Just last week, I was having dinner at the Big River Grille in downtown Chattanooga when a high school baseball team walked by. Not one player had a bent bill. With the help of some alcohol and the presence of my friend Keith (who can fight better than I can), I let out some of my pent up frustrations. As they passed, I hollered, “Bend your bills! Bend them! Bring back the bend!!” Most of the impressionable youngsters didn’t respond, except for one. He looked at me as he passed by, and with a cold Clint Eastwood sort of look in his eyes, he simply said, “No.” It was then I knew that we have a serious problem on our hands.
Nothing burns my mitt more than these kids with their straight bills. It looks awful, and it cannot be comfortable. I think it started with the hip hop community, and now it’s spreading to all cap-wearers like wildfire. Something needs to be done about this soon. Ty Cobb would roll in his grave if he saw the current degradation of the baseball cap as we know it. Who is responsible for the flattened bill making it’s way into the baseball world? Some think it’s former National’s closer, Chad Cordero, and some blame Braves middle reliever, Kris Medlen. My research has pointed towards Dontrelle Willis as the guilty culprit behind this unforgivable crime. And, to make this crime even worse and even more painful, some flat-bill-wearers turn the cap slightly sideways.
In 1860, the Brooklyn Excelsiors were the first to sport the modern baseball cap as we know it. The basic shape, including the curved bill was designed after the 19th century sun bonnets. Since 1860, the baseball cap, as we know it, has come a long way. By the 50’s, New Era began making fitted caps, because some players had bigger heads than others. Throughout the 1800’s, the early to mid-1900’s, and all the way to the early 2000’s, bats have been made of wood, the grass has been green, there’s been 9 position players, and the bills have been bended. Let’s join arms and keep this wonderful baseball tradition alive.
God bless you, Adam Wainwright.