We all know that lots of Americans like baseball and enjoy wearing things with logos on them. This seems to be particularly prevalent among Americans as compared to Asians or Europeans in my experience – in those places, people will get gussied up if going to a game or maybe a bar where the game is playing, but Americans will wear team memorabilia on a daily basis. It’s not unusual to see people wandering around in basketball jerseys, for instance. Here, in Detroit, people wear Red Wings jerseys all the time. When I was growing up, I had a couple I’d wear regularly as well. Americans like sports and readily show their affiliations with attire.
Some people just like the look of baseball caps in general. They have become associated with certain subcultures, and lots of people wear them for the style. There are entire stores in malls that literally just sell baseball caps of virtually any flavor you’d want – and they’ll make custom ones for you if you wish.
They’re practical. The part of the baseball cap that goes over your head either has elastic in the back or an adjustable strap, so they always fit comfortably. Many times the back of the cap is made of a mesh fabric, which makes them light and cool on hot days. The bill of the cap is longer than basically any other hat form other than a 10 gallon cowboy hat or a sombrero – if it’s sunny, it’s useful to have. (It’s also generally more socially acceptable to wander around in a baseball cap as opposed to a gigantic cowboy hat or a sombrero most of the time.)
Hat wear used to be big in Europe too. If you look at pictures of the Titanic work force, they’re all wearing caps. Back in those days, housing was poor and could be drafty, including during summers, and catching a cold had the potential of doing you in. So reasons abound. Though no longer so in post-industrial society, and year-round cap use has indeed all but disappeared in Europe. Granted, hats survived a bit longer, but vanished overnight when Kennedy (an American) stopped wearing them. Proof that at that time they had already dwindled to merely being a fashion statement. There has been something of a revival lately. Today you will still see caps and hats in the streets of the Old Continent, in all shapes and sizes but, crucially, only when it’s cold.
So male Americans are short of an excuse for keeping their tops adorned with a colorful variety of baseball caps throughout the seasons, both indoors and outdoors, and regardless their age or baldness. Unless of course you would consider the baseball cap an sich as a motivation. The laws of elimination certainly seem to be pointing in that direction.
This has lead me to hypothesize that the humble baseball cap brings to the aspiring US male’s demeanor much more than its menial appearance would suggest. Indeed, upon donning this garment lofty virtues like reliability, predictability, trustworthiness, conformity, sturdiness, levelheadedness, locker room camaraderie (and its implied heterosexuality), gun proficiency and most of all, an innate distaste for all things arti-farti or foreign (or God forbid, both) are said to radiate instantly and profusely from the fortunate owner’s frame, all this for the price of a modest hamburger meal. Only a fool would balk at such generous offer.
Unsurprisingly, none of this has been lost on the highest levels of the country’s leadership, who can routinely be seen calling upon the baseball cap’s magical qualities. And no one more so than the Baseball-Cap-Wearer-In-Chief, Mr Trump. He harnesses as no other its formidable powers, skillfully positioning its visor just above eyebrow level, thereby boosting his already awesome gaze to destructive heights. This is clearly an instrument that, in the hands of the right man, could leave a cinder even the most enduring of enemies.