The reviews of the Nats hats have been mixed. Some people, myself included, love them, while others think the “W” looks like it is from a dude ranch. That may have been true for the last Senators cap, which inspired the current model, but the “W” is a cleaner typeface now. The “DC” cap (and something I campaigned for on my Nats portal), used during spring training and for batting practice, has been positively received and gotten good press. While the “DC” has a lot of cachet, but I am just head over heels with the W. I would not be surprised if the “DC” hat does become official someday though, they can switch off every few years.
The MLB Shop posted the caps just before the press conference.
This got me to thinking that whether you like the W or not, it is an improvement over initial hats of almost of all of the expansion franchises since 1969. Since then, only two teams (Royals and Rockies) have had what could be considered a “classic” look, while others have been pretty gaudy, if not atrocious. Let’s compare, shall we:
San Diego Padres (1969)
Their brown and yellow scheme was awful. Their last two designs have been solid though, but it took 16 years to get something decent.
Montreal Expos (1969)
The Nats predecssors logo was mysertrious to many baseball fans. Back in the mid-90s, I remember doubting a friend who told me that it was suppossed to be an “M.” I later learned it was suppossed to be “eMb” for Expos Montreal Baseball. The tri-color hat was also pretty hard on the eyes.
Seattle Pilots (1969)
Just plain ugly, no other way around it. It’s no wonder they only lasted a season. They are the only baseball team of the last fifty years (if not longer) to have something on the bill of the hat.
Kansas City Royals (1969)
The best out of all the second wave-and-beyond expansion teams. Simple, elegant and classic. They have stuck with the interlocking “KC” and probably always will. This was a big improvement over the Kansas City A’s cap. They need to return to the royal blue cap full time though.
Milwaukee Brewers (1970)
Pretty good for a team that was created days before the season began. Very similar to the Braves cap, only with different colors. Reminds me a little bit of the Michigan hat though, so points off there.
Texas Rangers (1972)
A big white “T” with a red outline. Not great to look at, but not horrible either except for the fact it had been a “W” the previous year.
Toronto Blue Jays (1977)
Overall, not a bad logo, but too big for a ballcap. It looked better when it was all blue. They also had the white front that was popular at the time. Surprisingly, this was better than the design that followed.
Seattle Mariners (1977)
A trident as an “M”? This hat is a nice effort to be unique, but ignores the city they played in which is a no-no in my book and it just is not very attractive. Looks kind of like an NBA throwback logo.
Colorado Rockies (1993)
Though not exciting, a perfectly servicable design that will never look dated. I think they added a little purple to it over the years, which detracts from it a little bit.
Florida Marlins (1993)
It is tough having such a bad name and that is reflected in the crummy hat. Whether it was teal or black, the swordfish/F logo is too big and well, ugly.
Arizona Diamondbacks (1998)
Another bad name that sounds like something out of the NBA. The “A” is too big and has too many colors. The serpentine D for road games was slightly better.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998)
Another example of why teams should not name themselves after aquatic life. The big TB around a manta ray looks minor league, so I guess it fits this sorry franchise.
Now, don’t you feel better about the “W” already? Out of all of these, the “W” is at least top three since ’69, so in the end, like or not, we did alright.
You think of a baseball cap as not only part of the official uniform, but in the best case scenario a symbol of a city. The best ones are simple and elegant, while the worst ones tend to be garish and complicated. Here is my review of the 30 caps currently used in the big leagues.
Nationals – an improvement on the past, very distinctive
Yankees – pretty much the same for eight decades
Red Sox – too many being purchased lately
Dodgers – hasn’t changed since moving out of Brooklyn
Giants – a great insignia — cites that have two words in their names are at an advantage
Pirates – just about perfect, this says “Pittsburgh” and represents the city better than just about any other
Phillies – back to basics, a dramatic improvement over previous insignia
White Sox – was a sensation when it debuted
Detroit – good enough for Thomas Magnum
Twins – moving back to the TC hat was a good idea
Brewers – probably my favorite new design, the barley is subtle enough
Cardinals – it has worked for decades
Reds – drop shadow addition makes a classic even better
Cubs – C is not the easiest letter to work with, but changing it does not make sense
Padres – it works
Royals – switching to black as primary color responsible for demotion
Angels – an improvement over the previous Disney model and a nice nod to prior versions
Braves – simple, but effective
Mets – they are messing around with a great insignia by adding too many colors, they used to be great
Mariners – too busy, too many colors
Astros – their best hat was for their previous nickname
Colorado – kind of boring, looked better without the purple
Baltimore – previous bird looked better
Rangers – better than the plain block “T”
A’s – decent, but could represent any city and probably will soon enough
Diamondbacks – too big, too many colors, I don’t know why anyone would wear it outside of Arizona or in Arizona for that matter
Devil Rays – just dreadful, the manta ray is a poor animal for a nickname and should be removed from the hat; this makes that whole region look bad
Blue Jays – not as good as original hat; looks like it belongs on a football helmet
Marlins – the fish is stupid, but there is hope – team may be called “Miami” in a few years and redesign the hat
Indians – outdated caricature, put a “C” on the hat and be done with it