.
Self-adjustments between your swings are one of the best ways to find the right speed and become a better hitter. Most young hitters are afraid to fail; hence they want to boost their speeds without correlating it with the swing.