This series is inspired by the must read book “All Caps, Stories That Justify an Outrageous Hat Collection” by Craig Colby. Craig wrote this book about the many caps he has and the stories behind it. Anyhow, this series will be about the caps I own and the stories behind them.
This story is about the cap of the defunct High Desert Mavericks. The team’s inaugural season was in 1991, when the Riverside Red Wave moved to Adelanto in the Mojave Desert.
The team was successful right away as it won the California League championship in their first season. The team would win three more California League titles: 1993, 1997, and 2016.
In their final five years, the Mavs were one of the worst drawing teams. As a result, some rumours started to swirl around that the Mavericks and the Bakersfield Blaze would be dissolved. Eventually, this became partially true, as the California League and the Carolina League announced both teams would be moved to the East Coast. In 2016, their final season, the Mavericks clinched their final pennant by beating the Visalia Rawhide.
In 2008, yours truly went on vacation to California, to visit relatives and acquaintances. One of these acquaintances, arranged that my daughters could throw out the first pitch. As a matter of fact, Dutchy, Greg Halman would be behind the plate during this pre game ceremony, but unfortunately only a week before we attended the game, he was promoted to AA Jackson Diamond Jaxx, later to be renamed the Jackson Generals (also defunct thanks to the cutting of 42 Minor League teams by the greedy MLB owners). My daughters threw out the first pitch anyway, which was a great experience. I was a very proud dad (still am BTW).
Anyhow, I bought this hat at Stater Bros Stadium, the home of the Mavericks. Back then, it was the home cap of the team. Even though the team wasn’t the best in the California League until their final season, I kept rooting for them.
It was the first Minor League game I attended in my life, and I was sold for good. Immediately, I fell in love with the atmosphere, the silly games, kids running the bases and children singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” in the seventh inning (my daughters participated in both events). I cherish this cap and hardly wear it, to make sure it stays in good shape and to make sure this will remain a nice souvenir of a great night back in 2008.