New Era Unveils New Construction, Design for MLB Spring Training
Not only will the New Era MLB Spring Training and batting practice caps look different in 2018, they will feel different too.
New Era plans the lightest on-field fabric in MLB history for the new design, 26 percent lighter than the fabric used in spring training for the past five seasons. Dubbed the ProLight 59Fifty, the new fitted cap retains the same structure used in GameDay 59Fifty caps, but has a fresh fabric with a featherweight polyester material with a matte finish that includes a performance comfort sweatband and moisture-absorbing characteristics.
Along with the new technology, more than one-third of the 30 MLB clubs selected a new design for their spring training on-cap logo.
The Orioles, Reds, Rockies, Tigers, Royals, A’s, Phillies and Cardinals will all break out new logos in 2018 for spring training, while the Diamondbacks, Tigers, Twins, Yankees, Pirates, Rays, Blue Jays and Nationals all feature new colorways in the cap designs.
The A’s and Reds both plan to dip back into club history with Old English-style letters. The Rockies will feature a new logo with the state flag worked in, while the Orioles and Tigers have more intense animal logos. The Cardinals offer up a fresh take on the old logo, while the Royals offer a crown atop a styled “R.” The Phillies chose a blue Liberty Bell atop a red backdrop.
As part of the new cap, New Era has scrapped embroidered team logos on the ProLight, instead using beveled rubber badge team logos on the front of the cap and the MLB silhouetted batter logo on the back. A silicone-printed New Era flag will appear on the left side of the cap. During spring training, side patches representing either the Grapefruit League of Cactus League will be adorned on the right side of the cap.
“New Era is proud to continue raising the bar in performance headwear and excited to introduce the ProLight 59Fifty caps that will be added to the on-field Authentic Collection beginning in 2018,” New Era baseball business unit director Tony DeSimone said. “We worked tirelessly with our internal product management team and consulted with a handful of MLB players and club equipment managers to create a cap that performs better on the field of play. We also made sure to add an on-trend look and feel that players and baseball fans everywhere will enjoy.”
The new cap will become available for pre-order now. New Era will also debut a ProLight 39Thirty, a stretch-fit version of the cap.
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Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.