I love New Era Caps. I think most baseball fans do. They are the official on field cap of America’s Pastime, and every year each team has a few variations of caps. A primary, an alternate or two (or three) and a batting practice cap. The wool like feel of the Authentic Cap is a staple that has been around for a long time, and if you ever look at the back of the MLB Authentic cap, you will see a little note that says “Made in the USA”. Complementing the Authentic Caps are the “Diamond ERA” caps, that came out in 2013. For the Mets, only the batting practice cap was a Diamond Era in 2013, but the home alternate converted to Diamond Era. I wasn’t to pleased because of it’s flimsy nonofficial look, but if the players were wearing it, I couldn’t care less. Then, when the Mets unveiled the road alternate cap, with the gray NY, I noticed that it too was a Diamond ERA cap. Again, no big deal. But after analyzing the four regular Mets caps (Primary, Home Alt, Road Alt, Digital Camo), I noticed that the Authentic wool caps are made in America, while the Diamond Era caps are made in China.
This originally perplexed me. I don’t mind things made in China, I wouldn’t boycott their merchandise, but I’d much rather see those caps being made in the USA. Think about it, all of those MLB caps were being made in the USA before 2013, when Diamond Era came along, they said it would be used for Spring Training use and “light” regular season use. However, in the World Series, the Mets used the China made Diamond Era caps in 40% of their games.
Again, I’m not completely against MLB’s Diamond Era caps, sure they look considerably more flimsy and is more prone to get worn out, but they do “breathe” better, and are probably preferred by some players in Spring Training, but that still doesn’t explain why we have to outsource those caps. Currently the Mets Home Alt and Road Alt are made from Diamond ERA in China, with the Camo’s on their way out, it could leave the Mets primary cap as the last on-field cap made in the USA.