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New York Yankees 2007 All-Star Game Cap

I know that it's not right that it has been such a long while since I've actually showcased a fitted cap on "Fresh Fitted Friday" but believe me when I tell you that I have been waiting for just the right time to drop this one y'all.

This is the ultimate cap to wear when you are trying to say, "Yeah I'm at a Yankees game but I'm a sneaky Giants fan at heart!"

To fully appreciate the significance of this cap, perhaps a little background story might be in order. I was living a happy life in the Bay Area when the San Francisco Giants hosted the 2007 MLB All-Star Game, although I was not fortunate enough to attend the Mid-Summer Classic that year. I'm fine with that though; there are lots of baseball fans that never get to go to an All-Star Game. What is not acceptable though is the fact that I lacked the foresight to buy the official on-field cap that season. I had no idea that it would be many years before I would find one for sale, so you can certainly imagine my excitement when I finally got my hands on one that I could call my own! 

This patch is glorious.

The patches and embroidery on All-Star Game on-field caps before this one were each special in their own way, but none of them encapsulate the spirit of the host team like the 2007 cap does. While this patch on the wearer's left side is simple in design, there is a subtle nod to the "Splash Hit" which is one of AT&T Park's most revered feats. 

The "Splash Hit" is essentially a home-run (hit by a Giant) that clears the the 24-foot brick wall in right field and lands on the fly -so to speak- in the adjacent body of water which is unofficially and affectionately known as "McCovey Cove" by San Francisco fans. And just in case you were wondering, the Giants have a page dedicated to the "Splash Hit" on their sitecomplete with video footage of each one!

Black and white tags everywhere!

I like the sweatband tags here; I never noticed that there was a plug for the New Era website even back then!

As a San Francisco Giants fan, I can't help but melt any time I see a fan wearing a cap with this patch. That is unless it happens to be on an Angels, Athletics or Dodgers cap of courseBesides the fact that the orange on the patch conflicts with the colorway of the garish caps worn by the Angels and Athletics, those two teams handed some tough World Series losses to my beloved Giants. As for the Dodgers, no Los Angeles fan that truly bleeds blue would want to wear a cap that acknowledges the San Francisco Giants in any way so I doubt that I will ever see one.

This New York Yankees cap is different though. I think this patch looks great on a Yankees cap, and I also have no reason to dislike the storied franchise. The main reason for this is that no one my age grew up watching the Yankees win championship after championship, which is vastly different when compared to the experiences of generations before and after mine. The way I saw the Yankees as a big-city team that was decent, but I respected their historical contributions most of all. This is why when I moved to New York I decided that going to Yankees games would be a suitable consolation for not going to Giants games.

I know that people today loathe the Yankees just for the sake of doing so but I never felt that sort of hate-mongering could lead to anything positive...even if it was directed at the Dodgers! I am not naive to the fact that this resentment is probably stems from the fact that while plenty of teams suffered terrible records, the Yankees won five World Series championships in a nine-year span. That combined with the perception that their free-spending ownership seemingly "bought" those titles by hoarding the game's top players to themselves does not make them lovable.  

It's true that in that nine-year span of championship glory, lots of teams were terrible and that the Yankees really did entice big-name stars with lucrative contracts. Still, I never forget that baseball is a business and more importantly that a true champion would overcome adversities greater than whether their team can pay silly cash for top talent or not. Let's not forget that in that nine-year span, the Yankees also lost the 2001 and 2003 World Series to two teams (Arizona Diamondbacks and the Florida Marlins, respectively) that were virtually allergic to spending big bucks on their roster. 

Despite all of this, in 2007 the Yankees were still considered villains by most baseball fans and a big bulk of this ire was focused on the most high-profile acquisition of their championship era: Mr. Alex Rodriguez. I can see how haters gonna hate on the fact that in 2007, A-Rod won a Silver Slugger, the American League MVP award and was selected to the All-Star Game in San Francisco. He did all of things and earned $27 million to boot. Just for reference, that year the Giants paid Barry Bonds just under $16 million, which happened to be the season he passed Hank Aaron on baseball's list of career home-runs. 

While there is certainly more than just one link between these two embattled players, I definitely appreciate that they played against each other in what would be Bonds' final All-Star Game. I believe that anyone who can truthfully say that they witnessed an at-bat from both players in the same game has been smiled upon by the baseball gods. These are the two greatest hitters of past few decades and it would take more than a few slip-ups involving performance enhancing substances to make me think otherwise. 

Bonds was only healthy enough to play in two of the five years that I lived in the Bay Area, but they were exhilarating years nonetheless. By contrast, I've lived in New York for five years now as well, and while A-Rod has mostly stayed healthy throughout, I've seen him play in just four of those five years due to his season-long suspension in 2014. If I had to chose between watching a Bonds home-run over one of A-Rod's, I would pick Bonds but I would be foolhardy to say that a plate appearance by either hitter is not a must-watch event.

I think that my deep respect for both the Giants and Yankees organizations definitely plays a big part in my overall appreciation for baseball, and it certainly explains why I think this cap is so righteous. Now after hearing my take on this one, I would completely understand if you were to try to snatch up your favorite team's 2007 All-Star Game cap for yourself. I wish you luck in that endeavor. Just be warned, no matter what flavor you are looking for this cap is extremely difficult to come by, especially for all you Giants and Yankees fans! 

Now that I've got mine secured, I am dedicated to making it last a lifetime. I feel that the best way to do this is to commit to only wearing it to Yankees games in the month leading up to the All-Star Game (and maybe a few games after the All-Star break, like perhaps tonight!) before tucking it away until the following season. I think any hat collector out there can agree that once you've found a cap that is one of your "holy grails", all you can do to make sure it's built to last is be kind to it. 

The MLB batterman was red, white and blue back in 2007 no matter what team's colorway was.