It’s rare that I ever take umbrage with a cap. This is one of those examples.
Lids has recently released a Retro Classic collection. Caps from MLB’s storied past reappear as 100% wool sans New Era logo remakes. While some teams have been recreated faithfully, other teams suffered from poor logo sizing or other faults. Our Padres example is probably one of the worst of the bunch:
Navy crown, brim, and squatcho
White 90s-era interlocking SD
When you think of classic San Diego Padres caps, what do you see? Chances are your mind has gone straight to the classic ’78 look, or perhaps the ever-popular ’98 style. Did you consider the oddball 2000-2003 cap?
This is the style Lids has chosen as a Retro Classic: a Padres cap that was only worn for three forgettable seasons. We’ll get to the problems further down the page. What you see here is a 100% wool cap with no New Era flag; since the postseason of 2016 every New Era product including on-field caps features the New Era logo.
The rear Batterman logo is flat-stitched and is one of the few correct details on the cap. Raised Batterman logos didn’t appear until around 2005-06.
The underbrim is the correct gray and is paired with an era-correct white sweatband. Both details switched to black around 2005-06 as well.
The interior tagging is an odd amalgamation when compared to the cap. Besides the added-on Retro Classic Collection tag and Cooperstown tag, the New Era brand tag is the same as the tag used in caps from 1994-96…where the Padres were nowhere near close to wearing this cap. The size tag is somewhat correct but includes too many details. White interior taping never appeared inside this style of cap either; by 2000 the interior taping was black and New Era branded.
Placing the Retro Classic next to a 2000s-era Padres cap reveals the plentiful errors.
- The interlocking SD is too small.
- It’s also flat-stitched; while correct when compared to the interior tagging placing the cap at 1994 (raised embroidery appeared in 1996) the 2000s Padres style featured a raised interlocking SD.
- The color is also wrong. Though the Padres did employ a darker navy during the early 90s, the 2000s cap was definitely lighter navy. The comparison within the picture is rather stark.
Cap Availability Status: Common
As a cap at base value, this cap isn’t a bad-looking cap. As a tagged Retro Classic, it’s a terrible job at recreating a Padres cap.
Why do I own one? As a collector, I feel it necessary to catalog the good and bad in caps and this is one of those where I have it just for the archive. It also serves as a poignant reminder to stay diligent in my own work with @tonylosoya and @padresnohitter and our quest to recreate faithful renditions of Padres caps.