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1997 Richmond Braves - Fresh Fitted Friday!!!!

I was planning on continuing my deep-dive into Eastern League caps however this past week's discussion over Jim Thome's preference that his Hall of Fame plaque not feature the Chief Wahoo caricature sparked something that I need to address here. As much as I love baseball's rich history, that appreciation should never cause someone else to suffer.

I understand that Chief Wahoo has been a part of the Cleveland Indians' branding since the 1940's but I encourage everyone to please take a moment to think about how different this country was back then. Racial segregation was still in full effect and people of color were constantly subjected to insensitive language and tormented on a daily basis in general.

We've come a long way since then in terms of treating each other with respect and I would be sad to think the end point for that progress is sports fans unwillingness to recognize that a seemingly harmless mascot or logo can in fact be extremely hurtful to their fellow fans. It's also sad that fans feel Chief Wahoo is the best they could do in terms of logo design.

Another aspect of this debate is something many baseball fans forget which is this game is part of the entertainment industry. When people in the audience begin to feel alienated, teams slowly lose market share and eventually are left with an unsavory clientele which is a not a favorable business model to follow.

While I applaud the Indians for distancing themselves from bigoted imagery that they've held on to for too long, it's important to remember that the business itself demanded this and not a bunch of "whiners" as many are quick to claim. Nevertheless, I'm happy about this decision and hope the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves and others follow suit.

Mentioning the Atlanta Braves brings us to my reason for eschewing an Eastern League cap this week. If you're a regular reader of the blog you know that my hometown team growing up was the Tidewater Tides. Their regional rivalry with the Richmond Braves has instilled a deep-seeded distaste for the organization but that feeling has faded recently.

I've grown to respect the team for moving away from using offensive imagery although the Tomahawk Chop chant is still a thing and there was a moment when they almost revived the Screaming Indian logo on some of their caps. While I admit Chief Noc-a-Homa is a clever name for their mascot, they should have left that one behind in Milwaukee.

Despite those transgressions, the Braves at least make some efforts to distance themselves from its racially tone-deaf branding and I believe the "A" on their main cap logo is as iconic as it gets. As much as I always wanted the Tides to stomp the R-Braves, it's hard to deny the simplistic elegance of the "R" that Richmond donned on their caps. 

This logo is uncannily similar to the one used by the Seattle Rainiers but I was none the wiser when I was a youngling. When I see this cap, I think of Chipper Jones and that's ok with me.
This hat has no New Era flag so it's possibly from 1997 or 1998 but the all-black satin taping leads me to believe this one is from 1997.
Red, white and blue batterman on this mighty fine hat.
I like the squiggly "R" that Richmond wore in 1981. Brett Buttler looks happy in it so that's good enough for me.
It wouldn't be 1983 if a team didn't wear a painters cap but it seems like it was only used for that season. I would gladly wear this cap.
 Another one-off: I've only seen this cap logo on cards from 1984. This one is very similar to the Riverside Pilots logo. Who wore it best?
The logo from 1985 has this weird pointy line coming out of the top of the cap but it is very similar to the one they wore til the end of the line.
The R-Braves logo Tom Glavine is wearing here is the one that I'll always associate with the team. Even though I disliked the team growing up, this is a classic cap that I must wear. 
I hope it wasn't too painful to catch me on my soapbox but I really feel it had to be said. And if you're a snowflake who couldn't handle my opinions, then you definitely are within your rights to skip right to the photos of the hat!

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