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Need serious help with '70 & '71 Oakland A's Caps


Jungle Jim

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I am attempting to catalog all of the caps/helmets worn by each of the MLB teams, and have reached a point of confusion. The Dressed To The Nines site sponsored by the Hall of Fame and based on the Mark Okkonen book shows this for the 1970 and 1971 Oakland A's. If you don't want to open the link, the sample players are wearing the kelly green caps with white "A's" logo and yellow bill. Pretty much the same cap the team wore throughout the 70s.

Here's my problem: I have found 1971 and 1972 Topps baseball cards and other photos of A's players that show caps/helmets that are different. For example, this 1971 Topps card, with a photo taken in 1970 or earlier, shows a player in a solid green cap with "A's" logo and NO yellow bill. This 1972 Reggie Jackson card, with a photo taken in 1971 or earlier, shows him in a solid green helmet with the "A's" logo and NO yellow bill. It is a fact that the A's wore solid green caps prior to 1970, but those had only an "A" logo, not "A's" logo.

The mystery deepens with this action photo of Reggie Jackson that shows him wearing a solid yellow helmet with a simple "A" logo and this photo from the 1971 All-Star Game that shows him wearing a yellow helmet with green painted bill.

A side note is that two versions of yellow Oakland A's souvenir batting helmets were produced by Sports Products Corporation of Cleveland in the late 60s or early 70s. Both had a green "A's" logo, but one was solid yellow where the other was produced with a green painted bill.

The Dressed To The Nines site I linked to earlier makes no reference whatsoever to yellow A's caps or helmets, or to solid green A's caps with the "A's" logo.

What's the truth here? Can anybody help? Any longtime A's or baseball fans that remember that far back? Any and all help would be much appreciated!

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How far along are you on your quest to catalog every cap, I'd love to see what you're up to, I've been collecting baseball caps for awhile and have over two hundred but unfortunately not the ones you're looking for. But this is what I can tell you,

A. people use Okkonen's book like it's a relgious book or something, but I can tell you that it's not %100 accurate. Probably more like %95. From alot of pictures I've seen that A's solid green cap did exist. Okkonen has missed a few caps by my account that I've found photos of in the past so I'm not surprised.

B. Batting helmets often don't match any cap that was ever produced, so thats really not the best way to look for photo proof. A recent example is a few years back the D'Backs wore purple batting helmets with the Rattle Snake "D" on them, but they never had a cap like that. The cap was black with that logo.

I hope this info helps a little and keep me updated on your progress, or any questions I might be able to answer.

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shouldn't this be in the Requests thread?

The only thing I'm requesting is discussion and clarification. I really don't need anyone to create or give me logos or anything. It's just a topic for discussion, that's all.

griffin, thanks for the insights. Actually, I should've been a bit clearer in what I said about cataloging "caps". My starting point is actually "helmets", so based on what you have said, that changes things. I've gone back as far as 1959. Given that MLB didn't adopt protective helmets until 1956 (some players wore them as early as 1941), I've gone about as far back as I can. I'll start on caps once I'm satisfied with what I've done on the helmets.

I am aware that teams have fairly frequently worn caps for which there was no helmet (current DevilRays green caps, Jays graphite caps, Cardinals "cardinal alternate", and Rockies purple-bill alternate are four current examples), but I didn't realize that they had worn helmets for which there was no caps, as in the DBacks example you gave.

Could it be that the team started the 1970 Spring Training with solid green caps/helmets with "A's" logo and then switched to the yellow bills when the regular season started? I know it wasn't uncommon that some of the Topps card photos got taken in Spring Training. I also think they used photos older than the previous season, at times, as well, so that might explain Reggie's 1972 card showing him in a helmet with no yellow bill?

It also could be that Reggie's yellow helmet used in the '71 All-Star game was a one-time thing. Players were not required to follow their team's uniform rules in the All Star game. I recall Dave Parker going to bat in a Pirates uniform and Padres helmet one time, and Reds players would sport red spikes when the team required black-only during regular season games.

I'm just grasping at straws here. Again, if anyone can speak as an authority on this, please do.

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I'm gonna look into this one because you have a point about teams wearing things for spring training, then ditching them. The key would be to find a 1971 baseball card where they are sporting the all green A's cap in an actual game. Most of the photos I'm finding are just posed shots. I will say this, the a's have done some weird things in the past because 1970 was also the year the players wore green caps and the coaches wore white.

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I checked Okkonen's book and the 1970 picture in the book is different than the 1970 picture on "Dressed to the Nines". In the book, the 1970 picture shows a solid kelly green hat with an "A". It looks like the 1970 and 71 pictures on the web are identical. As for the helmets - I've seen both the solid yellow and the yellow with the green bill. I do not remember seeing a solid green helmet. The only frames of reference I can give you is that when Denny McLain beat the A's for his 30th win of the 1968 season, they wore all yellow helmets. I think the yellow helmet with green bill was used in 1971, but all I can remember from that season is Reggie in the All-Star Game.

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"[q]but I didn't realize that they had worn helmets for which there was no caps,"[/q]

The Twins in the 70s wore batting helmets that did not match their hats the helmets had a red bill navy helmet with a white front patch with White T Red C.

It was hard to see the white T because of the white background so it often look like a Cincinnati Reds logo

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I checked Okkonen's book and the 1970 picture in the book is different than the 1970 picture on "Dressed to the Nines". In the book, the 1970 picture shows a solid kelly green hat with an "A". It looks like the 1970 and 71 pictures on the web are identical. As for the helmets - I've seen both the solid yellow and the yellow with the green bill. I do not remember seeing a solid green helmet. The only frames of reference I can give you is that when Denny McLain beat the A's for his 30th win of the 1968 season, they wore all yellow helmets. I think the yellow helmet with green bill was used in 1971, but all I can remember from that season is Reggie in the All-Star Game.

It sounds like the book has the 1970 caps matching the 1969 caps.

When the team wore the all-yellow helmets for McClain's 30th win game, I guess it's safe to assume that they had the "A" logo, since the "A's" logo didn't debut until 1970?

This photo of Reggie would seem to indicate that, although I guess nothing is impossible:

c_reggie3_i.jpg

Does anyone know which is the most-populated A's message board? I'm sure someone there would have old A's yearbooks to use as a reference. I did a google search, but it wasn't immediately obvious which ones were legitimate and which were ghost towns.

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Another helmet for which there was no cap was the Brewers' helmet of 1978 - 1986(?). 

Blue helmet with white front panel.  I would have liked them to wear a cap like this - Twins Enterprise finally made a Franchise version, and it's my favorite cap that I own.

It is odd that they never wore the white panel caps, since they wore yellow/gold panel caps. So the helmets had white panels and the caps had gold panels. Must've been a shortage of yellow-gold paint in those days? :D Something that many have forgotten is that the Brewers also wore the gold panels with the Milwaukee-Braves-type straight-M logo that they used before 1978. Also something that has been forgotten is that the white panels on the Brewers helmets were different than the white panels on the helmets of the other teams that had them, such as the Twins, Blue Jays, and Orioles.

Notice the difference:

79tmolit.jpg

ph_history_timeline_big1.jpg

Furthermore, the Padres' yellow panel was somewhat smaller than the other teams, just as the panels on their caps were:

17280.jpg

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