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1986 Hawaii Islanders Retro Cap- Fresh Fitted Friday!!!!

Well, it looks like my super-awesome streak of attending an MLB game once a week is ending as the mini-trip I had planned to see the Padres play the Pirates in Pittsburgh is not happening. Nevertheless, I still want to share photos of the perfect hat to wear to the series: a retro 1986 Hawaii Islanders cap produced by Ebbets Field Flannels in 2016.

From the images of baseball cards I’ve seen, the Islanders wore this cap with a red crown and yellow brim from at least 1984 all the way through 1987, which was their last season.

I have to give Ebbets props for the logo and cap construction in this retro release. The caps from the 1980’s probably did not have black sweatbands and satin underbrims like this one but I actually like those touches here.

There are a couple of reasons why I could have worn this hat to the Padres series in Pittsburgh this weekend and the most obvious is that the former Pacific Coast League franchise was an affiliate of each club for many years.

The Hawaii Islanders were the top affiliate for the Padres from 1971 through 1982 and this Tony Gwynn card is from that final year. Over 398 plate appearances in 1982, he batted .328 and collected 120 hits along with 18 walks to match as many strikeouts which is unreal.

The Pirates were only affiliated with Hawaii from 1983 through 1986 and while Barry Bonds did play there that final season, he wasn’t expected to be in Hawaii long enough to have a card in the team set. The card above will have to do, although I'm not sure if they altered a photo for it.

Tim Flannery is wearing the all red card Islanders cap in this card from 1980. In spite of the fact that Flannery spent his entire playing career within the Padres organization, I will always think of him as a Giant because of his seven seasons coaching in San Francisco.

The cap Ron Wotus is wearing in this card from 1986 features the red crown and yellow brim combination. While this card is from his time as a Pirates farmhand, Wotus is indisputably 100% a Giant to me as he has been a coach for the organization since 1990.
Besides the history the Padres and Pirates share with the Hawaii Islanders, it would have been a propos to wear this hat to a series between the two teams in Pittsburgh as the cap’s “Ketchup and Mustard” colorway is a true homage to the colors associated with the city.

The brim is a tribute to yellow being the prominent color in the city’s professional sports teams and the red crown honors the ketchup produced by Heinz, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh. The embroidered “H” could also be seen as a nod to the condiment giant’s name.

As is the case with many of the topics I discuss here, I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole while researching ketchup’s history and learned that Dutch and English traders were turned on to fermented food pastes called kechap/ketjap while sailing throughout Asia in the late 1600’s.

The recipe evolved over time but the first published version containing tomatoes didn’t appear until 1812. That might be why just over 200 hundred years later, Heinz’s bottles still specify the product therein is “tomato ketchup” but it’s still hard for me to envision a tomato-less ketchup. I never would have dreamed up ketchup ice cream either, yet 2018 has brought that to fruition.

This year is also the first one in which Taco Bell has had fries on the menu which means San Diego specialties like burritos stuffed with french fries and carne asada fries will finally be available outside California. It also means someone in Pittsburgh could potentially offend San Diegans this weekend by putting their beloved tomato ketchup on those items. What a year!

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 please feel free to reach out via any of the following social sites:

Twitter: @FittedFriday


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