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eBay’s 5 Most Marvelous and Currently Unavailable Ballcaps

It is important to note, for the sake of both historical accuracy and literary theme, that when Mark Twain wrote, “There is no such thing as a new idea,” he was stealing from the biblical Solomon, who, despite enjoying the ministrations of 700 wives and 300 concubines, had conceived a similar and ultimately Ecclesiastical maxim, namely, that there is nothing new under the sun.

Of course, the proof of Twain’s assertion is less in his choice of words than in his decision to use them. That he thought it was nothing new; that he said it was something old. Among writers, the search for new ideas is a truth as old as time, if not somehow older. When facing writer’s block or “thinker’s void,” we must often turn to other sources for inspiration or “plagiarism.”

It is in the spirit of all these things – literature, theft, things being under the sun – that I present this post, inspired by C. Cistulli’s award-craving series, eBay’s Five Most Marvelous and Currently Available Ballcaps.

To repeat: eBay’s 5 Most Marvelous and Currently Unavailable Ballcaps:


Anderson Felons New Era Hat (Missing Link)

Style: Fitted (7 3/8), probably
Time Left: Pretty much all you want, as the cap remains unavailable
Cost: The time it takes to read this post, or this part of this post

The Felons, according to Baseball Indirect Reference, were an Anderson-based Dependent League team that belonged, first, to the Anderson-Area Correctional Institute and then, after that, the Anderson-Area Correctional Institute And Good-Times FunDrinkery. I have it on good, if not great, authority that anyone who wears this hat is automatically confused by the goals of the institution – fun? good times? retribution via killer hangover? – and ultimately confined to the institution, just in time for happy hour.

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Found at In-Laws: Article from 1994 About French Baseball

Smithsonian A not infrequent topic within undergraduate literature classrooms — and within the books themselves, for whose existence those classrooms were constructed in the first place — concerns the dichotomy between free will and determinism. Speaking generally, advocates of the former claim that humans possess agency and are capable of altering the course of events; proponents of the latter, that events conspire in such a way as to produce certain, unalterable outcomes.

The present post — and the circumstances which have led to its composition — serves as evidence of that second position. Today, while organizing her parents’ attic, the author’s wife happened upon the April 1994 edition of Smithsonian magazine, which issue contains within it a droll and brief account of baseball in France. In a series of events that might be best described as “entirely predictable,” she passed said magazine along to the present author, who is a baseball weblogger concerned with trifling trifles. And because he is helpless against the tide of inevitability, what he has done is compose this post and published it.

Yes We Cannibal: Free Speech in the Age of Olivo


The thing that makes America great, apart from the way it fits so perfectly into the North American landmass – seriously, what are the odds? – is its capacity for allowing talented bloggers to showcase their kick-ass math skills by writing that “Bourjos is a miiiiiiilllllllion times better than Trout, you four-eyed moron,” and also by providing enumerated (enumer8ed) lists.

What also makes America great are these three (3) things:

1) unscripted television

2) mustard

3) the First Amendment

Granted, it’s weird that something called the First (1st) Amendment came in third (bronze) place in my List (List) Of Great-Making Things, but why, you might ask, is the aforementioned Amendment still so totes amazeballs? Well, for one thing, it allows intelligent Internet commenters to observe, “Thers somthing called the Frist Amendmant, you know!!1!2!3!!” whenever a corporation cans an employee for cooing via webcam, “My boobs are totes amazeballs!”

For another, it allows private citizens to voice private thoughts regarding

1) auto racing

2) mustard

3) cannibalism

without fear of gubmint retribution.

One such instance occurred this week, after Dodgers Triple-A catcher Miguel Olivo gnawed off the unfortunate ear of teammate Alex Guerrero.

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eBay’s Five Most Marvelous and Currently Available Ballcaps

To the extent that it’s responsible both for an aphid that nearly destroyed France’s entire wine industry once and also the whole Fast and Furious media franchise, it’s probably fair to say that not every export produced on US soil is full exclusively of virtue.

One entirely unassailable American invention, however, is the baseball cap — consummate examples of which important garment the author has considered in some depth at different points over the past couple months.

What follows is another installment in that series — and, specifically, of five such ballcaps as are currently available for purchase by way of internet auction house


Atlanta BCs

Atlanta Black Crackers Hat (Link)
Style: Snapback
Time Left: 2 days, 3 hours
Cost: US $9.99 (Starting Bid) / US $14.99 (Buy It Now)

Former NBA point guard Jason Williams was known by the sobriquet White Chocolate on account of how, despite his pigmentation, he played a brand of basketball much more commonly found (according to former Sacramento Kings media coordinator Stephanie Shepard) on the playgrounds of Chicago. Black Cracker, one notes, is somehow both the same as and also the opposite of White Chocolate.

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For the Children: Coloring Book of Great Baseball Fights

The author and his wife are currently visiting a home that is populated by, among other sorts of people, a young girl who has invested heavily in coloring books of princesses. This is entirely acceptable for other families; however, at such a time as Carson Cistulli reproduces — an act which admittedly would necessitate a sort of intimacy which my wife attempts to avoid at all costs — his children will have at their disposal only educational sorts of coloring books. Like one depicting great fights from baseball history, for example — samples of which hypothetical coloring book one can find below. (Click, embiggen.)

Coco Crisp and James Shields:

Crisp Shields

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eBay’s Five Most Marvelous and Currently Available Ballcaps

Twice now, in these electronic pages, the author has alerted the public to ballcaps of great merit made available by means of internet auction house What follows represents an unimaginative sequel to those two earlier installments.



Oakland A’s Eckersley Hat (Link)
Style: Snapback
Time Left: N/A
Cost: US $28.39 (Buy It Now)

It’s much less the actual appearance and more the idea of this particular cap that is attractive. Dennis Eckersley was, for years, an above-average starting pitcher. Upon joining Oakland in 1987, he became more or less the majors’ best reliever for nearly a decade. Now, even 15 years after having retired, Eckersley persists in sporting a coiffure typically reserved for those either en route to or on the way home from a sexy key party. Multitudes, he could be said to contain.

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Home Runs I’ve Conceited: A Counterpoint, Kind Of

So I read Cistulli’s write-up on home runs he gave up and I’m like what about me? You got your pitchers and you got your hitters is what I say. I mean the hitter is like half the equator so I’m here to tell you my side. I mean I didn’t face Cistulli but I faced pitchers just like him and man let me tell you they didn’t like me one bit.

They were all like scoot back! Scooooot baaaaack! Ha ha oh man it was awesome. This one kid Rusty he piped a fastball and man that thing was still rolling when I touched the plate. Yeah back then we didn’t have fences. And the ground was pretty hard because I guess they forgot to water the grass but man I hit that thing far.

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eBay’s Five Most Marvelous and Currently Available Ballcaps

Recently, in these electronic pages, the author drove significantly more traffic than usual by means of a post alerting the public to five ballcaps of great merit available (at that time) on internet auction house What follows represents a nakedly desperate attempt to re-create that rare success.

To wit:


Montreal Expos 20th Anniversary Hat (Link)
Style: Snapback
Time Left: 28 days, 23 hours
Cost: US $25.00 (Buy It Now)

Some will argue that beauty is subjective. Ancient mathematician Euclid, who explored in some depth the idea of the Golden Ratio, would argue that those people are super wrong. What else he’d probably argue is that, among all the ballcaps currently available on eBay, this vintage and white Expos one is manifestly the most appealing. Of note for potential buyers: there’s no indication from the relevant auction page whether Jonah Keri is or isn’t included in the purchase price.

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eBay’s Five Most Marvelous and Currently Available Ballcaps

It’s a truth as old as time, if not somehow older: the most immediate way to apprise the world of one’s virtues as a human person is not by means of wealth or education or spiritual excellence, but rather by the purchase and then subsequent vesting of an excellent ballcap.

In the service of doing that exact thing, the author has recently inspected popular online retailer eBay with a view towards identifying those ballcaps which might most ably cultivate a sense of what Andre Breton referred to as “the marvelous” and what Kanye West referred to more recently, probably, as “a celebration.”


Anderson Lawmen New Era Hat (Link)
Style: Fitted (7 3/8)
Time Left: 19 days, 8 hours
Cost: US $29.99 (Buy It Now)

The Lawmen, according to Baseball Reference, were an Indiana-based independent-league team which belonged, first, to the Mid-America League and then, after that, the Heartland League. I have it on decent, if not good, authority that anyone who wears this hat is automatically deputized in whichever municipality he currently resides.

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Bronson Arroyo Sits at a Booth in a Diner


Bronson Arroyo takes one last, long drag of his Pall Mall then puts it out in the ashtray that now holds seven butts. He has been there for 23 minutes.

“I already told you,” he says as he exhales smoke out his nostrils. It melds with the steam coming from his coffee cup. “I’m not doing it, Walt.”

“Come on, B.A,” says Walt. “We need you. Just this one last time.”

“I’m retired.” He taps his cigarette pack against the side of his index finger until one stick emerges from the group. He brings the pack to his face and pulls the straggler out with his lips. His Zippo flips open.

“I know you are,” says Walt. “I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I weren’t desperate. This crew I got lined up, they’re good. But they need to be great to pull this thing off. You can make them great. And wait ’til you hear what this score pays.”

“Don’t care.” His mouth said it. His eyes let Walt know he meant it. He ran his yellow fingers through his yellow hair.

“There’s gotta be something I can do to convince you, something you want. Name it. Name it and I’ll get it. Come on, B.A. I need this. Do it as a favor to me.”

Bronson Arroyo slid to the end of the booth, and stood up. He slung a weathered leather jacket over his shoulders and reached into the right-hand pocket. He pulled out four crumpled dollar bills and tossed them on the table.

“Sorry, Walt,” he said through his cigarette. “I stopped doing favors a long time ago. Nothin’ good comes from them.” He turned and walked toward the door.

“It won’t last you know,” Walt projected.

Bronson Arroyo turned around slowly.

“This feeling of superiority, of finality, it won’t last. You have more money than you’ll ever need, and you got out of the game alive, but that calm won’t last. What are you going to do now, huh? You’re gonna sit at home and watch old movies? Get that stupid rock band back together? Grow those fucking dreadlocks again? No way. Just when you think you have a normal life again, it will come back. Not all at once, but over time, that itch will come back. And soon enough, you won’t be able to fight it any longer. You might catch on with that crew in Tampa or Oakland or Chicago. Just for something to do. To feel like you’re alive again. But it won’t be the same. They aren’t your crew. You HAVE a crew. And that crew needs you. Joey, Chappy, Billy, Tony — they all need you. Fuck, I need you, man. So I’m asking, one last time. But if you walk out, you’ll never hear from me again. You might see our names in the papers, but you won’t hear from any of us anymore. It’s your choice. It’s your chance. Your last chance.”

Bronson Arroyo walks back to the table. He puts out his eighth cigarette butt. His eyelids lower. He exhales deeply.