In the summers of 1998 through 2001, three friends and I road-tripped throughout the country with the sole purpose of visiting baseball stadiums. We did the Northeast one year, the West Coast another and we tackled the Midwest twice. Those were glorious times filled with too much beer, beaucoup baseball and nowhere near enough Bertman’s Ball Park.
A lifelong love affair with midwestern mustard isn’t the only thing I took away from those trips. I’d loved baseball since I was a child, but those journeys to The Jake, Fenway, Camden, Wrigley, The Murph and so many others are where I first began to appreciate the beauty of the game. Fast forward 15 years or so, and that’s played out in my enjoyment of—and borderline obsession with—baseball gear.
Today at Inside Hook, I picked the best T-shirt for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Go check it out and let them know how much you enjoyed it. To piggyback off that, I wanted to spotlight some of the best baseball gear that’s not necessarily team-specific but still allows you to show off your love of the game. That’s below.
- Homage: There’s No Crying in Baseball Shirt. True story: Through kind-hearted people, I found myself watching a game last season in Tom Hanks’ suite at Dodger Stadium. Before I learned the legendary actor wasn’t going to be there, I definitely considered wearing this shirt. (I ended up in a different Homage shirt instead.)
- Prinstant Replays: Four in a Row. I’m obviously partial to the one pictured—four homers in a row in the ninth!—but regardless who you root for, Prinstant has the product to bring you right back to the moment that made you leap off your couch and scream.
- Fielders Choice Goods: Koufax Card Case. The perfect product for someone who loves the feel of old baseball glove leather. Try to hold one of these and not immediately go play catch. You can’t do it.
- Smathers & Branson: Cooperstown Collection Belts. A belt to a baseball game? Hey, if the managers do it, I say it’s fair game. But leave the baseball pants at home, Skip.
- Fanatics: MLB Vintage Shirts. The secret to searching a behemoth shop like Fanatics for wearable apparel? For most teams, they have a Retro & Throwback sort function. It’s the quickest way to find the good stuff.
- Mitchell Bat Co.: Mesh Cap. In addition to his beautiful bats, my bud Jeremy at MBC also has a great eye for designing apparel. And Nashvillians, don’t miss his throwback Sounds cap either.
- Hari Mari: Nokona Leather Flip Flops. These are en route to my mailbox as you read this, and I’m not sure it’s possible to be more excited about flip-flops. Safe to say these sandals will fit like a glove, as they are produced in collaboration with legendary American baseball mitt-maker Nokona.
- Ebbets Field Flannels: Ball Caps. Can’t have a baseball gear guide without including something from Ebbets. Everything the Seattle-based maker produces is painstakingly researched, authentic and American-made, making it well worth the extra dough.