I buy a new Sox hat around this time every year and, my puppy having chewed through all but two of the caps in my collection, I decided it was time to pounce on the old-school, red-on-navy fitted once more, the best cap the Sox have had without it being particularly close:
But this time, I couldn’t really find it. What you see above isn’t even the genuine article (material is wrong), just a color match. It’s not just that this particular throwback fitted is hard to find, either. It’s as if it never existed, except for in photos — and outside of game photos from the 1970s, it is strikingly difficult, in internet terms, to find those, too.
This is very weird because about 12 years ago I walked into a Lids store and bought one on a whim... in Brooklyn. They had my size and everyone else’s. This time, it was not for sale through the Red Sox team store, Fanatics or New Era, though you can find it for resale, albeit in small numbers. It has been effectively taken off the market, if not memory-holed entirely.
This is very strange! If nothing else, if I was running a baseball team, I would simply sell the best cap the team has ever worn. Could it be a “red hat” thing? Probably not, as you can readily buy this. You can (and maybe should) buy a fitted cap that has a bunch of hearts on it. Ketchup-on-mustard colored? Sure! You cannot buy a “State Forest” edition fitted with giant fish on it, but only because it’s sold out. You can imagine where the list goes from here. If you build it, they will buy it, and they have built quite a bit. But in this case, they’ve pulled the plug.
Penultimately, I’m guessing the team views the yellow-and-blue City Connect color scheme as their new secondary uniform, and they’re trying to smother the red-on-navy look, at least for the time being, in the fan’s imagination. It may even be contractual. It certainly seems intentional. Regardless, my theory is that they should sell the City Connect caps alongside the best cap they’ve ever had, not instead of it. Bold, I know.
Ultimately, this is all just so weird — which, in fairness, tracks pretty with the rest of [points to everything] the last few years. They usually just side with the money, and the one time I want them to, they betray me? SMDH, folks. SMDH. Just not with that hat on it.