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.
In this episode of “Personal Stories About Ballcaps,” we pay attention to the cap of the Ogden Raptors, former Rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but thanks to a money grab move by the MLB owners, sentenced to “independent” baseball in the Pioneer League, which was repelled by MLB but later accepted as a “partner” league (in other words a guinea pig league).
The cap we are talking about was adopted in 2015 when the club was Dodgerized. Like many Dodger farm teams, except for the Great Lakes Loons, the Raptors had an irresistible craving to betray its own identity and adopted a Dodger-like look. Nowadays, the Loons also have an alternate (Dodgers) look, but they stick to their own identity with their home and road uniform, unlike most other Dodgers farm teams.
A Dutch pitcher from Rotterdam had played for the Raptors in 2015 and 2016, but was released eventually. During the 2017 European Champions Cup in Regensburg, where he played with his hometown Curaçao Neptunus, he watched a game of one of the other teams, when I sat next to him. We had a chat and he told me about this cap he had bought for a friend. This cap was too small for his friend, and asked me if I was interested. As an avid ball cap collector, I could not resist. I asked him what he wanted in return. He said “A cup of coffee.” He was deadly serious. So I went to one of the amenities and bought him a cup of coffee.
Later that season, I met his father at the Neptunus Family Stadium. His dad handed over the cap to me after we had a long conversation about baseball, and mainly his baseball career at now defunct Sparta Rotterdam, a legendary club that won nine Dutch championships (1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974).
That Dutch pitcher would earn a major mile stone in 2019, when he pitched a perfect game against Oosterhout Twins, the club he played for in the previous season.
When it comes to this cap, it is a typical case of you love it, or you hate it. There is hardly a golden mean. I like this one better than the previous cap, but that of course, is a matter of taste. It was my fifty-third cap overall, and my ninth Minor League cap. Through the years, my collection has increased quite a bit.