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1993 Calgary Cannons - Fresh Fitted Friday!!!!

This next chapter of the Quarantine Road Trip will primarily focus on bygone logos from the Pacific Coast League starting with the Calgary Cannons, which was a team that I distinctly remember from my youth despite my hometown being 2,500 miles away. Note, when you don't have a driver's license, the difference between 2,500 and 250 miles isn't much.

I've written about the 1998 Cannons cap previously but the logo that the team wore from 1993 through 1997 is the one I that I will always associate with Calgary as that period was essentially the crescendo of my MILB mania.

The sweatband tags here are identical to other caps from 1992 and 1993 in my collection such as Hickory Crawdads, Carolina Mudcats and Bend Rockies. In the photo below you'll see that there is no MILB batterman logo, proving this cap cannot be from before 1993.

Like I said, no batterman logo. If you don't believe me, I don't know what to tell you, Jack!

As I stated before, this logo carries lots of weight for me and it saddens me that Calgary has been without a large scale professional club since the Cannons final season in 2002. For that reason I feel it's necessary to briefly share my thoughts on the impending doom that many lower level MILB teams are facing due to proposed funding cuts by MLB. 

What I've learned from all my years as a baseball fan is that teams thrive on the support from the communities in which they play. It might seem obvious to you and me but without fans filling the seats and buying merch, teams simply cannot succeed. Unfortunately, some of the clubs that are on the chopping block are not ones that fill this requirement.

I do not wish to say goodbye to a single MILB team however we should reevaluate the structure that is in place and why its no longer feasible. Raw numbers rarely tell the whole story but please consider the following data (courtesy of which lays out Calgary's attendance while they were a part of the Pacific Coast League:

My takeaway from the table above is this: was best in class in terms of crowds in 1985 was no longer the case by 1998. Calgary's attendance staying steady while the rest of the league spiked in the late 1990's is an allegorical representation of the record-breaking stats among players as well as the surge in tickets sold in so many ballparks at that time.

Of all the possible after-effects of the strike-shortened season of 1994, the last one that that I could have predicted was that baseball's popularity would explode in such a way and especially as fast as it did.

I was just a teenager when the strike happened so I was at the right age to be heartbroken which must have led to my tepid feelings toward the mania surrounding Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's home-run chases in 1998 and 1999. I certainly wasn't ready to "forgive baseball" for its transgression but it's clear the public was ready to move on.

Despite the high likelihood of owners being fully aware that this surge in home-runs was a result of widespread PED use around the league, owning a team was and will always be a business and they were more happy than to profit off the emotionally driven, yet tainted revenues that resulted from those historic chases. 

So of course it should come as no surprise that once again, it's the owners who are currently demanding even more financial concessions from MLBPA, thus putting the entire season in jeopardy. Yup, the same owners that have repeatedly prioritized their ledger books far above the greater good. Those guys.

As far as I can see, the time is ripe for more independent leagues to take shape across North America. It's improbable that enough would-be MLB investors should simultaneously come together and fund this vision but that won't stop me from looking toward this dream with any less optimism than I currently have.

My admiration for collegiate summer leagues has recently increased as that model has proved to benefit the game far greater than each MLB team having all of these super low-level farm teams dispersed around the country. And from what I've seen, this template continues to strengthen the bond that smaller cities have with their teams.

In short, the more we develop youthful pools of players who exist outside of MLB's constraints, the more the quality of play increases. I can't stress enough how important it is for cities to stop relying on subsidies from big league clubs as those support systems can be stripped away at a moments notice and regaining funding is rarely an easy task.

This week's Fresh Fitted Friday selection is not going on the Trading Block however please don't hesitate to reach out if you want any other cap from that list 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