This is a special cap.
I don’t have much to preface this particular cap with other than the fact that it’s an awesome piece of my collection. This cap was a fortunate score on eBay, and you’ll see why:
Brown brim, front and rear panels
Yellow side panels
Orange piping detail, New Era logo, eyelets, and squatcho
1980-84 Padres wordmark in yellow and orange
The front of the cap is rather unassuming; you’ll find the classic Padres wordmark across the front panels. Otherwise the cap has an interesting motif of colors. Every color of the 1980-1984 colorway is represented.
On the wearer’s left you’ll find the classic New Era logo in lieu of the usual New Era flag. This logo isn’t used commonly on caps; it’s reserved for special caps as you’ll soon find out.
That’s right: this is a Tony Gwynn Cooperstown Collection cap. The wearer’s right side of the cap is embroidered with this patch detailing Mr. Padres’ tenure with the team from 1982-2001.
Tony’s last name and number as it appeared on his jersey is displayed on the rear of the cap in lieu of the usual MLB Batterman logo.
Underneath the cap features an awesome detail among the many others featured on this cap: an embroidered version of Tony’s signature right on the green underbrim. It also appears that the Gwynn 19 embroidery was an after-production afterthought as it’s embroidered straight through the New Era taping.
Here’s a closer look at Tony’s signature embroidered on the underbrim.
In addition to the usual brand, size, and collection tags you’ll find the National Baseball Hall Of Fame tag added to the sweatband.
Cap Availability Status: Grail
This is the first cap I’ve written about that I would consider a grail. A grail in the cap collecting world is a cap that is both a rarity and a must-own for a collector. Some grails are considered universal; others are considered grails only to certain collectors. I definitely consider this cap a grail.
The first time I’ve ever seen this cap was the time I bought it, and I suggest you do the same should you ever come across one of your own. Unfortunately for me, I’ll never be able to wear this cap (it’s a size 7). All the same, I’m fortunate to have this particular Tony Gwynn cap in my collection.