[Editor's note: This entry comes from OMGreds' West Coat Coorespondent, Mike. He was in San Deigo this past weekend to see a clinch, but alas it wasn't in the cards.]
Way back in 1995 the Reds were on the verge of clinching their first NL Central title when I hatched a brilliant idea. “I’m going to buy a Reds cap every year they win the division or make the playoffs.” I said to myself while watching the OJ trial from my apartment in Fort Wayne.
I bought the hat for what I think was $18 or $20 from Koch Sporting Goods on a trip home one weekend. I wrote “1995″ on the inside bill with a sharpie so i’d remember from the stacks of hats I was sure to pile up what glorious playoff it was from.
Memories of 1990 were still fresh and it seemed reasonable in a new division with the lowly Cubs, Brewers and Pirates (sans Bonds) we could nail down a few titles here and there. I wore my hat proudly to while driving my car to what passed for a hill in Fort Wayne so I could pick up 700 WLW to listen to the NLDS while on dinner break. Side note: Games were televised regionally that year so the Reds were not shown b/c the Indians were on at the same time. Side side note. I hate the Indians.
The Reds took care of the Dodgers and I was able to attend games 1 and 2 of the NLCS against the Braves (I skipped the Million Man March to attend). Well, the Braves destroyed the no-hitting Reds with Javy Lopez personally delivering the death-blow in Game 2. Ugly stuff. Still waiting for Reggie Sanders to get a hit.
Anyway. Through multiple losing seasons, a few too many managers, some of the worst uniforms I’ve ever seen (white pinstrip hats? No thanks. I never liked those things) a brilliant run in 1999 capped with a late night vigil in a Norwood BW3 watching the Reds beat the Brewers to force an 163rd game for the wild card berth and the next day getting tickets for the tiebreaker game the hat has been with me. Its shrunk quite a bit, fits pretty snugly on my head and is mostly falling apart. The button on top is long gone and there are plastic spines I have to trim otherwise they painfully poke me in the head.
I love it.
No drop shadow on the wishbone C here. Old school.
However, I really want a new hat. And pretty damn soon I’m allowed to get one.
(I was hoping to report back on the scene from San Diego where I witnessed the Reds clinch their first division title since 1995. No such luck. However, it was my best year in California so far with a 5-2 record. I’d rather not say what the overall California numbers are.)