Monday, July 23, 2012

A Closer Look, 2012 Atlanta Braves On-Fields [Part 1]

Aside from the three traditional caps the Atlanta Braves wear, in 2012 the Atlanta Braves are on track to have seven different On-Field hats. Now if we are to make the World Series, that number will jump to ten! But, as of right now, they have only worn three. Lets take a closer look!

The Braves have been absent from the multitude of TBTC [Turn Back The Clock] promotions this year, but got into the specialty, as us hat guru's like to call them, On-Fields with the 2012 Futures Game. This game, a tradition of the All Star Break since 1999 features prospects from all 30 teams, and these players can play in any level of Minor League competition. XM Radio has sponsored the game since forever it seems, but recently Sirius acquired XM Radio, thus making the official name of the event the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game. The only player in the Atlanta Braves organization in the game was stud catching prospect Christian Bethancourt.

The hats, unlike last years version is the road, all navy hat. It features the Siruis XM All Star Futures Game patch on the left side of the hat, and a star to each side of the rear batterman. 

Why the stars, you ask? When did these start showing up?

Well, last year, the original run of the 2011 All Star Game hats did not feature these stars. A few weeks after their release, New Era unveiled these stars that were glued on the hats. The Futures Game last year did not feature these stars. 

Now, if you ordered the 2011 ASG Hat before the stars came out, you could e-mail New Era and ask them for stars, and they would send them to you. I chose not to do this, because I think it looks tacky. 

New Era decided to keep the stars on this years hats, as they have shown up on the Futures Game hats and on the ASG hats. 

This hat is unfortunately sold out and no longer available as New Era only does one run of this hat. 

This hat [thankfully!] is made in the USA. Many of the "specialty" On-Field hats are outsourced and Made in China. I would take time to write about this, but thankfully a much more knowledgeable person than I already has. 

The next hat the Braves have worn is the 2012 All Star Game hat. It is basically the same as the Futures Game hat, except it has a different patch [see right]. All four of the Atlanta Braves All Stars wore this hat this year, and Chipper's hat even made its way to Cooperstown! 

Beware of the Home version of this hat. It is for sale at Lids and on New Era's website, but was not worn during the game. I'm not really sure why New Era did this, or even if they meant to. Shy away from it as it isn't the correct hat.

This hat, is unfortunately, probably made in China. Some retailers including New Era Flagship Stores got the first run of it, which was about 50/50 Made in USA/China. The versions on MLB Shop [which are still available!!! but won't be for much longer] are said to be Made in China. My hat hasn't come yet, but when it does I will post pictures of it. This hat also has the stars that were previously mentioned and seen on the Futures Game hat. 

The last hat that the Braves have worn this year is the Home version of the 2012 Stars & Stripes Hat. Unlike the past 4 years of the promotion, there are multiple versions of this years S&S hats, akin to the 9/11 Tribute hats of last year. There are three in the Braves case, Home, Away, and the now Friday Alternate. These hats were worn on Memorial Day, July 4th and will be worn again on September 11th. The Braves played at home both Memorial Day, and July 4th, but will be on the road September 11th, so we will see 2 of the 3 hats actually worn On-Field. 

Instead of the tacky all navy, or all red hats of previous seasons, MLB decided to go with digi-camo, except with team colors incorporated into the hat. I personally am a fan of the hats, and will at some point own all three, but I know many people who don't care for them at all. All three are available at MLB Shop and major hat retailers, and also at Turner Field and the CNN Clubhouse Store. 

But, if you wait until the season is over, you can usually grab these for super cheap. During opening weekend this year, my girlfriend got a 2011 Stars & Stripes hat from the CNN Clubhouse Store for $10. Saves you about $30 if you're willing to wait. These will also eventually be on sale on New Era's website after the season. 

These hats are, Made in China. Even the ones that the players wore during games. 

Also, the S&S hats have been available in the Turner Field Game Used Store if you want a hat worn by your favorite Atlanta Braves player! 

There are still three more hats, two that the Braves will wear this year during the Civil Rights Game, which is in less than a month! Still no details have been released regarding the uniforms, but be sure to check back, as there will be a post up about them! Those hats are also limited in release, and will not be around for more than a few weeks, so if you want one, be sure to keep an eye out at Turner Field or other major hat retailers.