Based out of South Jersey, we were able to connect with cap collector Vincent Santore aka @TheCapCrusader for this weeks edition of Cap Talk. Vincent takes us behind the scenes of his cap collection and shows us some of his rarest caps along with which type of caps he tries to steer away from and also dives into his love for baseball. Make sure you hit the jump! What’s on your mind? Want to show off your collection? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social handles: I tweet daily from @TheCapCrusader.
Where are you from?
I was born in Philadelphia but have spent the most of my life living in South Jersey.
How many caps do you have?
As of writing I have 64 caps, with one more on the way in the mail.
What’s your fitted hat size?
Since each 59Fifty is hand made, there is some variation as to the exact size, but 9 times out of 10 I am a 7 1/2. I own a three or four 7 3/8 and even one 7 7/8.
When did you start collecting New Era Caps?
While I have loved caps my entire life, my New Era Cap collection started back in 2011 at the Philadelphia Comic Con, where one of the vendors had rows and rows of different DC and Marvel 59Fifty’s, and being a life long Green Lantern fan, the moment I set eyes on it I knew I had to have it. Ever since then I have been consistently growing my collection, buying exclusively 59Fiftys ever since.
What do you love so much about the 59Fifty that you exclusively only purchase that silhouette?
Its the quality. Everything from the stitching to the fit of every single cap. In my opinion, no other brand, or even any other New Era model of cap, has the attention to detail that the 59Fifty has; there is simply nothing else better.
Do you think theirs a such thing of having to many hats?
While my college roommates would disagree, I don’t think such a limit exists. My current goal is to get one from every MLB and MiLB team, as well as one with every letter of the alphabet (which is much harder than it sounds). Maybe after that I’ll will only get them for special occasions.
Do you collect all genre of hats or specific ones?
A vast majority of my caps are baseball in one shape or another, either a MLB or MiLB team (I am working on getting some independent teams too). Out of all the teams, I have the most caps of my beloved hometown Philadelphia Phillies with 6, followed closely by the Toronto Blue Jays with 5.
Are their any styles and or colors you try to stay away from?
Since I am Blue-Green colorblind, I try to limit those colors in my collection, but almost tragically the sports world is very fond of those two colors, and therefore it is impossible to avoid. I also do not like white caps; even if it just has white panels I am unlikely to buy it (think Orioles home cap. Unfortunately, there were a good few years where New Era made every Stars & Stripes cap have it, so it was unavoidable.
What are some of your favorite caps out of your collection?
I am very proud of my New Jersey heritage, and I instantly jump on anything related to the state. I have two Seton Hall caps, two Lakewood Blueclaws a NJ Devils, a NJ Nets (RIP) and a NY/NJ Super bowl caps.
What are some of your rare New Era hats?
I have some pretty rare caps too. The Jacksonville Expos, the Crew Era 13 original Eugene Emeralds, and my custom designed Montreal Expos cap come to mind.
Do you believe every cap tells a story?
I firmly believe that every single cap has a story. So much so that I even run a website dedicated to them, www.thecapcrusader.com where I write these stories. I can remember exactly how, where and why I got every single cap, and on my site I shares those experiences with other enthusiasts.
When it comes to baseball what is it you love the most about the game?
Growing up so close to Philly, and with my dad being a huge life long Phillies and overall baseball fan, it was just something I’ve grown up with. I saw a city erupt when they won the 2008 World Series, with an entire community rallying behind to celebrate one team. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and its something that I will never forget. Hopefully one day I will get to see it again.
How often do you get out to baseball games?
When I got this email I was actually half way through a rain delay of a Cleveland Indians game as part of a road trip to different ballparks, also stopping at Wrigley Field and PNC Park. I’ve already been to a game at Citi Field this year too, and will go to about 8-12 Phillies games this summer.
If you’ve been to Comic Con you must be a huge comic buff. New Era has an extensive line of comic related caps. What makes you go with baseball related hats over Comic fitteds?
Honestly its the availability. I know some places (like Superherostuff.com) have a fantastic selection of DC/Marvel and Star Wars related caps, but I don’t get my 25% discount that I do from New Era online and there isn’t any physical store around me I can just go and pick them up. Occasionally LIDS will have a Batman or Superman one, and I will always go out of my way to pick that up when they do.
What do you hope to see more from New Era?
I love the Diamond Era caps they have come out with recently, since slight stretch of them makes them fit more comfortably. My only wish is that they could improve upon the Memorial Day and 4th of July On-Field caps; the designs over the past three years or so haven’t been the been anything I special, with the notable exception of this year’s memorial day ones, which were fantastic.
Any final words?
Just a big thanks to everyone (too many to list) who has helped contribute to my collection over the years; it wouldn’t be possible without all of your help!