In the spirit of being transparent from the start, I am compelled to disclose I had to reach a bit for a hat to match today's holiday which is National Maryland Day. I must admit when it comes to Maryland, my cap coffers are rather bereft so I opted for one worn by the Richmond Virginians which was a team in the neighboring state of… you guessed right, Virginia!
Researching the history of baseball in Maryland led me down a few potential caps for this post but I was most surprised with Richmond's past being very much intertwined with both of the minor league iterations of the Baltimore Orioles.
The first concerted effort between the two cities occurred in 1915 when the International League Orioles temporarily moved from Baltimore to Richmond because despite fielding a club featuring a hometown talent by the name of Babe Ruth, were unable to compete with the popularity of the Baltimore Terrapins of a newly created outlaw "third major league" called the Federal League.
This re-shuffling spelled the end of the Richmond Colts of the Class C Virginia League and thus the birth of the Richmond Climbers which was an apt name considering they were now competing in the higher level AA league.
The team became the Richmond Virginians in 1917 which turned out to be their final season in the IL as Richmond rejoined the Virginia League once again as the Colts the following year. As for Baltimore, they were ultimately without a team for only one season as the Federal League folded after the 1915 season.
The Orioles return to Baltimore in 1916 lasted until the St. Louis Browns relocated there and assumed the Orioles' identity in 1954. This prompted the IL Orioles to uproot the Richmond Colts a second time who at this point were playing in the Class B Piedmont League. Their reprise in Richmond brings us to the cap I have chosen for this week's Fresh Fitted Friday post!
|The Old English R is very classy here and its serifs combined with this black and orange colorway give off a very New York/San Francisco Giants vibe which I enjoy.|
|Made in U.S.A. quality of Ebbets caps must be acknowledged at every opportunity.|
|I'm looking forward to the satin undervisor to dull out with age as is to be expected with other Ebbets caps like this one.|
The Piedmont League is one that I'd like to explore further as it featured a natural rivalry between the Richmond Colts and the Norfolk Tars which, had I been alive during the league's existence, would have been my hometown team. Near the top of my Ebbets Field Flannels wishlist is for the company to produce a Tars hat one so hopefully that happens someday.
Before my usual sign-off spiel, I wanted to call attention to a Masters Theses abstract titled The First Fifty Years of Professional Baseball in Richmond, Virginia: 1883-1932 published in 2001 by Scott P. Mayer for a Master of Arts in History at the University of Richmond. I'm fairly certain I didn't properly describe that citation but at least I got the URL linked up correctly.
Another article to check out is Fun While It Lasted's Richmond Virginians entry at which is very informative and also references Baseball and Richmond: A History of the Professional Game, 1884-2000 by W. Harrison Daniel & Scott P. Mayer, whose name you should recognize from…the previous paragraph!
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.
As always, thanks for coming back to read about baseball hat geekery. I've got comments disabled here so if you'd like to discuss a trade or simply just chat about hats, please feel free to connect via the following social sites: