Paul Lukas of Uni Watch has an exclusive look at all 30 new batting practice caps for 2013. It's more or less a forgettable bunch, but there are admittedly a few gems — Mr. Met taking residence atop the Mets' new lids, a red maple leaf occupying Toronto's new look and an Arizona mish-mash of old and new that should be adopted as everyday in-game headwear.
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The most newsworthy revelation in the whole crop, however, is that the Atlanta Braves' batting practice cap features the return of the "screaming savage" that served as part of the Atlanta's logo from 1967 to 1989. The mohawked image first made an appearance in 1954 during the Braves' Milwaukee days.
The re-emergence of the questionable logo is surprising given that the Cleveland Indians have been distancing themselves from Chief Wahoo in recent years. (This year's Indians BP cap features the increasingly familiar block 'C'.) Even the Braves have landed on the right side of sensitivity, replacing an offensive savage patch on the throwback jerseys the team introduced in 2012.
It's a wonder that anyone ever thought the image was OK. The logo strips Native Americans of any humanity and turns them into a one-dimensional character devoid of any sympathy or tribute. It honestly might be the only defense that the few defenders of Cleveland's Chief Wahoo have left. ("Well, it's not as bad as what Atlanta used to have.")
It really is a wonder that the Braves are going with these caps. As far as I can tell, there was no real groundswell to bring this logo back, which is saying something in an age where fans of several teams hold a deep affinity for their old-school looks.
Also, will the sales numbers for these caps really make it worth the bad PR the team and league are going to take over this? Uni Watch assigned the cap its only "F" among the 30 teams while Getting Blanked says the Braves have "upped the racism."
Hopefully the new year will bring some common sense and we'll be spared the sight of Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward awkwardly wearing these caps around the cage next spring.
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