There are many situations in life where a helping hand, a kind word or some information can make things go a whole lot smoother. I found this to be true with a few things over the past couple of months.
Brian and I were planning on heading to Eastern Europe with Edelweiss during the month of August on their Kings and Castle tour. We were very much looking forward to it but, as life does at times, some ‘stuff’ got in the way and plans needed to be rearranged. Finding that we had some free time, we decided to continue with our quest to attend games at every major league baseball stadium in the USA. We were doing pretty well, having already hit eighteen of the thirty parks. I thought, if we could plan it just right, we might be able to get to all five parks in California in one trip.
A thought grew into a reality, but not before seeing a posting on Facebook for a concert that we never really thought we would see. Tikiyaki Orchestra, hailing from Los Angeles and playing exotic lounge music (think Martin Denny), very rarely tour and pretty much never on the East coast. The impetus for getting on the plane would be to see this band. The follow-up to that would be to get to San Diego Padres, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics’ stadiums. Looking at the major league baseball schedule, it was a doable thing, with just a little sketchiness on the back end. But, as Brian always says, we are big supporters of Plans with letters towards the end of the alphabet.
My brother Jan was a huge baseball fan. He didn’t just follow one team, he just loved the game of baseball. He was involved with baseball fantasy leagues for the longest time, went to games and kept stats, watched one game on TV while listening to another on the radio. He tried his best to spend his birthday at a baseball park.
We lost Jan earlier this year and, as Steve Goodman sang, "I've got seasons tickets to watch the Angels now, so it's just what I'm gonna do." Jan was also a great collector of many things. I knew that he had many baseball caps and I thought it would be fitting to wear one to each of the stadiums. I asked my sister-in-law, Janet, if I could possibly have one or two and, naturally, she obliged, although she did remind me that Jan had a small head and they may not fit. I stopped by and picked out three; one that I knew he wore often to Shea and CitiField, one from his Fantasy league and one just because I liked the colors. Janet did not know who or what it represented but I figured I could track that down.
The cap is from Cooperstown Ballcap Company, now defunct, so that was a dead end. My first thought was to post it to the World Wide Web and the Universe’s General Knowledge Bank. That really didn’t get me too far, but it did get me some suggestions from friends for some sites that might be able to do better. I contacted the reference library at Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame and received a lovely letter back from the manager Cassidy. She sent her condolences for my brother and apologized for not having any information on the cap. She did point me to the Society for American Baseball Research. I sent the same information to their research department and, again, got a very lovely letter back from the Director of Editorial Content Jacob. He, too, offered his condolences and apparently got the whole office involved, as it stumped them all. He confirmed that it was not something worn by any professional baseball team in America, but that perhaps there was an amateur team using that logo. In addition, he did something called ‘reverse Google’ with the image to see if there was anything, anywhere related to baseball with this logo and came up with nada.
One suggestion he did make, and this could very well fit into something that Jan would do, was that it may relate to a comic book or cartoon with its bright colors. Jan was a collector of comic books (see, I told you) and may have had this cap made up to represent something like that.
I thank everyone who took the time to help with this mystery. I feel like it will remain a mystery and I’m okay with that. I will wear this cap to ball parks and perhaps someone, somewhere, will point to it and say, ‘Hey, I haven’t see that logo in a long time. It represents ?????’