For this week’s Cap Talk we link up with New Era enthusiast/Yankees fan Luis Mendoza Jr – AKA Tanxican – one of the four original founders of the #CachuchaCrew of New Era collectors. Tanxican is a passionate cap collector that will go to great lengths to network with people to find the hat he’s looking for. He also goes out of his way to help others find the caps they are searching for to add to their collections. He’s also such a big Yankees fan, he named his son after his favorite team! Make sure to check out our interview with Luis Mendoza Jr to find out what sparked his interest in cap collecting, discover how many caps he has in his collection, hear about the friendships he’s made in the New Era cap collecting community, and more! What’s on your mind? What to show off your collection? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
First we’d like to ask you how did you come up with your unique Instagram name?
My IG handle is “tanxican” a combination of my nickname growing up “Tank” and “Mexican” which, I can thank a college football teammate for.
We take it you’re a Yankees big Yankees fan. Is it true you named your son after your favorite team?
I sure did, I’m the proud father to Bowen Bronx, and named him after my favorite team the Bronx Bombers (Yankees)!
How did you become such a big Yankees fan/cap collector?
I suppose it all began with a book report I did in the 5th grade on Babe Ruth. I just fell in love with this myth-like hero of a ball player and also the overall history and excellence of the Yankees. The stats and history just spoke to my inner history/math nerd…I’ve always loved baseball as well due to all the stats, facts, and numbers!
How long have you been collecting cap for? What sparked your passion for collecting?
I suppose that I’ve always loved hats (especially fitteds) but I didn’t get serious about collecting until 2009 when I saw the 2009 Yankees Inaugural Season Stadium Patch cap. The fact that the patch was on the back, really caught my eye…I had never seen a cap with a patch in that location! It’s what sparked my collection, and the only hat I have triplicates of! One is a beater, the other is for going out and the last one is solely for the purpose of my collection. Growing up my dad raised my brother and I to love the game of baseball first. We didn’t have a specific allegiance to any team, we’d go to old Busch and Comiskey and just enjoy the games no matter who was playing who. So, watching those games you’d see the pros wearing their hats and of course as a little kid I wanted one as well. So, my brother and I would ask our dad for a hat on our way out the stadium. Back then, we’d get an adjustable (or snapback as they are called now). As I got older and had a job and money to burn I’d buy a White Sox hat since The Big Hurt was my favorite player or a Braves hat because of Chipper Jones. Had I known then what I do now, I’d have some great wool caps from back then! Oh well, I guess that’s what eBay is for!
What are some of your favorite teams to wear on caps?
If you scroll through my profile on IG you’ll see very easily that my teams are the Yankees, Buccaneers and Michigan. I still need to add more Wolverines caps to my collection though!
Outside of the obvious 3 that I collect, I also lean towards the Dodgers, Reds, Patriots and other random teams where I may just like the design!
We can see you’ve been adding a lot of the commemorative Derek Jeter caps to your collection. Tell us a bit about them.
This past year or two has been both a lot of fun and painful to my wallet! lol I’m sure many collectors can relate. With Mo and Jeter both retiring these past 2 seasons, there has been numerous designs of both released. Its a lot of fun finding them all and also seeing what little touches they add to each new fitted they release!
Please tell us about some other pick ups your proud of?
I’ve been very fortunate to have the JailBirds custom by Len Kori @elkodesign and 3 gems (Tadpole, Squabs, and Halloween Ghost) by none other than @dionicdesign just landed recently!!!
@SamTheRebel and @Sfgrippy were kind enough to hook me up with the Oaks and Seals caps from the old PCL days, both teams were at one time Yankees affiliates!
Are there any specific caps you’re looking for to add to your collection?
Still NEED that Boston Red Sox 100th Anniversary Fenway Patch cap!!!! Badly, I will pay a good price for it, but nothing obscene! There definitely is room for a BoSox hat in my collection! Also, I need to add the 59th Anniversary New Era Yankees fitted with the stitched sticker on the brim. Last, I need to add the Spike Lee Yankees hat with the numbers all over the crown and with the inner ling design of Yankee Stadium.
We’re pretty sure we know the answer, but we need to know for sure. Which style of New Era cap do you prefer: fitted of snapback – why?
I obviously prefer a 59Fifty over a snapback, but I recently acquired the Derek Jeter 3-hat box set, and 2 of the hats are snapbacks…I was more than happy with the quality and design of both of them. So, I see myself more open to adding some snapbacks to my collection, but only if the design is right!
Are you part of team #NoStickerCrew? Or do you prefer to leave the New Era sticker on your caps?
I’d like to think that I’m a bit of a hybrid I suppose. I take all stickers off, but the size sticker gets placed on the under brim!
You are part of the #CachuchaCrew, a group of New Era cap enthusiasts. Tell us a bit about the crew and how it got started?
I’m one of the original 4 founders of #CachuchaCrew, we call ourselves #CachuchaCrewCuatro. At first I just started using it as a hashtag about 10 months ago to sort of differentiate myself from all the great collectors out there. It was a combination of taking what the #CrewEra13 guys had done but giving it a Mexican-American element to it. At some point @rockin_newera84 asked if he could use it. To which I said of course, he then mentioned that we should actually make it into a crew…next thing you know we had @ralphie1192 and @edgardiaz480 as 2 other original founders, since then we’ve added @andy_g45 and @impala6tres …be sure to give them all a follow on IG!
How many caps do you have in your collection?
My total number of fitteds is currently at 214 with a cap care package I’m working on with the help of @josibarreras down in Mexico with that it should put the collection north of 225 plus. I’m also looking forward to adding the 2nd edition of the @hathunter09 custom by Simon Treese, whom you’ve recently interviewed and another custom by @madhattereags , who recently dropped info about an Aussie-inspired fitted he has in the works!
What do you enjoy most about collecting New Era caps?
More than anything I enjoy searching for hats, even if they’re not for me! I’ve been fortunate enough to mail fitteds within the US, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, UK, and Germany and soon to Chile as well! It’s really cool to be able to help some great fellow collectors add a cap to their collection to guys I now consider brothers and talk to on a regular basis all because of our passion for 59Fiftys!
We can see you’ve made friendships with people through a shared passion for collecting New Era caps. What are your thoughts on the New Era cap enthusiast community?
It’s really like a family, its crazy to think that the New Era brand, in specific the 59Fifty has brought so many people from different backgrounds, ages, and countries together. We all have a passion for hats and rely on each other to help us land a fitted we don’t have access to because of geographical location or simply because it has yet to be released online. So guys like @farm2chef / @ib3ast_hats / @indostick / @disneynorth have been really helpful to me in getting some of those hard to find fitteds! I can’t thank those guys enough!
Where do you purchase most of your caps?
Living in a small town in the Midwest really limits my options on where I shop for my hats, so I tend to do a lot of online shopping on sites like neweracap.com or lids.com for my hats. That, and I rely heavily on guys who have access to New Era flagships since they live in LA, NYC or near other New Era retail stores.
Any local spots you can recommend to fellow collectors?
Like I mentioned earlier living in a small town in the Midwest limits my options, but I do have a lids store about a half an hour north of me in Champaign, IL that I visit a couple times a month. I’ve visited the New Era outlet store in Rosemont, IL a couple of times but wish the Chicago flagship were still open, I’d definitely go up there for a shopping spree…lol
How do you store your cap collection? Any tips or pointers you can give?
Funny, that you ask that…recently I have adopted the use of empty diaper boxes as storage boxes…lol. I’ve taken some of them and stored my hats in there…but I’ve also utilized a variety of Rubbermaid containers as well. My hopes are to build some kind of wall display.
What does the New Era brand mean to you?
To me, since I’m a huge sports fan it’s literally my way of Flying My Own Flag, I’m able to wear my fitted with almost anything I wear and at the same time be able to show support for my teams!
Do you have any projects coming up that you would like people to know about?
I believe that @rockin_newera84 mentioned this during his NECTalk interview that we, as #CachuchaCrew were working on a custom to release…right now it’s really in the early stages of infancy and its yet to be open to the collecting community. It’s difficult getting all 6 members on the same page, but now that we have a designer working with us I feel confident that whatever comes of it, it will be something we can all be proud of!
Do you have any final words you would like to share with the NECTalk/New Era cap collector community?
First and foremost I have to thank the rest of the #CachuchaCrew, it’s been fun to add some new members and great to always talk caps with you guys! There are so many people that have either helped me with adding certain hats to my collection like so if I didn’t mention you by name, my apologies but I think I named almost everyone at some point through this interview. Also, to all the collectors out there keep posting your hats, it really is fun to go on to IG and seeing what you have all recently added to your personal collections! Remember to buy what you like, it’s your collection and don’t worry about how many hats you have. Other than that Stay Fitted and a HUGE THANKS to NECTalk for the opportunity to share a little bit about my collection!