If you’re anything like me, you’re either anticipating a bald spot, or already covering one up with a sweet New Era cap featuring your favorite team. Since 2011, MLB has been coming out with special Stars and Stripes editions of hats for all teams to wear on the 4th of July. Here are my personal rankings of the hats. Shout me out on twitter with your favorite one: @NatiBoyDB.
First to worst:
2011: pictured above is the best hat that they’ve come out with so far. It incorporates the flag, and has a great mix of all of the colors into the “C” logo. It helps that the Reds main color is featured prominently on the hats, because I always think the Stars and Stripes hats for teams with no red or blue in their team colors looks weird (the Orioles, for example). I really think they peaked early with this one; it was the first edition of the Stars and Stripes hats, and they knocked it out of the park, only to go downhill from there.
I still wear this hat; I wore it last night, actually. Love it.
2014: I’ve always been a fan of the Houston Astros hat, even though they were an NL Central rival for years. That’s what this design reminds me of. You place the Reds “C” on top of a star shaped American flag, and I’m buying that shit. The Reds “C” logo is one of the most recognizable logos out there, MAYBE behind the NY Yankees “NY” logo. Maybe. I’d like the thank the Bloods in California for supporting our team for so many years.
2018: Not a huge difference between ’17, ’18 and ’19 models. I like that the gold outline on the iconic C goes all the way around the border, unlike the drop shadow in this years model.
2019: All red, but very similar to the ’17 and ’18 hat. I like the gold, over the 2017 silver/white version. I think they’re beginning to run out of ideas for these bad boys. I’d be okay if they stopped doing these special hats for a few years, but they sell, so I doubt the Reds will stop doing that. I’d rather have a few of the throwback 150 Anniversary hats that this bad boy, that’s for sure.
2017: this years hat and the 2013 one ranked right under this one are very similar. Both have the stars on the “C” logo, and both have solid colors on bill and panels. Pretty easy to design, nothing extremely special about it.
2013: I ranked 2017’s ahead of this one simply because of the color of the panels; white gets way too dirty for me to wear on a regular basis. I still like this hat, and I own it, but don’t wear it too often just for that reason.
2016: first off, I’m sorry if you have OCD and can’t stand the fact that this picture is unlike my other ones and taken from straight on, instead of the from the side angle. It’s the only picture I could find. Okay, apology accepted. This hat just doesn’t do it for me. In the other hats, they incorporated the stars and stripes quite well into the design, and for some reason with this one, they only managed to see stars. It’s an okay hat, but I don’t see me wearing it.
2015: out of all the ways that they have come up with the Stars and Stripes designs, this one is the worst. I like the idea of an American flag waving majestically, but it doesn’t translate that well onto a hat. A swing and a miss from New Era.
2012: this hat is dead last. No stars, no stripes, just camo. I love and support the military, but they make hats and uniforms specifically for Veterans Day already. I’m not a big camo guy in the first place (I think I had a pair of camo cargo shorts in high school), so that’s the reasoning this one falls behind.
Overall, I’d say that New Era typically does a good job of tricking my dumb brain into buying another America-themed hat each year, but some years are much better than others. Let me know what you think on Twitter.