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MLB axes the Chief Wahoo July 4th cap design

Jun 6, 2013, 9:44 AM EST

Block C

As we noted over the weekend, those white and gray stars and stripes caps Major League Baseball plans to use on the Fourth of July are ugly. The ugliest among them, and the one that has drawn a lot of ire from folks around the Internet, however, was the Indians’ Chief Wahoo design. Which, by the way, was clearly shown on New Era’s page as the cap the Indians would be wearing on July 4.

Cork Gaines of Business Insider has learned, however, that the Indians will not be wearing the red, white and blue Wahoo. They’ll be wearing a red, white and blue Block C cap:

According to a source at Major League Baseball, New Era Caps released the wrong image, believing all teams would use their primary logo. Instead, the Indians will actually wear a cap with their block-C logo, seen at right.

UniWatch is highly dubious that it was a mistake. I am too. I think this is matter of the league and/or the cap company responding to the blowback occasioned by a racist character being draped in the stars and stripes. I mean, the last time MLB made a “mistake” and released a cap design that they never, ever, ever intended to actually be worn also involved a racist caricature cap.

Funny that they never do that with other teams who have alternate logos. The “confusion” only seems to happen when they piss off a lot of people by making offensive caps. Darndest thing, really.

  1. cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    See? Now you’re a Cap Apologist, too. Dang you to heck, Craig!

    • lilstewie - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      This was OBVIOUSLY a mistake by New Era. Anyone who thinks different cannot remember 2008. That year they did you Wahoo on cap with the stars and stripes background, and everyone threw a fit and every year since then, it has been the block C. Period, end of story.

      I am just curious if the Indians ever took the “red” away from the face if that would change anything. I mean, it is a cartoon character. Are we going to outlaw Elmer Fudd, and any other human depitcting character?? I can find what people think are “politically incorrect” in every single cartoon character out there.

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        Are we going to outlaw Elmer Fudd, and any other human depitcting character??

        Great Moments In Ignoring History, folks! Lets give him a big hand…

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Are we going to outlaw Elmer Fudd, and any other human depitcting character?

        Yes, those poor poor white people, oppressed for centuries.

      • Old Gator - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        In Elmer Fudd’s case, I think lilstewie was just concerned about discrimination against hydrocephalics.

      • indaburg - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Elmer Fudd is also quite offensive to bald stutterers.

  2. historiophiliac - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Agreed, and glad to hear it. I figure the thought process went something like this: Ok, we’re doing red, white, and blue for the holiday. Wahoo is already red, so we have to change it up. Blue it is. (reads fan response) What? Oh, yeah, dark face. Blame the intern for sending the wrong pic, blame the media for posting the wrong pic, and blame the graphic designer for making the wrong pic in the first place. Distract fans by playing GBA and parading veterans at the game. Damage controlled. Now, off to play golf!

    • jlovenotjlo - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      That was both long-winded, uninteresting, and not even slightly funny.

      Get a job.

  3. dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    They could’ve changed at least one other cap, too, to make it believable.

  4. mybrunoblog - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    The “C” cap is the correct hat for the Indians to wear on July 4th anyway. It’s a road game for them and they wear the “C” on the road and Chief Wahoo at home.
    Personally, I dislike all the stars n stripes hats and the ridiculous camo hats MLB trots out in the name of “patriotism”

    • bsbiz - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      Why do you hate America so?

      /sarcasm

      (hoping the /sarcasm font is working today)

      • rocketsteadman - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Hooray, sarcasm font seems to be working today!

      • yahmule - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Oh yes, all hail the mighty sarcasm font!

        /yeah, it works

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        Oh yes, all hail the mighty sarcasm font!

        Wait, is this sarcastic? Shit’s getting meta in here…

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        That’ll be $69.69 please.

      • indaburg - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        I just want to know when America got so needy. I love her, but she keeps wanting me to tell her all the time.

    • dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      I am all for the MLB celebrating the 4th of July. It would strange for them not to, given the game’s place in the American psyche. But then again, I think it is possible to use the word patriotism without quotes around it.

      But the hats stink. We can all agree on that.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Just once, I’d like to see them mix it up and celebrate July 2nd.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Hey hist, how about they celebrate July 1, Canada Day, eh!! Celebrate the True North’s contributions to the game. Honor Fergie Jenkins, Larry Walker, Dick Fowler (only no-hitter by a Canuck), Joey Votto, etc. Sell Molson’s at the parks. Aero bars too, eh.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        I would be in favor of Canada Day. We could go around talking aboot baseball in funny accents, eh? We could even let the Blubber Sausage win the wienie race. I draw the line at syrup on hot dogs though.

      • jwbiii - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Not on hot dogs, but try it instead of molasses in barbeque sauce. Mmmm.

  5. waiverclaim - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Okay, now get rid of that racist Indian caricature forever and replace it with that MUCH more classy looking “C”.

    And while you are at it, change their name to the Browns like they should be. MLB is a billion dollar industry and 2013 is no time and place for its teams to be named after a race of human beings. Change it to literally anything else that isn’t race/human being related and get with the times.

    • tmohr - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      No, they should go back to being the Cleveland Spiders.

      • skids003 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        No, that might offend the spiders.

      • yahmule - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        I think Spiders would be a pretty cool name. You’ll lose the arachnophobes, but screw ‘em.

      • kopy - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        They can stay the Indians if they change the logo to an Indian Motorcycle.

        (not a genuine suggestion)

    • dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      I agree that the logo should go, but what makes “race/human being related” names racist?

  6. nategearhart - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Finally, some good baseball news!
    Though I wish they’d just own up to making the change.

  7. bigleagues - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I don’t think these caps are all that ugly. Certainly not on the level of ugly that the Marlins primary color scheme and logos are.

    I just think that this July 4th design is, well, kinda generic looking … and forced.

    Having handled this aspect of the business for a AA team, I can offer this observation… when you get into the routine of re-designing and offering a new cap or uniform for each and every holiday and special momentous occasion that comes along . . . you run out of original fresh looking ideas really really fast.

    Mainly because each logo and color scheme have inherent limitations of their own.

    I’m embarrassed by some of the things that we did with our logo and color scheme, but I just did what I was asked to do.

    And just so you have some idea where I’m coming from I worked for a team that took a decent team moniker “Navigators” which capitalized on the regions nautical history and from the teams inception, until its logo change three years before the franchise moved, had an an alligator as its teams mascot. There are NO alligators in Connecticut, mind you.

    The mascot simply came from the last 6 letters of “Navigators“. While the logo and name proved successful early on, the novelty wore off rather quickly. Especially since the initial color scheme was purple/green/yellow. Oh yeah, I kid you not.

    But then the Yankees left and the Giants came in . . . and I needed by edict from above … to find a way to make black/orange/green/cream somehow work.

    And then, came the July 4th uni’s (requiring new designs every year) and other assorted special events that required additional riffs on the teams official motif.

    Anyway, this started with Craig’s post about the Chief Wahoo logo being included in the the original released artwork and I thoroughly agree that it was NOT a mistake.

    Posting artwork like that is almost always cleared with the league office as well as the franchise itself. I’m inclined to believe it was floated to gauge blowback before actual production of the hats began in earnest.

    • forsch31 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      >>”Having handled this aspect of the business for a AA team, I can offer this observation… when you get into the routine of re-designing and offering a new cap or uniform for each and every holiday and special momentous occasion that comes along . . . you run out of original fresh looking ideas really really fast.

      Mainly because each logo and color scheme have inherent limitations of their own.”<<<

      And come up with a unified design for all 30 teams, while still using all of their own established and diversive logos individually. Which is probably why this design works fine on some caps and not on others.

  8. chill1184 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    These hats are certainly better than the camo hats they used for Memorial Day. Good God those things were ugly.

  9. Ryan - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Real geniuses at MLB and New Era. If the block-“C” cap was the one they intended to use all along, it’s pretty interesting that the picture shows a reflection of Chief Wahoo in the plastic label on the brim. Here’s a larger image: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2816/8964658136_d45eb44e35_o.jpg

    Clearly they produced the Chief Wahoo cap (along with all the other stars and stripes caps), photographed it, and when it hit the fan, they photoshopped the C onto the cap. Although it is a little baffling that they felt the need to “re-use” the original Wahoo cap when they could have used any blank template cap for a photoshop job like this–every team’s stars and stripes cap uses the same base template.

    • nategearhart - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Wow dude, that’s an eagle-eye you’ve got there. 10,000 internet points.

    • dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Outstanding work! +100.

    • yahmule - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      That’s awesome. Great catch.

    • Ryan - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Thank you kind sirs! I should mention that comment was mostly a reprint from one I made over at Uni Watch earlier – noticing that kind of stuff is my thing.

    • mazblast - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Good pickup. I would never have caught that. Someone at MLB or the hat maker gets an F in Photoshop 101.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Ryan = Perry Mason

      Nicely done Ryan.

  10. specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    If they really wanted to be patriotic for July 4th, they’d skip the hats and wear powdered wigs.

    • dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      I really don’t know what the logic is behind this, but +1 for making me laugh in dumbfounded confusion.

    • geoknows - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      I don’t think patriotism is the intention. The intention is to sell more caps.

      • dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Maybe so–but why not change it up and sell more powdered wigs?

        Powdered wig day would be an awesome promotion.

      • jwbiii - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Look at how well Mannylocks sold in LA!

  11. thomas844 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I think we are all making a huge deal about something that really isn’t that big of a deal.

    • dan1111 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Welcome to the internet, dude! That’s how we roll here.

      • yahmule - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        It would be a trip if for one day people were forced to act in real life like they do online. Your every opinion would be challenged. Pimply 14 years would tell you in no uncertain terms how badly they were going to kick your ass. Most of us would be in various stages of undress.

      • thomas844 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        Very true my friend hahaha

  12. markb2301 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Upon clicking the “next” below the image of the red, white, and blue caps from the screen shot of the New Era page, I thought I would see the rest of the MLB caps. Instead, it is an old man in an American flag speedo. Thanks, NBC Sports.

    • yahmule - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      On one hand, that was jacked up. On the other hand, I’ll be carpet-emailing that picture to all my friends on the 4th of July.

  13. misterscmo - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    These things are horrible. In an effort to blend with every uniform, they don’t work with any of them. Granted, I’m the biggest uni snob in the world.

  14. unlost1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    yeah, i don’t htink native americans would be celebrating independence day.

  15. theartiste13 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    K Now Stop the double standard. Since when are the Irish a bunch of Leprechauns AND GREEN PEOPLE?

    • 18thstreet - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Could someone translate this into English for me?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        +100 if they could do the Gaelic.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Since when are the Irish a bunch of Leprechauns AND GREEN PEOPLE?

        Per google translate

        Ós rud é nuair a bhíonn an Ghaeilge a bunch de Leprechauns AGUS DAOINE GLAS?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        I see COPO is out to upstage me today. ;)

    • kopy - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Since NBC has a lucrative TV deal with the Fighting Irish.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      I assume you’re trying to be clever/sarcastic there, but…not funny in the execution.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Since the potato famine. Pogue mo thoin.

      • Old Gator - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        That was a time when toystore windows were smashed by angry mobs and boxes of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head were piled in the streets of Dublin and burned. Strange days have found us.

  16. lessick - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Well, the photoshop clearly clinches it, but one more strike can be found in the screenshot.

    “According to a source at Major League Baseball, New Era Caps released the wrong image, believing all teams would use their primary logo.”

    The Orioles cap in the screenshot is not one using the primary logo, but the “O’s” logo hat that the team only wears on Fridays.

  17. anxovies - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    I hear they are saving the Wahoo cap for Columbus Day in case Cleveland is in the playoffs.

  18. oregonbravesfan - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    The Braves BP cap was not mistake. It even made into the initial release of at least one of this year’s batch of MLB licensed video games, so it had to have received MLB’s stamp of approval at some point. I’d bet just about anything that the release off the design of the Chief Wahoo hats was also not a “mistake”.

  19. chaseutley - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Hooray for alternate logos….
    e7ab3-17-american-flag-speedo-0710-lg-8636817

  20. xxakshunxx - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    The C hat looks better with the stars anyway.. Could’ve been a design issue more than anything else

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