By now, with all the division winners and teams with 20 year playoff droughts ending, you’ve probably seen MLB’s official postseason gear. You know, the tee-shirts with one thousand logos (approximately) and the boilerplate caps that just swap out color schemes.
You know, like this:
But it wasn’t always that way. Fan gear wasn’t always so dire, having to make peace with a variety of licensing agents. No, instead there was, just like your parents favorite radio station, the hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, a glorious time of fashion and innovation, a time when America was king and mustaches ruled the land.
Here then are ten of the best postseason hats, shirts, and ephemera that you could have bought if you were purchasing things a mere 20 years ago:
10. Philadelphia Phillies 1976 Division Champs Beer Stein
A cherubic Revolutionary War soldier encourages a young boy not only to play baseball with him, but to imbibe alcohol. Which, if I recall correctly, is how the American’s actually won the revolution.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks Fastest Ever
Remember the other day when someone asked you, “Which expansion team took the shortest time to win a division?” and you had to take your time going to Wikipedia to find for the answer.
Wouldn’t it have been easier to have an ecru and dusty blue cap that could do it all for you?
8. That’s a Winner VHS
One day you may need to answer why a VHS tape of the 1987 Cardinals National League Champions is buried deep in a box of other “more personal” video cassettes, but fortunately, today is not that day.
7. 1983 Chicago White Sox ‘Winnin’ Ugly’
There’s winning ugly and then there’s winning with a horrible case of psoriasis. Hey man, maybe take the day off and use a couple topical ointments.
6. Pirates Back to Back Division Champs Hat
It’s part Zubaz pant, part ballcap, all style. This is the hat that announces your presence with authority. (And yes, I’ve already bid on this. Please be kind and let me have it.)
5. Chicago Cubs 1989 Division Champs Tee
This is not your lovable, innocent, childlike Cub. Oh no, this is a vicious, deformed, mutant bear cub, one dreamt up by Robert Crumb, smashing a baseball that was once a sentient life form into outer space, where, because of the lack of oxygen, it will immediately perish.
4. Marlins 1997 World Series Portraits
This tee-shirt features not only Bobby Bonilla and Gary Sheffield, but Craig Counsell too. And Kevin Brow. If that’s not enough to hang in Cooperstown, attracting a large daily audience, well, it should be.
What makes me incredibly sad is that I once owned this tee shirt, but completely forgot about it until I discovered it on eBay. Why did my parents get rid of it? It’s got Craig Counsell! On a tee shirt!
3. 1966 Orioles World Champion Clock
One day, when the birds overthrow society and make humans their slaves, those who own these clocks will have special privileges. Like the right to eat things other than worms and small insects.
2. 1984 Tigers “Goose Who”
I’m sorry, but is that tiger having sex with that goose? I’m pretty sure there are laws against these kind of things.
1. 1986 Angels ALCS Program
Quick: you’re the marketing director for a baseball team. You need to make a special program for your team that is a handful of wins away from the World Series. What do you do? What do you do?
If you’re working for the Angels in 1986, you celebrate by having your star players, including Bob Boone (.593 OPS) dress up in sub-Medieval Times costumes and stand around looking unhappy.
If only more programs were still made like that these days.
This list only scratches the surface, I’m sure there’s a world of wonder still out there. Be sure to let me know if there are even better objects available for me to spend my money on.
And keep your hands off my Pirates zooba hat.
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