Saturday, September 8, 2012

¡εὕρηκα! (or: The Pursuit of Happenstance)

Eureka!  A fortunate trip to the Chapel Hills Mall has ended years of searching for the greatest baseball hat of all time:

I have you now!
 It has been a long time coming, but I have finally found my white whale...


If you were too distracted by my overwhelming handsomeness to focus on the hat itself, click these photos to enlarge.


The search for this hat began several years ago.  In 2007, 2008, and 2009, I attended Spring Training in Arizona.  That second spring, I attended a Rockies game on March 17th, the Feast of Saint Patrick.  At the game, I noticed that the Rockies were wearing alternate black hats with green piping in the CR logo.  The first time I laid eyes on hats of that style, I was struck by how awesome they were.  

Green may not be an official color for the Rockies, but it is the primary color of Coors Field, and of course, the color of my proud Irish heritage.  Unfortunately, though the gift shop at Hi Corbett Field did have a number of alternate green Rockies hats, they did not have any of the style that the players wore on the fieldplain black with a simple CR logo that has green piping.  I was a little bummed, but I resolved to keep my eye out for that type of hat wherever I saw Rockies gear on sale.

The next spring, I returned and saw another St. Patrick's Day Rockies game.  Again, the players wore that awesome green piping alternate, and again the gift shop did not have any for sale.  But this time, I had a decent camera with me, and I managed to take pictures of the elusive alternate cap.

Above right, a random Rockies coach models the front of the hat they wore.  Above left, former Rockie Seth Smith models the back of the hat.  Note that the hat is adjustable, and over the rear window there is a clover leaf with "ST. PATRICK'S DAY" written above it.

After being denied by the gift shop at Hi Corbett for a second consecutive year, my search went online.  I furiously scoured the internet for this hat.  Sadly, outlet after outlet failed me: shop,, eBay, Amazon, Craigslist.  I even poured over the Rockies charitable auctions site, but I was denied again and again and again.  The Diamond Dry Goods store at Coors Field didn't have any.  The Rockies Dugout stores didn't have any.  The self-employed cash-only peddlers outside the stadium didn't have any.

I had tried every means possible, but found nothing.  Eventually, I resigned to the fact that this hat might not exist outside of the Hi Corbett playing field on March 17th.  Yet, I did not forget about this cap.  I always kept it in mind whenever I would browse the merchandise at Coors Field or or wherever.

Seasons came and went.  The Rockies devolved from playoff contention upstarts to the abhorrently bad team they are today.  Every March, when green alternates are in fashion, I would search the outlets most likely to have the Holy Grail of Rockies hats, but I never found it.

. . . that is, until today.

Today, of all days, when Mrs. JT and I found ourselves strolling the mall doing some light window shopping.  As we were approaching Lids, I thought about passing it up, as there were no hats for which I was actively looking.  But we decided to take a quick look, as they always have hats that are interesting to browse.

The store had a typical supply of MLB hats, though the prominent displays featured hats of NFL and college football teams.  As our brief survey of the shop was nearing the end of its circuit, we came to the back corner of the store and a display of MLB fashion hats.  Up to this point the only item worth noting was an ugly green Colorado Avalanche hat.

I might have easily missed it.  It was surrounded by scores of hideous Boston Red Sox hats.  But, by the good LORD's providence, I spotted it.  My white whale.  The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  The Holy Grail of Rockies hats.  The greatest baseball hat ever worn.
There was only one.  No additional stock.  No additional sizes.  As luck would have it, the hat fit me perfectly.  It wasn't on sale or clearance or any kind of discount, but I had to have it.  A short swipe of the plastic later, it was mine.  All mine.  As soon as we were safely back to our car, the tags were off in the blink of an eye and it was on my head.  My Air Force Falcons hat was relegated to the floorboards with the rest of our merchandise.

And I've been wearing it ever since.  As I'm sure you've already noticed, it is not the exact same hat that the players wore on March 17, 2008.  Rather than a jet black base color, it is a faded gray/off-navy.  It is not adjustable.  The back shamrock is green with silver outline and unaccompanied by any words referencing St. Pat's Day.  These changes do not bother me in the least.  In fact, I absolutely prefer them.  If at all possible, grown men should not wear adjustable hats.  And the faded base color makes the hat more versatile, more easily worn with any color of clothing.

It is mine at long last.  I commend you, loyal reader, if you have made it through this entire epic post.  Your patience is not lost on me.  I can appreciate it very much.  Put in perspective, the length of this post is but a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes in comparison to the many years I have spent searching for this hat.

Is it not a thing of beauty?  Again, I can sympathize with you, dear reader.  That seed of envy in the pit of your stomach I have felt in full force for years on end.  Alas, I cannot counsel you where another might be found.  If I could, rest assured that I most certainly would do so.  If I do come across a store of these hats, I will certainly announce it in these pages at my earliest opportunity.

But my journey is at an end.  I have found that for which I have searched long years.  This, the greatest hat known to mankind, is now my own, to wear as much as I want.

I have found it.


Go Rockies.


  1. Now I know why my use of the computer for homework was delayed two hours for a blog post. That is an epic story! I like your new hat and enjoyed the post.

  2. You found the Holy Grail! aut Vincam aut Periam!

  3. Two thumbs up on realizing your quest and the novel written in two hours ;-)