The 2019 season saw MLB players putting on camouflage, or camo hats, instead of their typical baseball hats during some games in May.
There were many talks surrounding that, especially for those who did not keep themselves up-to-date with MLB events.
So why are MLB players wearing camo hats?
Read on to find out.
The Reason Behind MLB Players Wearing Camo Hats
The MLB players were putting on camo hats to celebrate Military Forces Day! As they have done this over the Memorial Weekend way back in the 2019 season, it wasn’t surprising that MLB players across teams united to repeat the gesture in the 2021 season.
To date, MLB players have celebrated Military Forces Day for two seasons.
Historical Moments When the MLB Honored Veterans
MLB teams wearing camo hats are not the only gesture made to honor the veterans and the military.
Here is a long list of ways in which the MLB shows appreciation to the US armed forces:
- Upon the initiative of then-President Harry S. Truman in 1949, the MLB has since observed the annual commemoration of the Day of the Armed Forces that falls on every third Saturday of May.
- After earning royalties from licensed Armed Forces uniforms and caps, MLB donates all sales to charities.
These charities back programs that improve the lives of veterans, the present military, and their families.
- The MLB put up the logo of the armed forces on all four bases of the baseball field.
- In addition, the MLB included the Military Forces Day ribbon in their lineup cards.
- In 2013, the MLB began its annual donation to PALS for the patriots through its Patient AirLift Services partnership.
- This donation covers veterans’ food and accommodation allowances and ballpark tickets. It also enables them to travel and experience MLB games (including the World Series postseasons).
- This donation has since become a yearly event.
- In 2008, MLB partnered with the McCormick Foundation to develop a grant worth $30 million to be given to military men, military families, and others who served the country.
- And despite the official end of the awarding project in 2018, its impact on society continues today. That also includes the foundations and awarding initiatives inspired by it.
- Apart from MLB players donning camouflage hats, they also wear camouflage-patterned socks, jersey patches, and other accessories.
A Closer Look Into the Baseball Camo Hats
The act of wearing camo hats in MLB, as discussed earlier, did not just take place without a socio-cultural relevance behind it.
As a kind gesture of giving thanks and appreciation to war veterans and military men, the caps being worn would consist of symbols and patches.
A closer look into the baseball camo hat would reveal a patch on the side (usually on the right), the league's symbol, and the logo of the team at the front.
On the side patch, one can see five stars symbolizing the five departments in the military. This doesn’t apply to the Toronto Blue Jays, which decided to use four maple leaves instead of stars.
Other Traditional Events Celebrated in MLB
The rise of social and cultural awareness in the world led to the inclusion of several celebrations in the MLB events.
The most immediate manifestation of these events comes in the forms of MLB camouflage hats, socks, customized caps, jerseys, etc.
Here are some celebrations included in the MLB events (outside of the Armed Forces Day Celebration):
- All-Star Game Event: Certainly one of the highlight events, the All-star game has the backing of Mastercard. The MLB and New Era started the celebration by funding an “all-star” cap design featuring all the clubs.
- Many MLB players have joined the celebration by wearing this cap design for the past six years.
- The celebration will likely make it to many years more in the future.
- Father’s Day Celebration: In partnership with the New Era company, MLB created caps with light-blue-colored ribbons on the side to celebrate Father’s Day.
- Some MLB players attach light-blue-colored ribbons on the left side of the chest, while others wear New Era-designed blue socks.
- Mother’s Day Celebration: To celebrate Mother’s Day, MLB players wear caps and jerseys with pink designs. Some players would even wear pink socks to add to the accent.
- Independence Day Celebration: MLB players will wear caps with team logos, and possibly socks, which are designed with stripes and stars every Independence Day.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are the baseball players wearing camouflage hats?
Baseball players wear camouflage hats to celebrate Military Forces Day in solidarity with war veterans, military men, and their families.
2. What is the New Era Company?
The New Era or New Era Cap Company, founded in 1920, is the sole manufacturer and distributor of baseball caps to the MLB.
3. When is Military Forces Day celebrated?
Military Forces Day is celebrated every May 21st, or roughly every third week of May in the U.S.
Why are MLB players wearing camo hats? MLB players don camo hats to honor the veterans and celebrate Military Forces Day.
Apart from Military Forces Day, MLB also celebrates other traditional events like Father's Day, Mother's Day, and Independence Day by wearing customized caps, jerseys, and socks.
Many cultural celebrations add color to baseball. If you want to know more, keep yourself posted on our new articles.