MLB’s newest line of officially licensed caps was released by New Era on Tuesday, giving fans their first look at the “Local Market” series that was designed to encapsulate each team’s home city using related icons and symbols.
Instead, well, New Era did this.
New Era removed all the caps from its website Tuesday evening, making it less than 24 hours that they were available before being pulled.
The Nationals’ version of the cap featured the Curly W above the bill situated between Washington's iconic 202 area code and a patch that commemorated the year 1776, when America declared its independence from Great Britain — an event that occurred 14 years before the city of D.C. was founded.
Also included on the hat were a 2019 World Series logo, an outline of the District with the year 1901 (the Washington Senators’ first season) and icons depicting a bald eagle and, for some reason, a hot dog. Or maybe it was an homage to the half smoke sold by local institution Ben’s Chili Bowl? There is a Ben’s stand in Nationals Park, after all.
Who knows, really? The logos weren't exactly precise. The Philadelphia Phillies' version of the hat had the same 1776 logo on it, too. It made a lot more sense for Philly than D.C.
The Orioles’ cap featured some interesting choices as well, most noticeably a cutout of Edgar Allen Poe’s head on the back. The crab makes sense. So does the state of Maryland outline with 1954 embroidered on it — the year the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore — and a few local area codes.
Fans didn't respond with much positivity on social media in any market.
Swing and a miss.
Update (6:45 p.m. ET): This story was updated to reflect New Era pulling all of its “Local Market” merchandise from its website.