It wasn’t until after I had written my post about my dissatisfaction with NewEra caps and how inconsistent they were, I took my objections to Google to see if there were any other people out there who had noticed what I had. Naturally, there are numerous links and articles out there where people express the exact same concerns that I do about the inconsistent fittings of NewEra caps, so clearly I’m not the only person out there to have been frustrated by the nature of getting a cap that you wanted, only to discover that it fits awkwardly or uncomfortably.
This particular article was probably the best one I read, and it basically boils down the inconsistency conflict to the root of the problem: some NewEra caps are manufactured in the United States, some NewEra caps are manufactured in China.
The person who wrote this mentions issues that I’ve noticed, and it’s clear in the comments that numerous other people have to. But the bottom line is that ballcaps manufactured in China are often times more inconsistent and tend to “bulge” up top in the crown more prominently than caps made in the United States. It never crossed my mind to try and see if there were any obvious reasons for such inconsistent cap production, but it’s pretty clear as day that caps manufactured in China tend to be less-preferred than those that are manufactured in the United States.
This has nothing to do with patriotism or the easy out of proclaiming that US products are superior to their Chinese counterparts, but from the simple conclusion that all of my caps that are US-manufactured fit better and don’t bulge out like all the ones I have that were discovered to have been Chinese-manufactured. My Atlanta Braves cap is US-made, and it’s no surprise that my favorite minor league cap, the Portland Beavers one is also US-made. All of my other minor league caps are Chinese-manufactured, and to no surprise it’s really a toss-up of which ones fit better or sit better, or bulge out more than the others. Even amongst their own, they’re still wildly inconsistent.
What’s sad about all of the aforementioned facts is the notion that ballcaps for the Great American Game are beginning to lean towards Chinese-manufacturing as a standard, due to the capitalist pursuit of saving money and pocketing the excess. From what I understand through the readings I’ve been doing is that at the MLB level, there are still plenty of ballcaps being sold that are US-manufactured, but at the minor league level, the level in which I enjoy caps more frequently, are beginning to lean towards Chinese-made caps as the standard, simply because it’s cheaper, and there’s supposedly tax benefits for buying Chinese.
None of this particularly makes me happy has a collector of ballcaps as well as minor league baseball and baseball in general. It’s times like this where I wish I could muster up the courage to say that I’d boycott NewEra caps, but frankly they’ve got the baseball cap market almost monopolized. Sure, companies like Nike manufacture sports logo caps of baseball teams like the Braves, but when it comes to purist-snob, official gear, NewEra has the market cornered by being the official cap manufacturer of pretty much everything. And from what I understand now, just about all caps at the minor league level are going to be Chinese manufactured, so if I want to get more caps, it looks like I’m relegated to simply playing the guessing game.
As for the pursuit of a good bacon cap, I already placed my order for a replacement at a size down with hopes that it’ll be preferable to the 7 1/2-large that I have in my possession already, but it gives me no optimism to know that it’s going to very likely be another Chinese-manufactured cap that bulges more than it should, and is a complete toss-up to whether or not it’s going to fit on my noggin properly without digging into my ears.