|Notice that World Baseball Classic sweatband tag where an MLB or MiLB tag would normally be? Yeah, see I wasn't lying to you earlier!|
|The embroidered design that the WBC has used since its inception in 2006 kind of has a Google vibe but I really dig it despite that.|
I made a big to-do last week about the Olympics starting up but what I didn't say was that this one is extra special for baseball fans as the sport has not been a part of the competitions since the 2008 games and while there are only 6 teams participating, that's better than no baseball at all. Funny, I remember telling myself something similar during last year's shortened season.
As much as I want baseball to be a thing in the Olympics, the deciding committee of the Summer Games does not seem to share my enthusiasm. I am however very thankful that the World Baseball Classic has continued to keep growing since its inaugural run in 2006 which saw Japan triumph over Cuba.
Despite their loss in that series, Cuba captured my attention and I've rooted for them to do well ever since so long as they aren't playing against the United States, naturally. Cuba was a gritty ball club that year and I believe they could have won it all had the team not barred defectors Orlando Hernández, his half-brother Liván Hernández, and José Contreras from playing.
Very few of the names from Cuba's 2006 WBC roster would register with most MLB fans but then the 2009 team finished in sixth place with the help of Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Céspedes. They finished in fifth in 2013 and while they dropped to seventh in 2017, I think that iteration of the tournament is the one that will forever have the biggest impact on me.
The 2017 WBC was significant for a number of reasons and most folks would attribute that to the United States clinching their first ever championship. Seeing my home country win it all was huge for me however there is a familial significance here as my father-in-law also expressed interest in that Cuban team which inspired me to gift him the hat that the team wore in the series.
He passed away in August of that year and while my day-to-day life often provides me with moments that remind me of him, this is especially true when it comes to baseball events on the world stage such as the Olympics this year and I'm sure this will also be true with the next WBC which as of now is set to take place in 2023.
Staying focused on the current moment though, today is National Father-in-Law Day which is what inspired me to share this cap with you fine folks for this week's Fresh Fitted Friday. I hope those of you who have or have had a father-in-law can find some time today to celebrate and honor "that great guy" who helped rear the person you decided to spend your life with.
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.