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nateoxford

Who makes the best baseball cap?

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I love wearing baseball caps, and take pleasure in wearing a nice, solid baseball cap. Unfortunately, as a high school student I don't have much money, and so have been unable to experiment much with different brands of wool ballcaps. The only brand I have worn in New Era 5950 caps, which I can say I'm satisfied with - I just sometimes wonder if there are better brands than New Era, such as Cooperstown Ballcap Company or Ebbets.

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Are you looking for fashion caps or baseball caps like the players wear?

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New Era > any other ball cap company.

Sure, they have some flaws, but when you buy one, just make sure you inspect it. There is no better ballcap than a New Era 59Fifty. It DOMINATES over all.

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I have a zephyr hat and it's pretty good. I do not prefer the 59 50s though .

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Franchise caps by Twins Enterprise are the most comfortable caps you'll ever wear, I have a Phillies and Nationals cap.

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I prefer the Farnchise cap from Twins Enterprise. It's washed cotton, low profile, and well made. No inspection necessary in my experience. Available at lids.com or Lids stores.

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I miss Sports Specialties. I loved those caps.

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As you can tell by the responses so far, personel preference will influence your opinion quite a bit... Personaly, I'm a 59Fifty fan. Like bucfan said, you may have to look through a few caps to look past a few of their quality controll issues, but once you fine a "good one," I think there isn't a better made cap in the business, especially after broken in properly.

With that said, I'll also give my opinion of the other caps brought up:

Cooperstown Ballcap Co. Caps are okay. Yes, the leather sweat-band is awesome, but the quality controll is worse than New Era. Problem with that is, when you're talking about a cap that's $44 in the first place, and individually hand made - I personally expect more. But that's just me.

Zephyr fitted caps are nice as well. They probibly make the nicest fitted non-MLB type caps available. I've got a Minnesota Wild fitted cap that I've had for five and a half years, and it just feels like it fits my head.

Twins Enterprises - and especially the Franchise model - are awesome. They are already "broken in" right off the shelf. It's like the old shirt you've had since you were in high school - it's just right. What I don't like about these caps - they look sloppy. Also, they are only available in size S, M, L and XL (occasionally you can find an XXL). Not an exact science.

As far as Ebbets Field - I've never had one. Same for American Needle...

Hope my ramblings help...

Moose

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Cooperstown Ballcap Co. Caps are okay.  Yes, the leather sweat-band is awesome, but the quality controll is worse than New Era.  Problem with that is, when you're talking about a cap that's $44 in the first place, and individually hand made - I personally expect more.  But that's just me.

I have a question about Cooperstown Ballcap Co. caps. Are they more comfortable than New Era caps? Another question: What sorts of quality control problems are you talking about? Logo off-center, poor stitching, etc.?

btw, thank you everyone for the replies. They are very helpful!

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I've had a few, but I have to say it hasn't inspired me to have a favorite.

59Fiftys are the standard. If you go to the store, pick one that is made well, and most importantly try it on (don't just pick the one that's your size) then they are awesome. They last for a LONG time, they're comfortable, and (as long as you don't pick the trendy rapper model) they don't go out of style. I have a whole ritual for breaking them in, which I'll mention at the end.

Twins Franchise caps are good, but you asked about wool caps, and they are washed cotton. I have about... 15 or 20 of them, and I love them. Out of those, maybe 2 don't fit right, so again, you have to be careful. (I got lazy and started buying them online, only to get XL's that were a little too snug, where normally that fits like a glove.) They're SO comfortable, and the low, soft crown never makes you look like you have a conehead under that giant crown of the 59Fifty. The downside is that they are TOO F'ING expensive. There is no friggin WAY they should charge $23 or $24 for them. They're like the cheap adjustable caps, but fitted, and I'd say that about $17 or $18 tops would be a fair price. So prepare to feel like you overpaid, but you'll LOVE the hat.

American Needle I don't like. The ones I have aren't all wool the way 59Fifty's are, so they don't shrink to my head the way I like. Also the size is probably a whole size different from the sizing of 59Fifty, so trying it on here is a MUST.

Cooperstown Ballcap... I am wary of those, that's all I'll say for that.

Ebbets Field... I hear GREAT things about, but you have to know you're getting an old style hat, so it's going to fit like an old style hat... not the way that they are worn today. But I hear the quality is supurb.

Zephyr is good. For these, I prefer the stretch-fit zephyr hats, though. Same for Reebok. I actually am currently a huge fan of New Era and Reebok stretch one-fit caps.

---

As promised, SabreGuy's 59Fifty breaking-in ritual. (I have at least 70 or 80, so I've had time to perfect this.)

I buy them a size too big at the store. I take them home, and first thing in the morning, toss them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, and take it out before the spin cycle. Take it outside and wave it around to get as much dripping water off as you can.

It'll look ruined, but it's not. You cut off the loose strings that are all over the place on the inside. If any seams have frayed, you can trim the fuzz back a little there too. With your hands form it back in to roughly the shape of a ball cap, and shove the whole thing on your head.

Really squish it down there, so that it fits exactly how you want it. Your head is going to be wet, and water will be dripping down the sides of your head. Curve the bill the way you want it, it's wet and flexible now, so it will be easily pliable.

Now... wear it ALL day. As it dries, keep making sure it is on your head the way you want, and keep curving that bill back to the way you like it.

By the time you go to bed, it will be dry, and be COMPLETELY form fitted to your head. I LOVE them this way. This isn't for everyone, because occasionally it can f-up. But I've got SO many hats that fit like gloves from doing this.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that.

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My favorite style of hat is the various Franchise styles by Twin Enterprises. Extremely comfortable fit, and they look great.

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Cooperstown Ballcap Co. Caps are okay.  Yes, the leather sweat-band is awesome, but the quality controll is worse than New Era.  Problem with that is, when you're talking about a cap that's $44 in the first place, and individually hand made - I personally expect more.  But that's just me.

I have a question about Cooperstown Ballcap Co. caps. Are they more comfortable than New Era caps? Another question: What sorts of quality control problems are you talking about? Logo off-center, poor stitching, etc.?

Here's my impression of the two Cooperstown Ballcap Co. Caps I've purchased:

Comfortable, yes. I can't express how much I love the leather sweatband. The wool is of the top quality.

Here's specifically what I wasn't happy with. On my first cap, I likely bought the wrong style cap. I bought a 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates pillbox cap:

PITN77.GIF

The first problem with this cap is that it cannot hold it's shape. The cap is as floppy as can be, and looks aweful. Also, the embroidered "P" is a bit off-center and sloppy. It's noticable to me, but might not be to someone who didn't stare at it as long as I have.

The second cap I bought (as a birthday present for my father), was a 1945 Cubs cap:

CHIN45.GIF

He likes the cap, but complaines that it's too hot to wear in the summer (the wool is too heavy, he says). I've looked closely at this cap, and it is much better than my Pirates cap. The logo is better, and straight (it's sewn on felt), but has some of the glue showing from underneath.

My concern is with the logos. For $44, I expect more from the company. I think they make nice, comfortable caps, and would buy one from their "Factory Seconds" half-off area if a style I wanted came up, provided it wasn't a pillbox style (I'd never get a pillbox from them again).

I think the discrepancy in the two caps is that they do a better job on caps vintage prior to 1970, and as long as they are not pillbox, you're alright. As mentioned, I'd never get a pillbox, and I'd also never get a remotely modern cap from them either...

Hope that helps...

Moose

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I just got my first Twin Enterprise cap and man is it comforatable. I wear a 7 3/4 - 8 in New Era Sizing and the XL Twin Enterprise fit comforatably. But as mentioned before it was pricey ($30). Also, depending on the team, they might only have the washed/faded look ones which might not appeal to everyone. I noticed some variation on how washed/faded some of the caps were so if you wanted one that looked less broken in you could probably find one.

I only own one American Needle cap and I like it. The bill isn't as wide as New Era. The one I bought was a 7 3/4 but it definately felt bigger than a New Era would have felt at that size. Maybe more like a 7 7/8. I only own one American Needle so I don't know if that was just this cap or if they are all like that.

They one thing I don't like about New Era caps is that they have the white sweatband that gets pretty nasty looking after awhile.

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I'll tell that one style of cap I hate is the Zephyr Z-Fit caps, the strechband is an open faced piece of rubber like material and when you sweat (like we all do down here in Florida) the rubber begins to stick to your forehead an smell funny.

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MLB Ace Caps

Has anybody tried on or purchased these caps, they're New Era caps, but they're stretch fit

As a general rule, I hate stretch-fit caps. I've got, probibly five, and I hate them all. Every time, I love the style, and think, okay, this one will be different, and it isn't. To that end, I hate the prolifiration of stretch-fit in the cap industry...

I mean, I understand why they have become so popular - you can manufacture one cap, and it "fits" everyone. Problem is, it doesn't. I've got a somewhat larger size head - 7 3/4. I also suffer from migranes. Put an elastic band around my head, and after about five minutes, and I've got a migrane. Not a good thing... If, by some chance, I can find a stretch-fit that's bigger (my 39thirty), it's floppy... Or my Tiger Woods cap where the elastic is bunching up... I'd much rather have a cap in 7 3/4 thank you very much...

Moose

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I have the Red Sox Ace cap, and I love it. It's basically the 5950 materials with a 3930 fit. I wish they made the Braves alt in that series.

I've never had and Ebbets cap, but like everyone else, I hear they're great.

New Eras are too tall for my head, and I'm working on breaking it in (thanks for the help, Sabre) but the materials are first rate. As far as their quality control, its a matter of just taking your time and picking one that's made correctly. Not something I'd order.

As far as Cooperstown, I have a couple of those, a New York Knights and a 1970 Orioles. Made well, very nice to look at, but the logo on both looks jist a little different than it's supposed to.

Truth be told, I like the American Needle Cooperstown caps. I have a '46 Red Sox, and it's probably my favourite hat. The structure is perfect for me, and I just like the fit. It has a broken in feel, but still looks new. I'm actually hoping to find the '82 Braves hat they make, but Distant Replays is sold out.

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MLB Ace Caps

Has anybody tried on or purchased these caps, they're New Era caps, but they're stretch fit

I just bought one, and I both love it and have a small problem with it.

I love it because it LOOKS great. Like... when I put it on, it fits perfectly. Or so it looks. The problem I have is that my head (7 5/8 or so, in general) is kinda bigger, so if I wear it for hours and hours, it sometimes gets a little tight around the temple. If my head was say 7 1/2 or less, it wouldn't have that problem. In fact, I'd probably say if I got a haircut I'd eliminate it. ha ha.

I love mine, though. I think stretch fit hats look great, because they're never too big, which, I think, is the thing that makes hats look the worst.

As for the sweatband, you may have the same problem with it that you had with the Z-Fit ones, because the sweatband is a piece of elastic (rubber woven with cloth). I haven't had any problem with that yet, but if you have, then you may still.

(Note: I don't think they're actually the same material as the 59Fifty, though. They seem to be a Wool/Acrylic blend, heavy on the Acrylic. But since I don't have to shrink it to get it to fit my head, that doesn't bother me at all.)

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I just got my first Twin Enterprise cap and man is it comforatable. But as mentioned before it was pricey ($30).

First off, I have a hard time paying $30 for any cap, let alone my self-professed best cap, a 59fifty - so I'd have an even harder time paying that for a Twins Enterprises Franchise cap... You're doing something wrong there, as they're only $25 ($20 if you join the club) and are frequently part of the "2 for $30" promotion...

Moose

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