Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Happy Hour 02/08: Big Head Ian and the Tigers

While surveying The Daily Fungo before my maiden post this morning, I followed a link to Jason Beck's article at MLB.com about the Detroit Tigers loading up the trucks for Lakeland. Among all the information provided in the piece, however, and the warm feelings of the upcoming season that came with it, this is the paragraph that stood out to me:

Among the highlights: A hat stretcher, believed to be an antique among Major League teams, that the Tigers take on road trips with them. The team has had it since it was supplied by the New Era cap company in the 1980s, but the machine dates back years before that.

A hat stretcher! How cool is that? And in today's Detroit News, Tom Gage provided a bit more detail on this device - with accompanying photos.

Okay, I want to know more. How exactly does it work? Does it work just as well with today's major league caps as yesteryear's? If so or if not, why? What changes in materials have made the most difference? Or is it just as reliable in stretching hats for modern day noggins as it was for the old-time melons? Does it still have a practical use today, or is it more of a ceremonial, sentimental item?

Maybe I can track down a New Era employee who can help a blogger out.

But mostly, I want to get my hands on one so I can stretch out my Tigers caps to fit my increasingly fat head. No, not that Fathead. I mean my actual cranium, the one which surely tests the strength of my neck each and every day. I tell myself that the caps are tighter because of my hair, which I've let become long, shaggy, and grizzly this winter. So maybe once I shear it all off in the spring, the Olde English D (both home and away caps, of course) will fit as snugly and wonderfully as it once did.

Or after getting that crew cut, I'll find out that my head has become frickin' HUGE, far exceeding the eight-pound parameter once explained to me by Ray Boyd, and I know it won't have anything to do with becoming a sooper geenius.

I wonder what an antique hat stretcher goes for on eBay these days... ?

(Forget it; I checked. My head needs to shrink - pronto.)

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