What's the deal with leaving the stickers on baseball caps?

Lately I’ve been noticing a new trend around here (CA Bay Area, specifically San Jose) where teenagers will be wearing a baseball cap–usually but not always one of those new ones that’s either all black or all white with a raised sports-team logo in the same color embroidery–and it will have one or more shiny round metallic stickers on the underside of the bill (and sometimes the top). Upon getting a closer look at these I realized they’re the informational stickers that come on the hat–presumably the ones you’re supposed to take off before you wear it.

This weekend I was in Columbus OH for the Origins gaming convention and I noticed a couple of guys doing the same thing, so clearly it’s not just a California thing. It’s also not a racial thing, because I’ve noticed it on guys of several different races. No girls, though, at least not so far.

Can anybody tell me what the rationale is behind this new crop of mini-Minnie Pearls? What’s the point of leaving the stickers on your hat? I hope I don’t offend anybody here by saying so, but I think it looks kind of stupid, like the wearer wasn’t smart enough to take the price tag off.

It seems to be a status thing- “Look, my stuff is BRAND NEW, and I even have the tags still on it!” I’ve also seen the price tags get left on too, presumably for the same reason, plus the added bonus of looking like a big spender. It’s definitely a thing in the rap communities as well, and is easily seen in many videos.

Other than that I’ve got nothing. Looks incredibly stupid, I must say.

I noticed that happening several years ago. IMHO they do it for a number of reasons. First of all, to get attention, kids like to alter their appearance in weird ways just for the attention. Secondly, the tag usually verifies that the hat is an official major league item, not a look-alike-rip-off. Kids are into logos, I think John Deere is another hot logo these days. And finally, for me anyway, it makes me wonder whether they bought it or stole it, and I think they like that idea too.

When a professional sports team wins a championship, they get new t-shirts and hats in the locker room. The hats are brand new and still have the tags on them. When the athelets are being interviewed, they are wearing the hats with the tags. This probably started because the kids are emulating that.


It’s not a city thang, either. I saw this with young guys in rural Mississippi seven years ago. When I asked why they left the price tags on, they just said it was the cool thing to do.

It’s just the kids givin’ mad props to that homegirl prophet of rage, Minnie Pearl .

The holo-tag which indicates it’s a genuine article is designed to be pretty hard to remove.

It’s definitely meant by the manufacturer’s and the marketers to remain as a badge of authenticity. I assume they’re hoping that peer pressure will cause non-licensed goods to become uncool, thereby improving sales of the wildly overpriced officially licensed ones.

The tags aren’t that hard to remove. In fact, I have never had the least bit of trouble removing any of the tags or stickers. It isn’t a racial thing, but it is a particular style, which happens to be found more frequently in the hip hop community. It isn’t particularly new, just making a come back. In the early-to-mid-90’s it was stylish to leave the tags on Starter caps. (Whatever happened to Starter anyway?) You’ll notice that now it has changed to the stickers which come on the hats, and are usually fitted. As you did notice, the hats are usually “official” and look like the hat of a major league team, though not the one worn on the field. (Just MLB taking advantage of a licensing opportunity.) The hats usually have a straight bill, not bent in the least.

You’ll notice that among the Abercrombie crowd, you’re more likely to see a hat that is beaten, dirty, and probably a bit ripped up or scuffed. Partly because Abercrombie sells pre-torn hats, and also because that crowd is more likely to have a hat that is broken in.

It has a side benefit, in that there’s usually a promotion held during the World Series where they call out numbers from the official MLB holo-tags, with some decent prizes; something like a lottery.

You probably have a better shot at being hit by lightning, but what the hell, I leave the tags on.