I have only written a few articles dealing with caps, but they seem to be a big hit with collectors. When researching and writing about jerseys, I often mention the value of knowing what to look for with respect to manufactures’ characteristics. The one I most often reference is the button style on Macgregor-Goldsmith or MacGregor jerseys. When you see a manufacturer’s characteristic in an image, you can discern who may have manufactured the product the player is wearing or using. Bat and glove collectors have an easier time with this since labels on gloves or centerbrands on bats make this possible. But what about caps?
As I have said before, caps are just plain tough. With that being sad, today I would like to offer something that might be helpful when trying to determine what brand of cap a player might be wearing. The problem with what I am about to take you through is it will require a fairly detailed and clear image of the visor of the cap. Even with this, you may only be able to determine if the player is wearing a McAuliffe/ KM Pro Cap or not.
While I won’t rehash the articles I have previously written on Tim McAuliffe, we do know that according to records at the U.S. Patent Office, the Pro KM Cap logo was first commercially used on July 13th, 1953. Filing date for the registered trademark took place on February 4th 1954 and became registered on November 2nd 1954. The applicant was a Mr. Jacob I. Kaufman, filed under DBA (Doing Business As) The Leslie Company & Leslie Individual, 76 Essex Street, Boston MA. What you should also know from those previous articles is that Tim McAuliffe was never a sporting goods manufacturer…McAuliffe was a salesman who purchased finished jerseys and caps for subsequent sale. If you’re thinking Kaufman and McAuliffe along the lines of the K and M in KM Pro then go the head of the class.
What these pictures, supported by an advertisement in the 26 June, 1976 edition of the Sporting News, indicate is that we should expect to see seven (7) stitch lines in the visor of a McAuliffe/ KM Pro cap. Conversely, for other manufacturers we should expect to see something else. Why is worth knowing? Look back at the main image of Sandy Koufax. Say you are offered a cap that was said to have been worn by Koufax on 9 September 1965 and it comes with a great story (they always do, don’t they) and the cap was manufactured by McAuliffe/KM Pro. The cap has a vintage “32” written on the underside of the visor and is autographed “My perfect game cap…Sandy Koufax 9-9-1965.” The seller even has a picture of Koufax signing the cap so there is no doubt about the autograph. You then travel to Cooperstown to research this treasure and find a very clear image of Koufax walking off the mound just after the final out. The image of the cap is clear enough to enable you to see eight (8) stitch lines on the visor. Short version…Unless Sandy changed caps during the game the cap you bought is not his perfect game cap as the lid he was wearing was manufactured by someone else.
As you either begin to collect something or look to increase your knowledge on things you already collect, don’t overlook the value of knowing what the various characteristics might be with respect to a given manufacturer for the product in question. If you are already doing this, then I tip my cap to you.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com.