Never having visited the state of Arizona for Spring Training, I was initially unsure of what to/what not to wear. Actually, that’s not true. I had 99% of my clothing decided, with one large omission; which hat to wear. As I do not have what one would describe as a rooting interest in any team that plays their Spring Training games in Arizona, I was left in a bit of a pickle. I had the option of wearing a Minnesota Twins hat, but that seemed a little gauche — as the Twins don’t play a game there. I might as well wear a hat stating “I’d rather be in Florida,” which is a hat hopefully nobody owns. My other options were hats bearing either the logos of basketball teams, or golf equipment companies, neither of which seemed appropriate either. So I settled — though “settled” seems perhaps like a word that invokes displeasure in the ultimate outcome — on a hat bearing the logo of the Saint Paul Saints (seen on the right), my local representative of the Northern League of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Though they don’t do Spring Training, wearing their signifier seemed less assuming, a little curious perhaps, but not aggressive. Look at me. I’m just a baseball fan enjoying baseball wearing a baseball hat.
This decision took about three days to complete, and I was happy with it. Imagine my surprise then — no, seriously, imagine it — when I arrived this morning at my hotel in Arizona to find fellow Patrick Dubuque, mostly of NotGraphs fame, wearing a very similar hat (left). Let me assure you that this, while delightfully whimsical, was not planned nor intended.
Details are sketchy as to why Dubuque, who hails from the Seattle area, would wear a hat of an independent team from the middle-west. I have been informed by the subject himself, however, that his decision proved to be less irksome than mine, as he apparently owns only one hat.