As New Era cap collectors, most of us have that one special cap that inspired us to start collecting. For New Era enthusiast Chris Keogh, and like many of us, it was a classic New York Yankees wool On-Field 59FIFTY cap back when he was a kid. Chris has been collecting for 23 years, and has amassed over 500 caps! As a self-professed “huge sports” fan, Chris’ collection consists of mainly sports headwear. Check out our Cap Talk interview with Chris Keogh to find out what his favorite team caps are to wear, how he felt about the release Spike Lee series and Derek Jeter caps, what fitteds he’s looking forward to adding to his collection this year, and more! Want to show off your collection? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Chris Keogh
Location: New Jersey, USA
Hat Size: 7 1/4
Please tell us more about what inspired you to start collecting.
It started with a Yankees wool on field fitted 59fifty when I was about 8 years old (figure 1992-ish). Back then I collected a variety of mlb, nba and nfl caps mostly snapbacks back then because there weren’t too many fitteds out there. A lot of the hats I got matched jerseys, etc. I collected so many jerseys as a youth into my teenage years. The collection was crazy…
How long have you been collecting for?
23 years or so. Although, the last 10 I’ve definitely built the collection (especially new era fitteds)
How many caps do you currently have in your collection?
584 is the current number of fitteds. Id say about 575 of them are new era brands.
You have a wide variety of pro sports licensed hats in your collection. What draws you more to sports licensed headwear than character-themed caps?
I’m a huge sports fan, not really into the character hats. Probably a good thing though because I’d be broke LOL. I can see why people love the character styles, but its just not for me. Huge sports nut though.
What are some of your favorite hats in your collection?
That’s my hardest question probably. I love all the MLB TBTC on fields, I love my 80 or so Yankee fitteds. I also enjoy the custom team creations that I got though places like Hat Club. The Jeter leather inscription hat may a top though. Just watching and admiring Jeter gives a hat like uniqueness.
What are your favorite team caps to wear?
That varies. Yankees mostly. Although, I have multiple hats of every MLB club. The NFL, its the Giants, although that league represented with at least 20 teams. For the NHL, the Rangers, with another 20 teams represented in the collection. NBA, it’s the Knicks, although I have many teams that match jerseys and such.
As a cap collector, how did the Spike Lee Heritage Series and the Derek Jeter collection of caps make you feel?
Love those hats. The Spike Lee red version dawned a new era in custom hats. Plus its a yankee hat, so I had that one on lock when it became available.
With such a large collection, how do you store all of your hats? Can you offer any storage solution tips to other collectors?
I use a custom bookshelf and stack the hats in rows by league and teams. It keeps it all organized. Every 2 weeks, I spend about the 3-4 cleaning them as well to ensure they stay in tip top shape.
Which style of cap do you prefer: fitted or snapback – why?
Fitted – the 59Fifty is what started it all for me.
Do you keep the New Era sticker on the visor or nah?
Nope. Although on the Spike Lee hats I have. It just felt right.
Where do you purchase most of your caps?
Various places: Lids, New Era NY, HatClub, MLB.com, eCapCity, Hatland, Football Fanatics, eBay…the list goes on LOL
Are there any local hat stores you can recommend to other collectors.
Locally, many of the chains dominate my region. Although eCapCity in West New York, NJ has some great finds. From the online side, I love the work Hatclub does. Great products and great people.
What does the New Era brand mean to you?
Tradition – the originators of the fitted. Nuff said.
What was your favorite New Era release of 2014?
Spike Lee along with the 10+ TBTC onfield MLB caps.
What caps are you looking forward to picking up this year?
New TBTC fitteds, commemorative patch caps for MLB and NFL. Alternate logos. Custom designs.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re working on that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’d love to some day visit the HQ in Buffalo and get the tour. I heard some folks did that a few years ago. I’d love to see it all…
Any final words?
Big thanks to you guys for letting me share my collection and thoughts. I know with the growth of social media, the entire industry has grown. I’ve met many folks that I can call friends through boards and groups on facebook. I am always eager to share ideas and help other start and/or build up their collections.