Bring Back the Bend

by on April 8, 2010   4 Comments

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.

Author: Josh Brown
Categories: College Baseball,Independent Baseball,International Baseball,Major League Baseball (MLB),Minor League Baseball (MiLB),Prep Baseball
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  1. Ty Cobb would roll over in his grave…just because of the number of non-white men in the game.

    And I agree, with a flat bill, you just look like a moron. You don’t have to do the redneck curl or crease it down the middle like an eight-year old, but put a little shape in it.

    Comment by Matt Pennington
    April 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  2. The flat bill got really trendy while I was in college in the early 2000s at Michigan and I have to admit that I was all about it. While I don’t think the trucker hat bend looks any better than the ironing board style flat bill that looks straight out of the box (with or without sticker), I still keep my hats relatively flat unless it is “franchise” style cap. Any game style cap doesn’t work well with a big bend, so I just pinch the edges together enough to have it not look literally flat.

    Functionally, it makes sense for position players as the bill has increased in size over the years to help block out the sun and the flatter the bill the better the peripheral vision (if you google Cobb you see how little the bills used to be back in the day). It doesn’t, however, have any function for pitchers except for fashion and I have a serious problem when the hats are oversized enough to cover the ears.

    Comment by Jason Wuerfel
    April 9, 2010 at 12:36 am

  3. In HS I played with a relatively fat bill 1990-1994…just slightly bent. I was the odd one out on the team back then as it seemed everyone was wearing that giant trucker roll. I thought that not only looked stupid but it hindered my vision at third. Heck, I was really the odd one out looking back as I even wore my pants legs to cover just below the knee…anyway, I think the trucker roll will come back eventually…we all know styles are cyclical.

    Comment by Mark
    November 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

  4. Hi, I bend all my caps but haven’t tried any of the tragic looking “flat bills” yet… Whenever I see flat bills on caps I think of grandpas and kids, i.e. people that “just has a hat on”
    But to each his own… here’s my psycho tutorial:

    1. Get a cap! I find that Starters and FlexFit caps (don’t know if that’s the brand-name or some patent thing) bend the best. BEWARE!!! Cheapo caps have CARDBOARD inside the bill, These will be ruined by any bending method! I believe the Starter and FlexFits use some kind of plastic.
    2. Get a bottle! I always use a bottle with a radius that’s a little tighter than the bend I want. Usually an 1.5l PET-bottle, all sodas in Norway come in this size or in a smaller 0.5l bottle, which would give a tighter bend. Use a bottle with a bigger radius if you have a wide head.
    3. Fill bottle with hot water, bend bill around bottle, secure it with rubber bands or a piece of string. Make sure you don’t wrap it too tight as marks can be left in the fabric. if all you have is thin string, put some cardboard or w.e. between the string and bill.
    4. Make sure the bill is facing 100% downwards on the bottle, so the bend isn’t warped!
    5. Fill a sink or w.e. with hot water and place the bottle gently in the water (so that you keep the front bulge or w.e. intact). Make sure the whole bill is submerged for the duration.
    6. Wait 20-30min (guesstimate on required time, I leave them for hours sometimes).
    7. Pick bottle with cap still attached out of the water.
    8. Place the bottle upright in a suitable place for drying.
    9. Once cap is dry, remove strings, rubber-bands or what else you might have used.
    10. Put you hat on! it might be a little tight at the temples at first. If needed, you can re-flatten it some with your hands. (looking at the inside of the cap with the front of the bill down towards your pinkies, place thumbs at either side where the arch of the bill kinda flattens out and your other fingers should meet at the middle on the topside of the bill.) Bend the bill against the bend, it should be no problem as the general bend is decided by the bottle…

    Comment by Christer Marius Abrahamsen
    July 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

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