Sometime around early April of this year, I will finally get to use a line I’ve been saving up for a while. Somehow, those never seem to work out as well as you think they will, but what the hell?
I bought my first “real,” fitted Yankees hat on Opening Day of the 1987 baseball season. Back then, I actually had to save money from my dog-walking jobs in order to be able to afford the hat. Sadly, the way my current job is going, I’d probably still have to save money for a hat, and it would take me longer.
This April, my hat turns 21. So I will finally be able to look someone at a bar in the eye and say, “This hat is older than you are,” and actually be correct. I may have to go to Bahama Mama’s in Hoboken to do this, but sometimes sacrifice is necessary.
I absolutely love this hat and still wear it on a regular basis. It’s nothing like the current fitted hats. The wool is much heavier. The stitching on all of the panels is white, rather than midnight blue, like the rest of the Yankees hats. The NY is much thinner and raised nowhere near as much as the NY on today’s hats.
This hat is bulletproof. I don’t believe in umbrellas – they’re meant to be lost, broken or stolen, and that Rihanna song sucks ass – so I wear this hat whenever I know I’ll be out in the rain. I’ve even worn it whitewater rafting.
At Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium during the 2006 season, I was fortunate enough to be invited to sit in YES Network’s luxury box, where my hat was autographed by former Yankee pitcher and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. I actually would never have given him the hat to autograph because of how frequently I still wear it, but someone else in the box flipped it to him, and I didn’t want to seem unappreciative.
I can’t believe I have a 21-year-old hat. Jesus, I am old.