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1958 Hiroshima Carp (Ebbets Field Flannels)

I wouldn’t fault you if you considered me choosing a Virginia team’s cap for last week’s National Maryland Day post to be a sort of preemptive April Fools’ Day gag however I assure you that was not my intention!

I stand by last week’s hat actually being on-topic but can still understand if you thought it preposterous. Whether you appreciated the interstate tie-in or not, hopefully you’ll get a kick out of the 1958 Hiroshima Carp retro from Ebbets Field Flannels that I’ve selected for this week’s Fresh Fitted Friday post.

I'm not usually too crazy about the felt logos from Ebbets but the serifs combined with the chunky lettering here is very unique so I'm all for it. 

The Made in U.S.A. quality from Ebbets is unrivaled. I try to always mention that when .

I'm not sure if it's the lighting or what but the satin undervisor here looks extra special here.

As one might have come to expect, a bit of backstory will be needed to explain this week’s hat once again! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this previously but my parents came to the US from France before I was born. If I had to describe my cultural upbringing I’d say it was a fine blend of both perspectives as their European heritage often enriched many aspects of my childhood.

Needless to say, April Fools’ Day is a time for children and adults alike to have good-natured fun at the expense of one another and I clearly remember my parents using the French term “poisson d’avril”—which translates to “April Fish” in English—once a farce had become apparent to all parties involved.

I recall asking my parents what that phrase meant but as you can imagine, getting a straight answer out of anyone on April 1 can be a difficult task as you’re likely to be met with yet another ruse. I could have asked the next day but for some reason the desire to know escaped me by then.

Fast forward to current times and the answer to any menial to moderately complex question can be solved with a few keystrokes and some mouse clicks so this year I went on a mini-quest for the meaning behind the April Fish.

I’m glad I conducted my search before April 1 because as a general rule we should all take pause before believing anything we read on this day, except for the words you are reading on this blog post, of course!

At any rate, this investigation led me all the way back to the Council of Trent which was held between 1545 and 1563. A great many decisions were made during the Council and one of those was Pope Paul III calling for a switch to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar.

I’m not purporting to be any sort of expert on the details of the Council nor either of the calendars but what you need to know is that an aspect of the Gregorian calendar is the New Year beginning on January 1 as opposed to the Julian calendar year which started on April 1.

As with many things pertaining to change, most folks have a hard time adjusting. Setting our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time is a prime example of that. It seems as though every year the groans grow louder at both ends of the spectrum while there are those who simply adapt to arbitrary revisions and move on with their lives.

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with fish, right? Well, the quick answer to that is probably up for some debate but I'll do my best to address it succinctly. The gist of it has to do with April 1 usually coinciding with Lent which is a time where Christians are forbidden from meat-eating however they were permitted to eat fish during that time.

Because diet often dictates many facets of our lives—especially when restrictions are based in religion—it should come as little surprise that it was customary for people to feature fish in gifts to one another around the New Year.

During the few years after the Council's decision, it was found that many folks resisted the changing of the dates and those folks were thus presented with fake fish as a spoof when it came time for their old-fangled New Year to be celebrated on April 1.

The high jinks certainly must have varied regionally plus I’m sure there was a correlation with how much time had passed since the Council. By the time the April Fools' Day traditions had reached their most widespread peak, folks were simply pinning paper fish upon each other’s backs and shouting “poisson d’avril” really boisterously.

And you’re now probably wondering what this has to do with baseball! Ok, I’ll get to that but beforehand, I have to bring up something that any fan of the game already knows and that is baseball players are notorious jokesters.

Usually rookies are on the wrong end of these pranks but really, no one is safe. This post is already getting a bit long  so I’ll just recommend you head over to this Bleacher Report article titled MLB's 10 Biggest Pranksters of All Time

I’m really glad to be doing a an April Fools’ Day post again because the only one I’ve ever done before this was for a 1983 Denver Bears snapback that was so terrible, it was actually great. I’ve been on the hunt for a more “on-field” representation of that cap but I haven’t been able to locate one yet.

This cap from Ebbets Field Flannels is labeled as being from 1983 although my research shows the team actually only wore this logo from 1976 through 1981 which were their years as a Montreal Expos farm club. 

They became affiliated with the Texas Rangers in 1982 and that’s when they began to employ the lowercase “DB” logo which they continued to use when they became the Triple-A team for the Chicago White Sox in 1983.

According to the franchise entries on Baseball Reference and Wikipediathey rebranded as the Denver Zephyrs in 1984 however the photo abovewhich is from a Denver Post article in 2018 titled Denver Sports Omelette: Remembering when George H.W. Bush played for the Denver Bears back in 1984makes me wonder if an April Fools’ Day prank is being played on me now!

I understand box scores and game footage were not as heavily documented then as they are in current times however you would think I’d at least be able to find some baseball cards featuring whatever the team in Denver was called in 1984 but alas, I cannot.

Perhaps the name change came too close to the start of the season thus they had missed the cutoff for whatever trademarks they had to file in order to get cards printed but who knows in the end? What’s even crazier is this official-ish recounting of the 1984 American Association Championship Finals article from backs up existence of the 1984 Denver Bears.

Perhaps the moral of all this is that it makes very little difference whether you celebrate New Years Day on April 1 or January 1 and the same is true if you called the Denver’s team the Bears or the Zephyrs. Don’t take things too seriously out there today, folks!

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:

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