I’m really into the caps from Ebbets Field Flannels. Originally, I thought they just looked top, but I never committed to buying one though. I just looked at photos of them online. However, things changed when I saw one in real life.
Why am I telling you all this anyway? Well, we’ve received some new styles. I saw this as a great opportunity to do some very important work by spending the afternoon in the park trying them all on and pretending a camera wasn’t there. There are two fitted and two leather fastening ballcaps, one of which is a replica of the caps worn by the Joe Louis Brown Bombers.
I was in San Francisco in October 2011 and spotted a J.Crew collab cap – funnily enough in a J.Crew shop. Finally, I could check out an Ebbets cap for real. It was a no-brainer, I had spare US dollars, and even if they weren’t spare, I didn’t need much persuasion. There were a few styles, but I went for the Boston Beaneaters cap, probably because the team’s name made me laugh more than anything (I know what you’re thinking).
What really got me though was this cap just felt different – I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. I had wanted a snapback or a fitted one, you know, a proper baseball cap, but one I could wear without feeling like a big kid. Most styles I could find often had huge brand names across the front, I just couldn’t get on with that.
The next thing I liked about the Boston Beaneaters cap (the name being the first) was the fabric. Like all Ebbets caps, as far as I know anyway, it’s made from broadcloth wool, it had a better feel. The cap was sturdy, the brim was ever so slightly pre-curved, the underbill was a green satin and the shape on my massive head didn’t look (too) ridiculous.
I liked this cap, so I bought it, snapped the swing tags off and stuck it on. It wasn’t until some time later that I picked up the tags and read them. It turns out the Boston Beaneaters were a baseball team from something known as the pre-1958 Pacific Coast League, an alternative baseball league to the majors. I don’t claim to know anything about Baseball, let alone leagues that existed before my mum was even born. It got me thinking though.
Although some people couldn’t care less, I’m genuinely interested by things like this so I Googled it. Ebbets team caps are replicas of the ones worn by teams from the pre-1958 Pacific Coast League and the Negro leagues. Jerry Cohen, the Ebbets Field Flannels founder, describes these leagues as a ‘Parallel World’ of baseball which at the time many fans did not know even existed.
I also found out that in the late 80s when Jerry was looking for wool flannel fabrics, he used a 1968 phone directory to find the factories. Authenticity and attention to detail was obviously very important.
The more I find out about Jerry and Ebbets, I’m convinced I like him and these caps even more. Maybe I’m a sucker for a sales pitch or a sentimental back-story. Regardless of that, when it comes down to the actual caps themselves they’re by far the best I’ve ever come across. Ebbets Caps just seem a little more grown-up to me. I think it’s things like the leather belt fastenings used on some styles and although the shape is structured to a point, they don’t have that super high, stiff crown thing.