Reading the DC Sports Bog’s Monday post on the Washington Nationals new batting practice caps gave me an idea. I have already complained about the Nats BP caps — red brim, white front panel and blue side and back panels. I never liked the white front panel on any cap and not just because the Baltimore Orioles used to do it. It looks dated and contrasts with road gray uniforms.
If MLB or the Nats (I don’t know who makes the decision on these sorts of things) were insistent on a BP cap with white on it, they should have gone all the way. In 1967, Washington Senators general manager George Selkirk did not care for the colorful uniforms that Kansas City/Oakland Athletics wore. As a protest, the Senators were outfitted in white caps (with red piping like the blue Senators caps of the time) and just their white sanitary socks — no stirrups. The whole episode was detailed in a 2007 Uni-Watch post: Nice Day for a White
BP caps and jerseys are more about merchandising than necessity. I don’t mind the jerseys so much because solid color jerseys look okay on the typical fan in the ballpark and elsewhere. I’ve got an old New York Yankees one from when I was about 13. The BP caps though are pretty dumb. Last year, most Nats taking BP just wore their official game caps in the cage. However, if there have to be BP caps, I’d just as soon go with a look that references D.C. baseball history. The Nats haven’t been as active with that as they should be, so any opportunity to do so is worth taking. Prior to the painful 34-year interregnum, there were 71 seasons of major league baseball in the nation’s capital and there is a lot of history to embrace.