Another addition to the Ultimate Patch Collection is this really solid-looking collection based on the 125th anniversary of Major League Baseball. The 125th anniversary of MLB was celebrated during the fateful 1994 season that met a premature end thanks to a player’s strike.
There are a lot of “what ifs” that coincide with the ’94 season, most common among Padres fans is that legendary Tony Gwynn almost achieved a .400 batting average. Gwynn would come incredibly close by the season’s cutoff at .394. Another is the fate of the Montreal Expos: had the season gone on to its proper end would the 74-40 Expos have won a World Series and still exist today?
This series of caps celebrates both a landmark and lamentable year of baseball. I also have my own reservations regarding the series of which you’ll read below.
Navy crown, brim, and squatcho
Navy interlocking SD with copper border stitching
Copper New Era logo
This Ultimate Patch Cap is a really nice look overall: the monotone navy/navy allows the copper metallic threading to pop off the cap.
Special to the Ultimate Patch Collection line is the added ring of text to the sizing sticker as shown here.
The wearer’s right (cap left) features the cap’s biggest detail: the 125th Anniversary patch. This patch is an exact replica (though not in size, of course) of the patch worn on all jersey sleeves that season.
The MLB Batterman is also done up in the striking metallic copper threading.
The underbrim is retro gray, the underbrim standard black.
Now for my criticisms of this particular collection:
- Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great looking cap. The details all match up nicely and the cap is a looker for what it is: a fashion cap. The collection as a callback to the 125th anniversary in 1994, however, suffers from widespread anachronistic errors.
- Pertaining to this cap specifically, the Padres wouldn’t wear this shade of blue until the late 90’s-early 00’s. In ’94 the Padres were wearing dark navy/white/orange.
I get it, Lids wanted to include every team so no one would be left out. The Rays and Diamondbacks wouldn’t exist until 4 years after the 125th anniversary, however. This is a strange anachronism.
The Miami Marlins were still the Florida Marlins in 1994.
This is a bigger poke in the eye than the other errors: the Washington Nationals were technically the Montreal Expos at the time. Montreal would lose its baseball team at the end of the 2004 season.
- There are myriad other errors in the collection as well, such as the Astros, Blue Jays, and Brewers utilizing much different logos than depicted on the cap.
I understand why the collection itself was conceived and made. It hearkens back to a landmark anniversary for MLB and makes for a nice looking cap when paired with the proper details. As a fashion cap without thought to the past, it works. Anyone worth their baseball salt knows that someone didn’t do their homework when these caps were conceived, though.
Cap Availability Status: Common
Lids should still have this cap available should you want to add it to your archive.