The San Diego Padres will drastically scale back the use of a recently released spring training hat, a move that comes after the cap received criticism from fans who thought its logo resembled a swastika.
Last week, all 30 Major League Baseball teams released hats that they will wear throughout spring training and during regular-season batting practice. The hats feature alternate logos, chosen by each team, embroidered within primary logos on the front. In the Padres’ case, the design featured the alternate Swinging Friar logo with the team’s interlocking SD emblem over the Swinging Friar’s torso (image above).
After its release, backlash to the logo mounted quickly over what many saw as its resemblance to a swastika. The cap will now be shelved for the bulk of spring training, as a Padres official said Tuesday that the team will use the regular-season brown hat with the gold SD for most of spring training, pointing to a positive reception that it received as part of the team’s offseason uniform rebrand. The hat with the controversial design is not being scrapped completely, but it is expected to receive very few on-field uses this spring. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
On Tuesday, the day before pitchers and catchers officially report to the Peoria Sports Complex, most players already working out on site wore the new brown cap with the interlocking “S” and “D” that the team will wear during the regular season.
This was instead of the Swinging Friar with the somewhat matrix-and digital-looking “SD” over his torso that may or may not have resembled a swastika and may or may not have looked cheesy.
“Following our offseason uniform rebrand and the overwhelmingly positive response from Padres fans, we’ve decided to wear our regular season brown caps with the gold ‘SD’ for the majority of spring training,” Wayne Partello, Padres chief marketing officer, said Tuesday.
The Padres will wear the caps at least once on the field during spring training, likely for a day or two in the coming week. The lids were, after all, introduced and sold to fans as the official on-field caps of spring training and regular season batting practice.
Image courtesy New Era.