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1948 Oakland Oaks (Ebbets Field Flannels retro)

I picked this Oakland Oaks retro to celebrate Earth Day—which is tomorrow, April 22—because of the tree theme in the team's name and the cute little stem on the logo however there is added significance for this week's Fresh Fitted Friday selection as it was confirmed just yesterday that the Oakland Athletics have reached a deal to purchase land in Las Vegas where they hope to have a new ballpark constructed by 2027.

In 1948, Oakland had no MLB team nor affiliation however the Pacific Coast League champions of that year have at least some connection with New York considering they were managed by Casey Stengel who would manage the Yankees the following season. Also, their shortstop was Billy Martin who before becoming a Yankees legend was a Bay Area native who was born and raised in Berkeley, CA.

I long for the days when Ebbets would release minor league bangers such as this one. Their collaboration with '47 to produce classic MLB logos seemed to be a big hit with collectors and while I would have liked to pick up a New York Giants cap, I'd be even more thrilled if they would start cranking out MILB logos from the 1960s through 1980s.  

Nothing tops Ebbets construction on these wool caps although I'm curious about the 100% polyester caps that they've added to their inventory for $40 so maybe I'll pick one up if I see a must-have logo. The Tampa Smokers hat currently on their site would be a good candidate but I'm not crazy about the extra embroidery on the cap's rear and side. So picky, I know! 

The Athletics have planted more than a few seeds toward building their new home and with many details left to finalize, this deal seems to be one that will benefit the franchise as well as the community in Southern Nevada. Even though the San Francisco Giants are my favorite team, it does pain me to see our cross-bay rivals in Oakland lose their club.

I've lamented many times in the past that the current geographic layout of baseball's professional leagues is not as ideal in current times as it was before MLB's western expansion but the dollar signs reign supreme in any case. But for my money, nothing beats the 8 team structure the Pacific Coast League maintained from the 1920s through 1957.

In addition to the Oaks, mainstays of the league included the San Francisco Seals, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Hollywood Stars, Seattle Rainiers, Portland Beavers and Sacramento Solons. This equitable concentration of high caliber teams playing each other for about 200 games a year was truly top notch entertainment.

The travel distances involved in playing 162 games means West Coast teams are required to put forth more effort and resources to fly about the country and despite the previous format  totaling out to be more games was still more sustainable if you think about it in the context of prolonging the life of our planet.

I realize we can't go back to how things used to be with professional baseball but it's sad to think about how the contraction of minor league teams means even fewer cities have teams now than before. At least the A's moving to Las Vegas helps close the geographic gap and recent rumblings of Salt Lake City being in the mix for an expansion team also gives hope.

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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