Shortly after publishing last week's Bangor Blue Ox post, I realized that I was in the midst of a nice little streak of featuring hats from Northeast cities whose name begin with the letter "B" (ie. Buffalo, NY and Bangor, ME) thus this Batavia Clippers retro cap from Ebbets Field Flannels seemed like a natural fit for this week's Fresh Fitted Friday selection.
Batavia's affiliation with the Philadelphia Phillies lasted from 1988-2006 and the team heavily leaned on their parent club when it came to uniform design for the first ten years of their arrangement, after which they rebranded as the Batavia Muckdogs.
In addition to meeting the "B" requirement, I singled out this cap because Batavia was an inaugural member of the newly-defunct New York-Penn League in 1939 and when Minor League Baseball eventually recommences, the town will host a collegiate summer baseball team as a newly minted member of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL).
I was initially apprehensive upon reading a Baseball America article in 2019 spelling the end of lower-level MILB leagues like the Class A Short-Season NYPL however my trepidation has subsided somewhat since new information continues to come to light regarding leagues like the PGCBL offering refuge to teams like the Auburn Doubledays and Batavia Muckdogs.
No one likes to have things taken away from them, especially small rust belt towns like Batavia whose 2,600 person capacity ballpark might seem small in comparison to stadiums in larger MILB markets but it makes for a fine ratio in a hamlet with a population of just under 16,000.
Ultimately, one must come to accept that a one-size-fits-all mentality is not a viable solution for MILB going forward. As much as I love the rich history of the Northwest League and NYPL, it did not make sense for teams like the Vermont Lake Monsters and Lowell Spinners to travel all the way to Aberdeen, MD or Granville, WV to compete.
Hopefully one of the long-term effects of the reorganization is that the future state of each league has a truly regional feel that fosters natural geographic rivalries. I appreciate that the PGCBL is entirely made up of clubs from New York state and that the newly-created Double-A Central league is mostly Texas teams.
While we're in a shuffling mood, I'd actually like to see the Springfield Cardinals, Wichita Wind Surge and Tulsa Drillers swapped out for the three Triple-A teams in Texas (Sugar Land Skeeters, El Paso Chihuahuas and Round Rock Express) to create a true Texas League but it would take too much sweet talking to get three Triple-A teams to drop down to Double-A.
All this Texas talk now has my mind on the recent weather wretchedness in the Lone Star State. This is a sobering reminder that climate change is a real threat that needs to be addressed by seeking out renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, all we can offer from here are thoughts and prayers but I'm certain their strength in adversity will carry these folks through!
This week's Fresh Fitted Friday selection is not going on the Trading Block however please don't hesitate to reach out if you want any other cap from that list and you are willing to part with any of the hats on my Wish List or even just something you think might be interesting to me!
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