Baseball

MLB Independence Day Hat Reflection

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With baseball being Americas pastime, it only makes sense that Major League Baseball honors its wonderful country by celebrating the Declaration of Independence with some star-spangled swag. It is a tradition that is not as old as one may think. Between 2002 and 2007, the Independence Day hats were simply the usual hat, but with an American flag stitched to the side. The idea of a uniquely annual hat made specifically for the holiday began in 2008.

MLB released the 2022 Independence Day hats during the final week of June. It is time to discuss them, and compare them to some previous Independence Day hats which did or did not work and why.

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Your opinion on this hat is entirely based on your fondness for the torn flag across the crown. Since MLB hats are so accustomed to one central logo, some fans may decide that a broad backdrop design across the width of the forehead is simply too much to look at. This may be why the designers specifically chose a torn flag, instead of a completed one, so that the middle of the crown is empty, making the team logo legible. I feel that is the ultimate strength of this hat: they found a way to throw a lot of colors and designs while still making the team logo bold and readable.

In a way, this has to be the evolution of the 2015 Independence Day hat, which also imprinted an American flag broadly against the crown. The difference is, in 2015, the flag was muted for a white logo to pop, while in this case, the flag is manipulated so a dark logo can pop. Both of these hats do a great job being readable. Given that MLB has used the entire space of the crown on multiple occasions, I wonder if that is a look which MLB may look to encourage teams to adopt for a regular basis.

2016 also attempted to print on the entire crown and boy, was it a disaster. What 2015 and 2022 hats clearly understood, is that the logo is the centerpiece, and the crown design had to be secondary, and adjacent . The 2015 stars design does the exact opposite: it makes the backdrop the primary focus, and the logo secondary. As a result, the logo gets completely lost in the visual overdrive of lines.

The 2022 hat finds the sweet spot between the success of the 2015 look and the failure of the 2016 look, and with success in my opinion. Again, it is most fair to compare the three, because they aim to accomplish the same visual effect.

For my personal money, the best Independence Day hat can from 2019. Many hats have tried the superimposed American flag on to the team logo, but the gold accents and trims make this had look presidential and reminiscent of 1776. This hat is a regal majesty, and deserves to be on my head every 4th of July.

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