What Material Was Used to Make the First Baseball Caps?

Straw was used to make the first baseball caps in the US. The first official baseball team uniform was implemented in 1849 by the New York Knickerbockers and consisted of wool pants, flannel shirts, and straw hats. This style was mainly worn until 1860, when the Brooklyn Excelsiors adopted a merino wool cap with a soft rounded top and a bill that eventually became the modern baseball hat. The first major league team to adorn their official hat with an image of their team mascot was the Detroit Tigers, who donned caps with tiger images on them starting in 1901.

More about baseball caps:

  • In 1895, baseball caps with transparent bills were introduced in an attempt to make it easier for players to see while still blocking the sun; however, they never caught on enough to be adopted as an official hat.
  • While men’s baseball caps were fitted, the women’s leagues in the 1940s and 1950s had one-size-fits-all caps.
  • Approximately 60% of cap sales are to non-athletes for fashion use rather than for actually wearing to play the sport and 15% of caps are sold to women, according to New Era, the manufacturer of the official baseball caps for Major League Baseball (MLB).

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