Plant produces performance hats worn by MLB

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; When people hear about cutting edge advances in technology their minds usually drift toward computers, electronics, medical advances and other breakthroughs that make their lives easier.

This season Major League Baseball has seen advances in a unit of its equipment &8212; not in the bats, gloves, cleats or helmets, though the latter is close. The league has donned new performance hats made by New Era and the plant in Demopolis has had a hand in the upgrade.

Since the days of yore, the MLB has moved away from wool uniforms, and the league has worn double knit clothing since the 1970s, after Pittsburgh Pirates made the switch. Now, as players and organizations look to increase the efficiency of their players through higher performance gear, hats have finally made the upgrade.

More specifically, the hats being sported by players of MLB since the beginning of training camps prior to this season are made of 62 percent polyester and 38 percent wool. The blend is meant not only to keep player&8217;s heads dry, but they also are designed to reduce sweat stains and odor and resist the shrinkage and fading seen in the old models.

Williams said though the new hats are the standard for the MLB, the original wool hats have not yet fallen by the wayside. He said there are still schools and organizations that prefer the standard wool hats.

Harris said when the MLB season wraps up the demand for the new hats will likely fall, but said as more groups move toward the new model the production numbers will rise.