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2014 Jackson Generals Cap - Fresh Fitted Friday!!!!

This week's Fresh Fitted is a Jackson Generals cap that I picked up in late 2014. I initially thought that this cap's team was the same Jackson Generals that I knew about in the 1990's but it turns out I was wrong. Check out these photos of this week's selection and then read more about how a team's moniker confused me ever so greatly!

I probably love the serifs on the "J" and "G" because I'm a San Francisco Giants fan. This is super classy.

Standard sweatband tags but a surprise under the New Era tag lets you know this cap is Made in U.S.A.

Black and white MILB batterman? Yes please!

Have you ever listened to Johnny Cash and June Carter’s song “Jackson” and wondered whether they were referring to Jackson, Tennessee or Jackson, Mississippi? Well, you might not have but that’s probably because you either don’t care or maybe you just assumed that they were singing about Jackson, TN because Cash spent the last fifty or so years of his life in that state, right?

Well, what always made sense to me was that the song was about Jackson, MS because it was the only Jackson I had ever heard of and I only knew about it from having to learn every state’s capital in elementary school. 

My only other knowledge of Jackson, MS comes from the early days of my youth when I began collecting minor league baseball cards. I learned from reading the backs of cards that many of the 1986 New York Mets played in Jackson. I never had any of cards featuring those players as Jackson Mets but but I did have some from players like Tim Bogar and Gregg Jefferies. I can’t find a good image of Bogar’s card from his time in Jackson but I found these gems of Jefferies:

I had a friend growing up who looooooved this guy and said Jefferies was going to be better than Cal Ripken. Maybe he meant Cal Ripken, Sr? He's definitely better than Cal Ripken, Sr. Also, look at that grip!

This is one happy camper. Try to tell me that you aren't full of glee just looking at this card?
As I continued on in my baseball card collecting craze, I remember back in 1991 the Jackson Mets moved north to become the Williamsport Bills. The team that took their place was the new AA Texas League affiliate of the Houston Astros called the Jackson Generals and their inaugural season coincided with Jeff Bagwell’s arrival in Houston so unfortunately there are no cards of him as a Jackson General. Actually, most of the players on those teams were scrubs but there were some shining lights here and there such as Bobby Abreu, Lance Berkman and Billy Wagner.

Bobby definitely just crushed one over the outfielder's head...or he struck out. He probably struck out. He did that a lot. As of right now, only twelve major leaguers have ever struck out more than he did. 

Berk also definitely just launched one into the bleachers. Or maybe he's looking at a beautiful rainbow that matches the stripes on his trousers. Probably both. 

The Generals moved to Round Rock, TX in 1999 and became known as the Round Rock Express which is decidedly not as good of a name as the Generals. After the 2004 season the owners of the Express (which includes Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan) bought the AAA International League's Edmonton Trappers and moved them from Alberta, Canada to Round Rock. 

In 2005, the new AAA team became the new Round Rock Express and the incumbent team moved south to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to become the Corpus Christie Hooks, which is another name I don't understand, but they have a neat looking hat that I might buy one day.

I apologize about that digression. So remember when I was telling you about the Jackson Generals moving to Texas in 1999? Well, the year before that the Memphis Chicks of the Southern League moved to Jackson, TN and became the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, which is an even sillier name than the Round Rock Express or the Corpus Christie Hooks. 

In 2011, they changed their name to the Jackson Generals, harkening back of the Jackson Generals who represented Jackson, TN while sporadically playing throughout the 1930’s through the early 1950’s in the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League. [Update: there's an article from a Seattle Mariners blog on SB Nation called Lookout Landing that details the recent history of the Jackson (TN) Generals.  

I hope you appreciate learning a little bit about the Springfield-esque nature of the Jackson Generals. I also needed to make a few flowcharts to help me figure out exactly how both teams originated in Memphis so hopefully you find those useful as well. 

Jackson Generals [Texas League]

Jackson Generals [International League and Southern League]

And here is a little special bonus video of Johnny Cash & June Carter singing Jackson at the Ralph Emery Show in 1967:

As always, thanks for coming back to read about baseball hat geekery and please feel free to reach out via any of the following social sites:

Twitter: @FittedFriday