So, where did this creature come from? Any of you who are baseball or hat aficionados can already guess: It was made by the artisans at Ebbets Field Flannels. Ebbets was started in the late 80’s by Jerry Cohen and they special in making gorgeous wool baseball jerseys, and wool hats. A massive number of people use their services to produce fashion hats for their brands, and you can find there work anywhere from major motion pictures to J.Crew racks (Shelves? Yeah, shelves. Hats don’t go on racks, do they? I’ve never been inside a J. Crew, maybe they have racks of hats.)
I had this sample made in 2013 to see how it would turn out and to gauge interest in getting a small run of them produced to sell at the Eephus League shop. The brand colors are ostensibly black and orange, but something about doing a black hat seemed unappealing to me. I have another Ebbets hat that’s black and gold, and that may or may not have affected my choice of going to navy. The logo was always going to be set in white felt, so that decision was set. The next choice what to decide if the brim should have an alternate color. After speaking with a rep, I found out an orange brim wasn’t an option, so all-navy it was.
I was saddened by the impossibility of the orange brim, but my spirits were brightened by the option to have an orange button at the top of the hat, so that was a definite yes. The eyelets could have a different color thread, but this seemed messy to me, so I chose navy to match the wool on the hat. The leather adjustment strap was an obvious choice, and the last thing I had to decide was if I wanted to really take this above and beyond and add some embroidery. Simply putting “Eephus League” seemed like a waste. This hat needed to SAY something.
“Any time I see the branding for the Eephus League successfully executed in a new media it gives me an immense amount of pride that this thing that I created has some validity.”
When I started the Eephus League during my last semester of school, I made a set of 10 poster designs as a part of the project, and once the site had a little bit of a following, I asked people which posters they wanted to see in the kickstarter campaign. The winner far and away (and still the best seller) is the “There is but one game, and that game is baseball” poster, using the famous John McGraw quote. During the design phase of the Halfliner, I took to using “For the one game” as an homage to that quote, and it became the slogan for the Eephus League. Ultimately that’s what went on the hat, and I set it with a bit of an arch in a simple chamfered face that I hoped would translate well into embroidery.
After sending the money and waiting a few weeks for the hat to be produced, it finally arrived, and boy, is it ever pretty. The button on the cap is less of an orange and more of a reddish-salmon color (it inspired the color I use on this site, in fact) but I’m rather fond of it and think it’s better than what I had envisioned. Any time I see the branding for the Eephus League successfully executed in a new media it gives me an immense amount of pride that this thing that I created has some validity. The white logo glows against the deep navy backdrop, and the embroidery sits quietly on the back, the cherry on top of an awesome sundae. The hat has been well received, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on making a full run on it yet. I’m probably going to wait until I am at a point where I need to reprint the original scorebooks (in a year or so) and do a big revamp of the store and try to find some other baseball folks to cross-promote with. So for now, there’s only one of these, and it rests upon my head. It’s ok if you’re jealous.