If you’re a Padres hat collector like me, you know how rare this hat is. They were released to the public in 2011 but in limited quantity and for a short time They’re so rare in fact that when my search began, well known hat collector and fellow SD Hat Collector contributor, Tim Arzaga (@SDHatGuy) was on the hunt for one as well and had been for some time. The only way to get something similar is to purchase a blank black New Era hat and remove the New Era Flag embroidered on the side of the hat. But lets face it, for a serious hat collector, you need the real deal.
One morning I received a text message from Tim with a link to one but it wasn’t in his size (or anywhere close). It wasn’t even in my size but I decided to pull the trigger anyways because I wanted one of these in my collection. Turns out, the hat was a game worn hat from the September 7th, 2016 game against the Boston Red Sox (turns out, this is the only way to get your hands on one). The hat was worn on the field by Travis Jankowski who went 0-4 at the plate. Oddly enough, I had tickets to this game but wasn’t able attend due to an event I was shooting. And to make things even stranger, I gave my tickets to Tim!
I purchased the hat and tracked it EVERY DAY until it arrived. One thing that I was concerned about during shipping was a hair that was mentioned in the description. Yes, a hair! As it turns out, Jankowski had left behind one of his long blonde hairs in the hat. When the hat arrived, I carefully opened it and was in complete shock to see the hat and yes, the hair still in place in the hat. Turns out, Travis Jankowski also has a pretty small head. The hat is a size 7. For comparison, I wear a 7 3/8ths. Lastly, Jankowskis’ number 16 is written in black Sharpie on the inside of the hat.
The obvious, this is a very simple hat. It is completely black. There’s no New Era flag embroidered on the side and no MLB Batterman logo on the back. With the addition of the New Era flag to on-field hats, I wonder if future on-field throw back hats such as this, will end up with the New Era logo on them. If that is the case, this was the last chance to get one that’s period correct.
Something that I was interested in was wether or not the hat would have any indication of being an authentic on-field hat. I was not disappointed!
The hat also came with a certificate of authenticity and stickers attached to the underside of the bill that marked it’s authenticity.
This hat has become one of the jewels of the hat collection. I saw one of the jewels because I ended up picking up another that was worn by Carlos Villanueva. I picked up a second hat because I really wanted one in my size and Carlos Villanueva wears a 7 3/8ths. After picking up these hats, I was able to track down a 3rd in Tim’s size worn by non other than Padres bench coach, Mark McGwire.
If you want to get your hands on one of these hats, Fanatics has several for sale still. They can be purchased on their website by following the link below.
Till next time, happy hat collecting!