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2001 Utica Blue Sox

I guess since BirdFest is over, it's finally time to look at a cap that is not an Orioles affiliate. There is however a connection between last week's Aberdeen IronBirds post and the 2000 Utica Blue Sox hat that is this week's Fresh Fitted Friday selection. 

We know Cal Ripken, Jr. owns the IronBirds but you might be surprised to learn the Utica Blue Sox was the team he bought and moved to Aberdeen.

These sweatband tags are consistent with caps from 2000 and 2001 but this cap can't be older than 2001 since that was the team's last season in Utica. 

The Carolina Blue MILB batterman here is top-not stuff.

Utica doesn't host a minor league team anymore but they were lucky to have Miguel Cabrera play during the penultimate Blue Sox season in 2000.

I hold Utica with the same reverence as other classic New York-Penn League locations such as Auburn, Batavia, Elmira, Vermont and Oneonta. While I've gotten my hands on a vintage caps from Auburn, Elmira, Vermont and now Utica, I'm still eluded by Oneonta.

I recently participated in an eBay auction for an Oneonta Yankees hat but was outbid by a collector more enthusiastic than me. The bidding ended at $157 but as much as I love minor league caps, that is insane amount to spend on a hat. 

I have pleaded with Ebbets Field Flannels to retro the Oneonta cap but sadly, they have not obliged yet. To be fair, they have made some of the caps on my wishlist throughout the years but I'm going to keep pushing for Oneonta and the White Sox version the Utica cap:

I have to give Ebbets a shout-out for their recent collaboration with Lids. Caps from the Butte Copper Kings, New Haven Ravens and Greensboro Hornets were too good to pass up and I even picked up a Batavia Clippers cap from that very impressive collection. 

While I'm not exactly holding my breath on the Oneonta Yankees, Jacksonville Suns/Expos or Greenville Braves, I really do hope Ebbets will continue that partnership with Lids and make more classic caps from the 1980's and 1990's. 

As a Giants fan, I was pleased to see the Phoenix Firebirds represented in the collection and as much as it pains me to admit this, I'm even glad for the Dodgers fans who were able to pick from TWO (!!!) different Vero Beach Dodgers caps. 

I secretly love the Vero Beach logo but just can't bring myself to wear a cap that is so blatantly Dodgers, which reminds me: I still have that super-rare Great Falls Dodgers cap available to whoever has the Oneonta cap to trade for it!

As a closing note, this cap isn't for sale or trade however don't hesitate to reach out if there's something you like on the Trading Block 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:

Twitter: @FittedFriday