This weeks CapTalk segment features no other than #CrewEra13 original member Ricky Ruby. He chops it up with us and goes into some great detail about his collection, passion and experiences dealing with the New Era brand. Go behind the curtains and see some amazing facts we didn’t even know of. What’s on your mind? Want to show off your collection – hit us up at email@example.com.
Name: Ricky Ruby
Where are you from?: I’m from the suburbs of Atlanta Georgia (Lithonia & McDonough GA) but I currently live in Savannah GA
Social handles: My Social handles are, Instagram & Twitter: @rickyruby, YouTube Channel: rickymon25
What was it like to have New Era come to your home and shoot a video with you?
When I originally received the email from New Era, stating that they thought I was a perfect selection to be filmed for their MLB campaign (#WearYourAllegiance), I got very excited. I never thought something like this would happen to me. When the day came for my video shoot, I was already tired from staying up, making sure my home was up to standards and my MLB collection was displayed neatly for the shoot. The camera crew was very kind and down to earth. They have an awesome job and I made sure to tell them that. The two New Era reps were also great! They all tried to make me feel more comfortable and relaxed while we were shooting. Between takes we would discuss caps, sports and even watch TV when It was time to have a bite to eat. For such a short video, it took a very long time to create. It took the whole day to shoot the video and take a large amount of photos. Unfortunately I was unable to show my “banned” Diamond Era Braves fitted because they were afraid the legal team would blur it out, even though I explained that lids and a few other shops were beginning to sell them at retail price. That would have been the cap I wore in the video. I wanted to show fitteds in my collection that weren’t MLB related but i was unable to since the focus was on my allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. Only a few non-MLB fitteds made the video. Overall, I loved the experience and I felt like it was an honor to have them at my home.
You are part of the original crewera13 team. What would you say the goal is and where would you like to see it go?
CrewEra13 consists of ten members and was the name we came up with while in Buffalo to call ourselves because we were all secretly contacted personally by New Era to visit their World Headquarters for a fan appreciation/ VIP experience. 12 Collectors were invited, one declined the visit and one other had a death in the family and missed his flight so nine of us made it to the WHQ. I’d say the goal of the group is for us to stay connected and use this name to identify ourselves. We felt like, since this is the first time New Era has ever done something like this, we needed to mark our name with the “13” to represent the year we went/ were invited. We kept calling ourselves “The first graduating class” just in case New Era does something like it again and a “CrewEra14” is born. While in Buffalo, we all quickly became actual friends and got along with one another very well. It honestly felt like we already knew each other, some of us recognized each other from social media. It just felt comfortable. Everyone was kind and down to earth. Truly a one of a kind group. The goal in the future is to continue to stay in touch, reach out to other collectors that love New Era Caps, discuss fitteds, chat about all kinds of topics and try to have a CrewEra13 reunion in Buffalo one day. Until then, many of the members have seen one another when a member happens to visit another member’s state or city. We want to keep this train running and so do many of the awesome New Era reps we’ve stayed in contact with.
Talk to us about the hat you’ve had the opportunity to develop?
While at New Era’s WHQ, we were told that we would have the chance to create a custom, one of a kind fitted with a New Era Cap designer near the end of the day. They wanted us to be thinking of ideas so we could have something fresh in our mind when it was time to create the cap. For me, it wasn’t easy to think of what I wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted it to have Comic book style as well as a classic Atlanta Braves look. They told us that each designer hand-picked which collector they wanted to personally work with based on pictures of caps and other things we’ve posted on social media. When it was time to create my cap, I realized the lead designer, Shawn Curtin had picked me! I was excited. Shawn and I sat in an office, in front of an apple computer, upstairs in the penthouse part of the building. We began to brainstorm ideas. There were lots of boxes next to us, full of small samples of fabrics I could choose from. I wanted my cap to be flashy like a bunch of my entertainment fitteds are so I chose a deep metallic red for the crown. Red is my favorite color so I knew I wanted it to be on the crown. For the visor and button, I selected a metallic black, snakeskin-like material. I went with the classic capital “A” logo on the front crown and made the stitching metallic black as well. The outline of the logo, MLB logo, and NE Flag all received white embroidery that had a glow-in-the-dark effect when seen in the dark. Under the visor, I knew I wanted it to be reflective so I mentioned it to Shawn. Shawn suggested I throw the ATL skyline in with the reflective under visor and I thought it was a brilliant idea so I went with it! As I selected different materials and colors, Shawn clicked them into the computer on a picture of a fitted that was displayed on-screen so I could start to picture how it would look when it was finally produced. When everything was picked out, I was excited about my design and couldn’t wait to get it. I ‘am very happy on how it turned out. When I finally received it in the mail, it felt like an early Christmas.
If you had to chose between your favorite superhero cap or your favorite Atlanta Braves piece which would it be?
I honestly would not be able to choose a specific cap if I had to decide between my favorite Braves piece or Superhero cap. The decision would be too difficult!
How did you get your hands on the three 20th anniversary Anaheim Mighty Ducks releases?
I knew that New Era was planning to release the classic Mighty Ducks logo on a few fitteds sometime in the future to coincide with Anaheim’s 20th anniversary season for their NHL franchise but I didn’t know when. All of the sudden, my buddy and CrewEra13 member, VanLe posted a link to facebook, announcing that myfitteds.com had New Era Mighty Ducks fitteds on their site. I immediately purchased all three colorways that myfitteds.com was selling because I honestly couldn’t just pick up the classic colorway. I needed all of them. That logo brings back many memories from growing up in the 90s with the iconic Mighty Ducks Disney films and cartoon show.
After your own custom hat which is your next favorite cap out of your collection?
After my custom fitted, I’d have to say my second favorite cap is probably the Darth Maul character fitted. Darth Maul has been my favorite Star Wars character since 1999 and when I discovered the New Era JP, Star Wars fitted collection, I made it my mission to track down that cap and buy it as soon as i could! I love it.
When and how did you get started collecting New Era hats?
There isn’t a specific time when I said, “I’m gonna start collecting hats”. It just… happened. When New Era started creating custom Braves fitteds in many different colors, I always admired them. As an adult my collection started with different style Braves New Era fitteds. I didn’t even start collecting on purpose. I’d just see a beautiful New Era Braves fitted in the mall and buy it. This became a habit and before I knew It, I had a pretty nice collection going.
Where do you prefer shopping for your hats?
My favorite place to buy caps used to be the New Era Flagship store in ATL, before I moved and before it was shut down due to bad location. New Era Flagship stores are the best place to pick up fitteds in my opinion because of exclusives, selections, and the opportunity to stretch or block a fitted if needed. Now I buy my caps mostly from various websites or lids and lids locker room locally.
What was your first New Era?
I received my first New Era Cap when I was a little boy. I was around 11 years old. My family and I were headed to a Braves game and we were walking toward the stadium. I knew I wanted a Braves fitted cap because the only caps I ever had were strap and snapback hats. I wanted a fitted like the ones I saw the baseball players wearing. As we were walking toward the stadium, I noticed a vendor outside of the stadium had New Era Braves fitteds for sale so I asked my mother for one. My mom discussed a color I should get and I ended up getting an all black Braves fitted with a white “A” logo on the front. I went with that one so I could wear it and it would match just about any outfit i put on.
How many caps do you have and out of those how many are Atlanta Braves?
I have about 115+ New Era Caps and that number is always going up because I’m constantly online looking at caps or in Lids at the mall. I’m very picky with my fitteds as well. I cant bring myself to buy a cap unless I absolutely love it. If I just “like” a cap, it will take me a while to finally buy it or I may not even get it at all. A little over half of my collection is Atlanta Braves hat. I’d say about sixty something.
What is your go to cap?
My outfit usually dictates which hat I wear or the other way around. If I’m just going somewhere really quick and i’m not worried about my outfit, I usually throw on one of my Braves Diamond Era caps before heading out. So my Braves “Banned” Diamond Era fitted is my go-to cap.
What inspires your selection of cap before leaving the house?
Before leaving the house, I may coordinate my outfit/fitted based on where I’m headed. For an example, If I’m going to the movies to see Spiderman with friends or family, I’ll look over all my Spiderman fitteds and decide on the one that I feel like wearing. After that, I select the outfit to match. Holidays, events, sports and activities all inspire which hat I select on a particular day. If there isn’t anything special going on I rock whatever I’m feeling on that day.
Do you wear every cap in your collection?
Every cap in my collection gets worn. If I like a cap enough to buy it, I will wear it.
What does NewEraCapTalk mean to you?
NewEraCapTalk is great! It’s nice to see a site like this and feel normal for your cap obsession. To have the opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics surrounding caps and become aware of upcoming cap releases is awesome. The NewEraCapTalk community continues to grow along with cap culture itself!
What one piece of advice do you have for fellow cap collectors? Any final words?
Advice i would give to fellow cap collectors, would be to continue your passion and never get discouraged by haters or anyone with larger collections that try to belittle you for your personal collection. A NYY fan with 1000 rare Yankees fitteds probably would have a hard time trying to impress the Red Sox fan with a collection of 35 of his personal favorite Red Sox caps. Remember, its not about the size of your collection. Personal quality over quantity. You get the caps that YOU like. Stay true to yourself and don’t buy certain caps just to impress someone or because you feel obligated to get it. Stay humble and keep the cap community positive.