Here’s the lid your Colorado Rockies are scheduled to wear for 2022 spring training:
Dare we call it: the ‘Purple Mountains Majesty’ edition.
It’s different. It’s innovative compared to spring headwear of the past. For better or for worse, it’s another way for the New Era Cap Company to sell caps.
You, the reader, probably have an opinion on these hats just from seeing a photo. Let the remainder of this article serve as an objective analysis for the caps itself, how far the spring training collection has come, and where the Rockies stand after nearly 10 years of mountain logos on these bad boys.
New Era introduced “Diamond Era” fabric in 2013 that was more ventilating and breathable than a standard on-field cap. This was the spring training fabric of choice for many years.
In 2022, however, the Diamond Era looks to be turning to the Mesh Era.
MLB is rolling out a mesh-back trucker cap style for 2022, minus the trucker snapback. This appears to be even more ventilating than Diamond Era hats and perfect for toasty afternoons in Florida and Arizona, assuming it’s a high-quality mesh that warrants a $44 price tag.
Spring training hats have previously doubled as regular season batting practice hats (without the spring training patches, of course). This is where you may have previously seen a mountain logo on a hat at Coors Field. If 2022 spring hats turn into regular season BP hats, they could also be perfect for midsummer heat.
We’re speaking of the actual specs of the hat itself, for the record. We’ll dive into the aesthetic further:
MLB first introduced the spring training patch in 2016:
Biggest changes in Spring Training hats pic.twitter.com/zjuABmT8JK— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 28, 2016
The interstate shield-inspired patch would appear again in 2017 under different colors for both the Grapefruit and Cactus League.
MLB has kept up with new patches over the years, like the cactus and palm tree silhouette in 2019:
These side patches in 2019 did not have a year on them, which was great for fans that didn’t want to buy another hat the following year. (A classic lesson in merchandise: put a year on everything so somebody will buy it again in 12 months.)
The patch on the 2022 hats does not have a year either, which is a general win for the consumer and hat longevity.
Some may like the modern twist on the new Cactus League patch with the green and blue colors and modern flair of two-tone artwork. One may also think it looks like somebody made a saguaro cactus out of painter’s tape and brushed over it real quick, so it’s up to you to decide if the patch itself is good or bad. (The green on the Cactus League patch looks like a side profile of a Baroque-era composer, hair and all, with their face pointing left.)
If MLB keeps up the trend of using batting practice hats, you might be able to pick up one of these spring training caps without the patch altogether.
The Rockies tried something new in 2013. Take a look at this beauty:
The purple mountains debuted on the 2013 spring training hats and remained a spring training/batting practice staple until 2020, when the Rockies switched to a Colorado flag-inspired “CR” in red, blue and yellow. That design stuck around in 2021.
The mountain logo had its own flag-inspired colorway in 2019:
The latest redesign gets us back on track with the mountain logo. The purple and black is far less visible than the yellow from a distance, but it certainly cements the Rockies’ purple and serves as a fresh new look for those that missed the mountain logo over the past two years.
What does a great ball cap look like?
The mountain logo itself has a lot of noise. It’s far from the simplicity of an “NY,” “LA,” Boston “B” or Detroit “D,” which are some arguable leaders in hat identification.
The purple and black in 2022 is a contrast that may lack visibility from across the field, but some can also view it as a fun twist that can be celebrated for being different. We’ll see just how long this variation sticks around — and just how vibrant the purple is under the Arizona sun.
Hopefully those games start soon, no matter what hat is worn.
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Sources: MLB, players’ union still far apart after latest meeting yields no game-changer in CBA negotiations | ESPN
Day 100 of the lockout is fast approaching and Rockies owner Dick Monfort continues to spearhead labor discussion as a league representative. He met as part of the league/union meetings in Jupiter, Florida on Monday and both parties are reportedly meeting a little more often this week, which suggests at least some degree of progress is being made.
In case you missed it: our Affected by Altitude crew put together an offseason episode! Topics include Hall of Fame voting, Bud Black’s contract extension and the ongoing labor dispute.
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