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1983 Denver Bears Snapback - Fresh Fitted Friday!!!

I’ve been holding on to this pristine gem for far too long and now the time has come for you to enjoy its freshness. You may be wondering what is the story with this logo so let me fill you in on  this barely worn Denver Bears cap from the early 1980’s.

The red, white and blue colorway is something that Colorado baseball has not embraced in over 30 years and I'd like to see the Rockies to wear this hat as part of a Throwback Thursday promotion.

Ok, maybe they can forget the mesh part, unless they were going to do a hipster-themed Throwback Thursday and incorporate the trucker-hat phenomenon of a few years back.

Wow that sweatband is immaculate! One thing I like about this snapback is that there is a vague size tag noting this cap is a "Large" meaning it's for anyone who is between a size 7 and and 7 5/8. Good information!

The green underbrim and (at one-time) white sweatband are a must if you are going to retro a cap properly.

The reason you might not be familiar with the Denver Bears is they changed their name to the Zephyrs in 1984 because…I have no idea why they changed their name from something awesomely ferocious to the name of a defunct passenger train whose name refers to a mild west wind, which itself is named after Zephyrus who is the Greek god of the west wind. 

My best guess for the name change might have something to do with the fact that the Bears shared a playing field with the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium and perhaps the fans somehow got their cheering signals crossed. Who knows what happened really but it very well could be that they mistakenly booed the Denver Bears during baseball games and cheered for the Chicago Bears when they were the visiting football team.
 
In terms of pecking order for the rights to the Bears moniker, the Denver Bears had the chronological advantage by a few years over the Chicago Bears. Popularity and widespread reputation are a different matter though and I’m sure if they had the internet back then and had to deal with search rankings and such, the Bears might have felt a greater urgency to change their name.

While Denver had teams that were known as the Bears throughout the early and middle part of the 20th century, they were all part of leagues that competed at lower levels of professional baseball. In fact, when the Philadelphia Athletics relocated to Kansas City in 1954, the incumbent Kansas City Blues of the American Association needed a new home so they set their sights westward and became known as the Denver Bears.

When the "new Bears" got to town, they were essentially replacing the “old Bears” who were a Western League team whose history began in the early 1900’s with roots going even further back to 1885 when teams with burly names like the Grizzlies, Mountaineers and Mountain Lions played in the Mile-High City. As far as hats are concerned, other than the secondary market your best best for procuring a Denver Bears cap would be a reproduction from those Western League days such as this one from Ebbets Field Flannels.

I have this cap but I don’t wear it much because if anyone ever comments on it, they usually do so thinking it’s a Dallas Cowboys cap. I can see the similarities in the font but the red lettering is a dead giveaway that this cap has nothing to do with Dallas.

One cap that I see somewhat frequently is this version with a simple orange-colored "D" in an Old English font. I know that this isn’t a Detroit Tigers hat but…it’s really a Detroit Tigers hat, right?

Here’s a fun shot of my favorite leadoff hitter who is not yet in the baseball Hall Of Fame, Tim “Rock” Raines who is wearing the cap that the Bears wore in the late 1970’s through the 1981 season.

Rock also managed an independent league team called the Newark Bears from 2009 through 2011 and is seen here wearing that classic looking cap.




The Colorado Rockies don’t seem to have any sort of Throwback Thursday promotion listed for their 2016 season but I hope that when they do decide to do one that they’ll at least consider using this cap from the 1982-85 seasons.


I have a feeling that they might hesitate considering that the letters “D” and “B” might be interpreted as a reference to the Diamondbacks who have an interlocking “DB” logo that forms a snake logo. Hisssssssss!!!!


What would actually be pretty cool is if the Rockies wore that 1982-85 version of the Denver Bears hat in a throwback promotion night where they were playing Diamondbacks and Arizona could actually go with the Phoenix Giants cap from that era. That'd make your head spin, right?



I hope y’all enjoyed this post and if you are looking for a little more knowledge on the Denver Bears, here’s a great article from milb.com that tells the story of the 1980 Denver Bears. Even though it’s April Fool’s Day, I swear that that link is not a rick-roll! 

Even though this cap has some historical value, I'm probably not going to wear it so it's going on the Trading Block. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you want this or any other cap from that list and you are willing to part with any of the caps on my Wish List.

As always, thanks for coming back to read about baseball hat geekery. I've got comments disabled here so please feel free to reach out via any of the following social sites:

Twitter: @FittedFriday

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