Know Your Ebbets - A Brief History of Ebbets Teams
Posted by Alex Bohea on October 04, 2013
New to the Great Divide Store are the excellent Ebbets Field Flannels caps who produce faithful replications of vintage years in baseball’s illustrious history and representations of many forgotten teams. Their legacy of ‘realness’ stretches back to 1989 and every cap is lovingly made 100% in America with hand-stitched quality. From the New York Black Yankees playing in the Negro National League to the pre-buyout Tokyo Giants, Ebbets focuses on the past days of the sport. Take five minutes to receive a little education on the history behind the teams on the caps and then head over to the store to shop Ebbets.
Team: Brooklyn Royal Giants
Location: Brooklyn, New York City, USA
Cap Year: 1927
The Brooklyn Royal Giants were a team from the early days of professional black baseball, named after the Royal Café in Brooklyn. They were prominent independent team before the organized league play brought in after World War I. After many years as an independent team, the Royal Giants joined the Eastern Colored League in 1923. After many successful years in the league, the team declined and returned to independent play with a rebuilt roster in 1928. Unfortunately the quality of the team was poor and the fell into the semi-professional status before disbanding in 1942.
Team: Amarillo Gold Sox
Location: Amarillo, Texas, USA
Cap Year: 1961
The Amarillo Gold Sox were a minor league baseball team representing the city of Amarillo in Texas and played in the Texas League. At the start of the 1960’s, the team were at their most prominent. Beginning in 1959, the Texas league admitted Amarillo as a farm system affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. From there, the Gold Sox were the Double-A farm club team of the New York Yankes and won the regular-season title in 1961. When the Texas League contracted in 1964, the Gold Sox disappeared from the baseball map until their return in seasons 1976-1982.
Team: Osaka Tigers
Location: Osaka, Japan
Cap Year: 1945
The Osaka Tigers are a team who play in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. For their 1945 team uniform, at which time they represented themselves with the English ‘O’ during World War II instead of the traditional Kanji and were the only team to do so. In 1940, amid anti-foreign sentiment, the Tigers changed the name to “Hanshin” but were changed back to 1947 before settling as the ‘Hanshin Tigers’ in 1961. The Hanshin Tigers are one of the biggest teams in the Japanese games, with their largest rivalry being the Tokyo Giants. Tigers’ fans are known for being some of the most fanatical, and a tradition by the fans is to release hundreds of air-filled balloons immediately following the seventh inning stretch and to sing the Tigers’ fight song.
Team: Seattle Rainiers
Location: Seattle, USA
Cap Year: 1939
Known previously as the Seattle Indians and the Seattle Clamdiggers, 1939 marked the first full year of play for the Seattle Rainiers after Emile Sick purchased the Seattle Indians a year before and renamed them after his brewery, as well as building the Sick’s Stadium. The “Suds”, as they were nicknamed, walked away with consecutive Pacific Coast League titles in 1939, 1940 and 1941. This was widely regarded as their most successful years before a few lean seasons ending in the sale of the team to the Boston Red Sox in 1960. They were then sold to the Los Angeles Angels who renamed the team the Seattle Angels by which they were known during their last four seasons. In their last year, 1968, the team finished in 8th place while Seattle was granted anexpansion team in the National League, who were to become the ill-fated Seattle Pilots. The Pilots lasted one year in Seattle before a bankruptcy court sold them and they were relocated to Milwaukee.
Team: Tokyo Giants
Location: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Cap Year: 1952
Before they were joined under the Yomiuri Shinbun company, the Tokyo Giants were Japan’s most well known and supported team. 1952 marked just one of 34 titles won by the team. Now known as the Yomiuri Giants, they are still the most popular team in Japan, often referenced as the ‘New York Yankees of Japan’ due to their popularity, past dominance of the Nippon Professional Baseball league and their polarizing effects on fans. Their effect on baseball fans is unmatched. Baseball fans who feel ambivalent about teams other than their local teams often hate the Giants but have a large fan base in areas even with a local team, similar to UK’s football with Manchester United. The Giants are the oldest current Japanese professional team and is known for their intense rivalry with the Hanshin ‘Osaka’ Tigers.
Team: New York Black Yankees
Location: Rochester, New York City, USA
Cap Year: 1936
The New York Black Yankees were a team who played in the Negro National League from 1936-1948. Seen above is the cap from the 1936 season and was worn for only one season in the Negro National League after which the team opted to wear regular Yankees caps. The team played on grueling schedules, once playing a doubleheader 350 miles apart on successive days, leaving the team exhausted but still accomplishing victory in both games. Never fully achieving champion status, the team played its last season in 1948 and finished the last Negro National League season with a record of 8 wins and 32 losses.