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New York Yankees 1996 World Series Cap - Fresh Fitted Friday!!!

I'm not going to mince words here: the best news of this entire week is that Tim Raines has been selected to join the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame class. I've mentioned before how special Raines is to me and it brings me an incredible feeling of joy to know that he will be enshrined among the other great players who have contributed so much to this game.

As a cap enthusiast I wonder which one he will be wearing on his plaque. Of the 23 years Raines played in MLB, 13 were with the now-defunct Montreal Expos. He had a few quality years with the Chicago White Sox but his three years with the New York Yankees were certainly special considering he picked up two World Series rings in that time.

Of course, the decision of which cap he will wear on his plaque does not need to be decided just yet, so let's take a moment look at the style of cap that Raines wore as a part of the 1996 championship team. This particular one was signed by Bernie Williams who has an interesting uniform connection to Raines which we will discuss later.

Disclaimer: I do not own this cap as I am not a sucker who pays $300 for a hat on eBay simply because it has been autographed by a player.
The 1996 World Series patch is iconic and somewhat rare considering most bandwagon Yankees fans might not have purchased a World Series hat until 1998 or 2000. 
I love that this one came with the paper tag. Kind of a waste of resources but a relic from a time long since passed.
The size tags here are consistent with what we've seen on other caps that are purported to have been worn in 1996.
This is an image of a another 1996 World Series cap for sale on eBay features a 1997 size tag. My take here is that due to popular demand, New Era must have continued to produce Yankees caps with the 1996 World Series patch even after running out of the pre-1997 size tag.
Going by the tag alone, I can't glean any information about when this cap was sold but I will just say, "Dang! Caps were only $22 back in the mid-1990's?!?!" Even after factoring inflation, it's unfathomable that those USA made caps cost so much less than the current caps that are made in China.
This image (courtesy of CBS New York) shows Bernie being met at home plate by Raines who is seen here wearing uniform number 31. 

The reason Tim Raines wore uniform number 31 as opposed to his longtime number 30 is because number 30 was in use by Yankees coach Willie Randolph when Raines arrived in New York in 1996. By the way, that fun fact is just one of many fun tidbits of Yankees uniform knowledge that I learned by visiting 

The connection between Tim Raines and Bernie Williams pertains to when Ichiro Suzuki joined the Yankees in 2012. Out of deference to Williams, Ichiro opted to wear number 31 (Raines number) rather than 51 which was his number going back to his days in Japan's Pacific League. By the way, that little fact I learned on a blog post over at Fan Interference.

I hope you enjoyed reading my take on Tim Raines time with the Yankees and I hope you return over the next few weeks so that I can share some more of my thoughts on his impact on the other teams he was a part of curing his career. Once again, a huge congratulations is in order to Mr. Tim "Rock" Raines!

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