Go to your local mall and walk into a Lids store.
After making a beeline for the door, once your head stops spinning, you're bound to ask the same thing we all do—first, why are they making so many horrible looking baseball caps? Even more frightening, who's buying them?
Somewhere along the past decade, it became en vogue for MLB team hats to appear in a variety of incorrect and loud colors, with gaudy images, and flat-brims you could use a level on—all complete with original gold size stickers intact.
These tacky things are flat-out offensive to the eye. It's as if a rainbow exploded on a clown, and then that clown exploded onto a hat.
The worst part is, these caps can go upwards of $35 a piece. In an economy that's down the toilet, that's highway robbery, especially when the end result will earn you a position juggling for Ringling Bros.
The main culprit here seems to be the Buffalo-based New Era Cap Company, the official on-field cap manufacturer of every MLB team. Specifically, their "59Fifty" line.
For every spot-on replica cap they produce, there's a plethora of oddball-colored and showy noggin-toppers just itching to thin out your wallet in the blink of an eye.
Well, New Era, you're on. Here are some of the worst—a countdown representative from each MLB team showcasing just what happens when bad taste meets a manufacturing plant.
Team colors: Black, red-orange, tropical blue, yellow, silver, white
...But this hat?: "Smurf-tastic"
Surprisingly, finding an ugly Miami Marlins hat is quite the task.
The reason? The team's newly-christened colors cover nearly the entire rainbow, making nearly all hat colors appropriate for the Fish. Somehow, the folks at New Era managed to miss all of those when working up this particular hat.
Warning to any potential fans looking to wear this to a Marlins home game: during a tirade, hotheaded manager Ozzie Guillen may toss your cap into the "Marlinator"—the tacky home run feature at Marlins Park—and hat hair could be an issue you'll have to deal with for the rest of the game.
Team colors: Navy blue, red, white
...But this hat?: Looks like Easter went horribly, horribly wrong.
Wrong Minnesota team!
If you're a faithful Minnesota Vikings fan, and just can't shake the purple and gold in the warmer months, this is the hat for you.
However, once you've realized the bad buy this is, don't bother trying to give it to Joe Mauer as a gift—his Head and Shoulders contract probably prohibits any kind of unnecessary hat wearing.
Team colors: royal blue, powder blue, white
...But this hat?: Looks like a hipster's pajamas.
Simple rule about life—you can't go wrong with plaid.
Well, until now.
Looking like someone threw together a hat made from a shirt off the damaged rack from Urban Outfitters, this non-Royals-colored hat is the furthest thing from a "KC masterpiece".
How many of these will we spot on fans at the All-Star Game this week? I'm counting on not many.
Team colors: navy blue, Columbia blue, white, gold
...But this hat?: Well, it stings, err, stinks.
In their 14-year existence, the Tampa Bay Rays/Devil Rays, have donned a number of colors on their jerseys, some rather hideous actually. The problem is, red wasn't one of them.
If this hat has too much red on it, there's also too much to be read.
Most teams can sufficiently get by with the one logo, so it seems a bit redundant to toss a second one on there. Not to mention that if a fan named Ray wears it, it'll just be overkill.
Team colors: Green, gold, white
...But this hat?: Probably right out of Paris Hilton's closet.
Well A's fans, it's no secret things haven't been well out in the Bay.
The team is in an outdated ballpark they want out of, going through hard times financially, and still looks years away from being a significant competitor in the AL West. It's enough to give you indigestion.
That's no reason to paint your hats in Pepto Bismol pink, though.
Take a hint from Billy Beane. As portrayed in Moneyball, he spent wisely. You can spend your bucks the right way and pick up some green and gold instead.
Team colors: Red, black, sand, white
...But this hat?: A desert disaster
There's a reason teams have used simplistic, almost minimalist logos for ages. It's a way for a team to be easily recognized upon a quick glance, a simple letter can represent a whole billion-dollar franchise.
The Phoenix skyline is too busy and too overpowering for this hat, and if you look closely, you'll see people in those buildings actually sweating in the Arizona heat.
Like the D-Backs? Well, owners of this would like their money back.
Team colors: Navy, gold, white
...But this hat?: "Teal the pain"
Here's what Brewers fans must think of this:
- "Give this thing the Ax-ford!"
- "Neither brains nor Braun went into this hat"
- "Weaker than Rickie Weeks!"
Team colors: royal blue, white, black, red
...But this hat?: "Spongebob Square Hat"
Well, this certainly doesn't look right at all.
There's one benefit of wearing this improperly-colored Blue Jays cap to a game: fans looking down in the upper deck will think they're staring at Homer Simpson's dome.
Colors: red, royal blue, white
...But this hat?: Fit to be hog-tied
As the saying goes, "don't mess with Texas". Well, don't mess with this Texas Rangers hat either.
If you're in the Texas area and want to drop a few Alexander Hamiltons properly, splurge on the $26 stadium hot dog instead.
Team colors: Black, gold, white
...But this hat?: ...should walk the plank.
Fans of Pittsburgh professional sports teams have grown up with three simple colors their entire lives: black, gold, and white.
Purple? Well, not so much.
With the Pirates finally having a much-needed strong season, the last thing they need is this drippy "looks like Grape Ape sneezed on it" eyesore in the crowd.
Leave this one at home. ("Home" meaning the trash.)
Team colors: brick red, black, sand, white
...But this hat?: Fit for Grimace.
Houston, we have a purple problem.
For a sport that features just one team with purple in its colors, there sure seems to be a lot of violet baseball caps for sale all around the league. Hopefully they're still collecting dust, sitting on the rack.
Don't let Junction Jack catch you with this on, he's got a short fuse.
Team colors: Black, orange, white
...But this hat?: Perfect for the Giants fan, who's secretly a Rays fan, who non-secretly has no taste.
Lots of San Francisco Giants have been branded with nicknames in recent years. Included amongst this cast of unique characters are "The Beard", "The Freak", and "Kung Fu Panda".
If you are caught wearing this in the crowd at AT&T Park, they'll have a nickname for you, too: "Loser".
Team colors: navy blue, teal, silver, white
...But this hat?: A fiber-optic faux pas
No wonder why Kurt Cobain was so bummed out...
If it looks like you're sporting a Christmas tree on top of your head, it's clear you haven't purchased wisely.
The best part of this light-up Mariners hat is that it is rather easy to find if lost around the house. But why one would want to find it is really the mystery.
Perfect for the fan who wants to stand out from rows away, just be careful in the Pacific Northwest—all that wet weather is likely to short the battery out on this one.
Team colors: black, purple, silver, white
...But this hat?: Arbor Day-awful
It's gotta be the thin air in the Mile-High that's causing fans to shell out hard-earned dough for something like this.
The camouflage pattern on this Rockies hat is made to resemble the bark of a tree, so beware of mistaken birds landing on top of your head to rest, peck for dinner, or use it as a toilet.
All of which are acceptable punishments for sporting the Rockies "Realtree" hat out in public.
Team colors: red, white, black
...But this hat?: It's made for jokers in the Queen City.
Apparently this is what happens when you wear your Reds cap on the set of Hostel.
Team colors: navy blue, white, sand
...But this hat?: No Diego, No!
So, San Diego, evidently you're not staying classy.
The Padres' mascot, the "Swinging Friar," is meant to be portrayed swinging a bat on this cap. But if we're being honest, it just looks like a California Raisin throwing a newspaper on a sky-blue day.
Since he's on the Padres, he's still more likely to miss, though.
Team colors: Orange, black, white
...But this hat?: ...for the birds.
Look...we all love delicious, mouth-watering, fresh-caught crab on a summer evening. If you're looking for the best crab around, then look no further than the shores of Maryland.
That doesn't justify creating a cap with the same colors as one, though.
It's a good thing this awful-looking hat didn't exist years ago, as looking at it would've made Cal Ripken Jr. not want to show up at the park.
Team colors: navy, red, white
...But this hat?: Paranormal Hat-tivity
Well, isn't this thing horrifying?
Ripe for an exorcism, wearing this clearly-possessed hat to an Indians game will likely scare both children and old ladies in close proximity to your seat.
Prepare for merciless heckles of "Johnny Demon" and to be doused with holy water from all angles for nine innings.
Team colors: red, white, navy
...But this hat?: ...a house of Cards collapsing
The point of camouflage is to blend in and hide amongst your surroundings. Well, unless you wear this hat next to the Joker's socks in The Dark Knight, this pattern seems like a bit much.
One thing clearly associated with cardinals—be it the bird, team, or religious position—is the color red. That just happens to be the one color oddly left out of this nasty hat.
Hopefully this camouflage mess stays hidden for as long as humanly possible.
Team colors: black and white
...But this hat?: Resembles a reject from the Affliction factory
Former Chicago White Sox slugger, Frank Thomas, was nicknamed "The Big Hurt". After looking at this tacky cranium-topper, your eyes may refer to this with the same name.
This one really hits all the marks for tawdry modern headwear:
- Incorrect colors? Check
- Asymmetrically-placed, tilted logo? Check
- Nonsensical swirl designs? Check
Final verdict: Heinous.
Team colors: Navy, white, orange
...But this hat?: This tiger's awful, and I'm not lion.
Here's a list of Detroit natives who you'll upset if you wear this busy, terrible-looking, wrong-colored cap in their presence:
- Tim Allen
- Insane Clown Posse
- James Earl Jones
- Alice Cooper
- Kid Rock
You're taking your life into your own hands if you want to get on the bad side of both Darth Vader and Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor.
Team colors: Royal blue, orange, white, black
...But this hat?: well, this.
Looking to marry your love of Bob Marley and David Wright? This Rastafarian Mets cap may be just what the doctor ordered.
Staring at the green and off-yellow Mets skyline logo gives the impression that your eyes aren't adjusted properly, but fear not: it's just ugly.
It appears that Johan Santana doesn't hold the only "no hitter" in Metropolitans history because this thing is certainly no hit either.
Team colors: red, blue, white
...But this hat?: Nothing but Trumbo, errr... trouble
This Angels hat is devilishly bad.
When you create a ball cap that resembles the scribblings and doodles of a middle schooler's notebook, you know something's wrong. It probably has "Call Me Maybe" written on it somewhere.
On the plus side, since half the hat is blank, people on the right side of you will have no idea what bad taste you have.
Team colors: red, white, blue
...But this hat?: Looks like a beach-ball with a "P" on it.
It's always ugly in Philadelphia.
A hideous disaster of a hat that looks like the playtime mat of kindergarten students. Between injuries and a lackluster first half-season, things are rough enough in Philadelphia without Skittles-colored hats making fans look silly.
Save your money and go get a cheesesteak instead.
Team colors: "Dodger Blue," white
...But this hat?: Looks like something Justin Bieber would wear...
We can only guess that this hat was trying to spell out "LAME", but they just ran out of red thread.
Graffiti is sloppy. There's a reason sane people don't want it tattooing the sides of buildings or under bridge overpasses in their towns. The look of scribbled black and white outlines simply isn't representing one of baseball's classic teams properly.
Not to mention this hat places the "LA" right in front of the word "Angels".
Team colors: red, navy blue, white
...But this hat?: This thing "Sawx"!!
Take one part Marshmallow Peep and one part Marilyn Manson's wardrobe, and you'll have a pleather mess that'll get you beat up inside Fenway Park before the first pitch.
Shiny, ill-colored, and one would guess quite squeaky, this Barney the Dinosaur cap won't win you friends with the collective Red Sox nation.
In fact, if you wear this, buy everyone in your section a Fenway Frank to make peace for having to stare at your glossy coconut for an entire game.
Team colors: royal blue, red, white
...But this hat?: Put this bear into hibernation.
Cubs fans, this isn't making your 2012 season any easier to swallow.
Apparently some Deadhead snuck into the New Era factory and concocted this laughable lime bear cap that looks like it has to be plugged in to work.
It should be thrown back like an opponent's home run ball at Wrigley.
Team colors: red, navy blue, white
...But this hat?: Fruit Loops on your head, nothing inside it.
Team colors: midnight blue, white
...But this hat?: Worthy of a Bronx cheer
Even Nick Swisher wouldn't smile at this.
Along with Manchester United, the New York Yankees are owners to one of the most recognizable team insignias in all of sports.
With the good also comes the bad, though. With that kind of worldwide popularity, your logo unfortunately ends up on this.
The internet is filled with horrid caps disgracing the classic Bronx Bombers logo in a variety of colors. This particular one? Just brings them all together into one collective spot.
Team colors: navy blue, crimson, white
...But this hat?: "shockingly" bad
Fittingly, this hat should be sent to the chair.
This fashion fiasco may have 10,000 volts all over it, but it has a doofus under it.
If more than one of these was sold, the Mayans may just be right.