Snapback hats – Sports logos and designs on dynasties

Posted on 19 September 2012
By Andy Johnson
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Snapback hats have provided shade for their wearer’s eyes since the early 1900s, when they were adopted as the cap of choice for baseball players and they have slowly risen to iconic status in American fashion.

It’s the clean cut precision of their design and the US sports logos, which make them a potent accessory for the street.

Hip Hop culture has repeatedly championed them with Snoop Dogg and 2Pac rocking them in the early 90s – they are rarely missing from rap videos.

They have made a huge comeback over the past two years and are now readily available on the British High Street, compared with the 90s when you had to get them via mail order or on holidays to the States.

This feature guides you through the most successful sports franchises in US history, adorning many heads this Summer and Autumn. Educate your fashion senses and choose a winning team to suit your style.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have won the most NBA Championships with a total of 17 trophies in their cabinet. They dominated the ’60s and won eight in a row (1959–1966), the longest consecutive streak of any North American pro-team. Adding to their legend and Lucky the Leprechaun’s mystique – they enjoyed another dominant resurgence in the ’80s with Larry Bird. The Celtics iconic logo was designed by famous coach Red Auerbach’s brother, Zang, in the early 1950’s.

New York Yankees

The Yankees are the most successful sports team ever, having won 27 World Series championships. The Baseball Hall of Fame has inducted 43 Yankees players and 11 Yankees managers including Babe Ruth. Their logo us the most recognisable insignia in sport, the inter-locking NY made its first appearance on uniforms in 1909. Adopted from a design created in 1877 by Louis B. Tiffany for a medal awarded by the New York City Police Department to Officer John McDowell, the first NYC policeman shot in the line of duty.

LA Lakers

Chasing the Celtics for the most NBA championships, LA have won 16 and have dominated the league since its inception in the 50s. The ‘Showtime’ Lakers of the ’80s with Magic Johnson running the point are the most famous. Calling Hollywood home the Lakers fanbase includes many stars including Jack Nicholson who has held season tickets since the 70s. Directors reportedly need to work their shooting schedules around Lakers home games. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ song “Magic Johnson” from their 1989 album Mother’s Milk is a tribute to the former point guard and frontman Anthony Kiedis is a regular at home games with bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary.

Chicago Bulls

The Michael Jordan era Chicago Bulls are the most celebrated and successful sports team of the ’90s, winning six championships in eight years. They helped basketball culture conquer a world audience and are the only team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season. During their ’95-96 season, when they won 72. The Bulls’ distinctive logo was created by artist Ted Drake, who also produced the famous Fighting Irish Notre Dame Leprechaun.

San Francisco 49ers

A great NFL dynasty having won five Super Bowl championships – they remain the only team in NFL history to appear in more than one Super Bowl without ever losing. Their original logo was a moustached 49er gold miner from the 1849 California Gold Rush, firing pistols: one nearly shooting his foot, and the other forming the word Forty-Niners from its smoke. The earliest version of San Francisco’s current primary logo, an intertwined white SF inside a red oval appeared in 1962.

Mentioned in dispatches:

Detroit Red Wings – one of the Original Six and most popular teams in the NHL, fans and commentators refer to Detroit and its surrounding areas as Hockeytown.

New York Knicks – Madison Garden is the mecca of basketball and the Knicks were dominant force in the 70s winning two NBA championships with famous Bulls coach Phil Jackson as a star player. Spike Lee is a famous fan, known for talking trash to opposing players from his court-side seat.

Brooklyn Nets – New team, part owned by Jay-Z, who moved them to NYC from New Jersey. Their logo is designed by the rap mogul himself.

Charlotte Hornets – NBA Franchise launched in 1988, saw their best years in the mid-90s with Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning on the roster. Moved to Louisiana and are now called the New Orleans Hornets.

Snapbacks supplied by Mitchell & Ness.

This is an excerpt taken from ADHD magazine – Purple Revolver’s new visual arts publication.
Photos taken by models Rosie Riding and Pierce King.