Total Pageviews

Monday, September 26, 2011

Throwback Diamondbacks New Era

In my previous posts ranting about how the Arizona Diamondbacks and New Era caps botched their sale of "throwback" caps by making them grossly inaccurate, I did a lot of internet hunting to find myself some accurate reproductions of the cap I was looking for. I eventually found myself on Facebook and looking at a physical store's page located in Brooklyn, New York called Lee's Sneakers and sent them an e-mail, within 4 days I had negotiated my purchase and ordered their whole stock of the cap in my size of 7-1/8 :)

I think this cap turned out fantastic! It is an incredibly accurate representation of the original dbacks cap. About the only difference, is that the colour of the "A" is a little too light, but this can be explained due to New Era discontinuing that colour a few years back.

Now as expected, the caps are Made in China, which is a disappointment but something that really can't be avoided in this day and age when it comes to New Era caps, if it isn't On-Field is most likely won't be American. Another anomaly is that the cap isn't a Cooperstown Collection, but listed as just "Genuine Merchandise."

The back of the cap is also accurate due to its flat embroidery, at the start of the 2007 season New Era started giving the rear raised embroidery like they do with the front.



The embroidery on the front also looks fantastic, it is an awesome reproduction of the original in every detail. As described above, the only difference is the colour of the "A", due to a discontinuation of the thread that was used originally.



And here are the two caps next to each other, don't mind the colour difference too much between the shades of purple, the original cap could have been made from anywhere between 1998-2006.

Original vs. Reproduction

For any information on these caps or any other caps that you may be interested in purchasing, please contact Lee's Sneakers for any information.  I recommend that you Like him on Facebook and give a look at his pictures, there you can copy URLs and send them to Lee's Sneakers and they will be more than happy to mail you the caps and they also take PayPal. Now I'm just a young college student attending a university, but I can assure you that the caps are definitely worth the money should you decided to buy them! And with PayPal, your purchases are definitely insured better than the best car insurance you will ever buy!

New Era by far isn't a cheap baseball hat, they are the best quality baseball hats you can find, and they have a wide range of custom baseball hats too.

Please visit Lee's Sneakers at:

E-mail them with any questions at:

Friday, September 23, 2011

*Post-Play* Crackdown 2

After a recommendation on a previous blog post, I decided to pick up Crackdown 2 and give it a go.  When I first started playing, I noticed immediately that the game took place in the exact same city and all of the game models were the same, not a huge problem though.

The plot was just beyond weird, it started out with you as an Agent going through the city and then you're introduced to the Mutants.  Basically, the mutants have taken over the city and rule it by night, the only way to destroy the mutants are to visit different stations to enable them, and when 3 of them connect you are to protect a beacon until it is fully charged and releases its power destroying all mutants in that district.  Mutants were also in the first game, but they are in the game for like half of a second, but they aren't in any strong numbers.

The occurrence of the mutant is basically being blamed on a terrorist organization called "Cell," and these people are basically just dudes with guns in the game, you don't really learn much about them at all.  During the entire game, you really don't learn much at all about them, which was kind of lame since I kept doing the same shit over and over again.  Near the end of the game, their female leader Katalina Thorn attempted to contact me on the headset, and said that I was a pawn or some shit, but I don't even fuckin know who was bad or not.  I assume the game wanted the Agency to be bad and Cell be good, but since the game also tried to force a plot twist on you it was impossible to really tell good from bad.  Basically, Cell released the virus which turned a shit ton of people into Mutants, and the Agency wanted to kill the mutants and take back the city, which sounds worse to you?

Just as before, this traits is what causes you to run faster and jump higher.  This trait has basically zero change from the first game, there are still the 500 agility orbs and rooftop races that help increase this skill.  The one addition to this, is that once you reach level 5 you can do a "Wing Suit" which is basically a suit that allows you to glide through the air, there are certain rings that you can maneuver through, but I honestly didn't care enough to even try to learn those controls.  As before, this is definitely the easiest trait to level up, since you're constantly jumping around on top of buildings and suck, it's impossible to avoid the green glowing orbs.

In my opinion, this is the skill that they increased the most when it came to the sequel.  Just as before, you can drive and steal cards just like in any GTA game, but I hardly drove cars in the 1st game because it was basically useless.  In this game however, any time you die you are spawned at a destination of choice with a vehicle, unlike the 1st game where you could only get Agency vehicles from the Agency Tower.  Driving was much easier and people were also a hell of a lot easier to hit.  You couldn't believe how frustrating it was to try to run someone over in the 1st game, it was impossible to get that skill up to its peak.  This game at least lets you have fun with the vehicles, and you will most likely be driving around a lot more than you did in the first game.

Grenades in this game wasn't exactly the most fun thing to do.  In the previous game, I was using them all of the god damned time, but this time your skill doesn't affect the blast radius or strength of a grenade, all leveling up does is unlock other grenades.  Now let me tell you, the grenades that you unlock really aren't that great, the best grenades there are, are the ones that you pick up off of fallen enemies and bring them back to a drop zone to unlock them.

This trait just wasn't as fun in the sequel, maybe because they really didn't do anything to improve on it.  The moves are all the same, the build up is all the same, zero improvement.  The stronger you get, the faster people die when you kick them and you can pick up and throw larger objects.

The improvement on the guns skill isn't exactly an "improvement".  Just as the grenades, your skill has no affect on your aim or strength of the weapon, all it does is unlock other weapons when you get to a drop zone.  The weapons were pretty cool though, if you play it I recommend trying out the Harpoon Gun, that thing was awesome.

If you're a fan of the 1st game, you might as well pick this up to at least give it a try, but don't expect a fantastic game that will blow your mind like the first one.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Diamondbacks Throwback New Era Caps

All right, time to do some god damned ranting now...........

Last weekend, the Arizona Diamondbacks were having a throwback weekend back to when they wore Purple and Teal uniforms, they switched to Red, Beige, and Black back in 2007. The Diamondbacks New Era caps haven't been produced in purple since 2006 so no non-custom order caps have been produced since then.

With the upcoming throwback weekend, we all knew that New Era was going to produce the caps for the team, so everyone anticipated the upcoming Polyester version of the purple dbacks hat. Turns out, New Era's competency can't expand THAT far. We all know they've fucked up before on throwbacks such as with the Orioles from the 70s and what not, but not on a cap that they discontinued under 5 years ago.

Here is a picture of two Diamondbacks hats next to each other, the left is the authentic dbacks New Era and the right is the version that New Era made for the throwbacks which were sold in the Diamondbacks Official Team Shop.

Here we can see there are some huge differences right off of the bat. The first error is the immense size of the “A” on the front of the cap, it's a good 130% larger than the original caps and the embroidery is mainly flat instead of raised as it should be. The central part of the “A” is also incorrect, as you can see the piece is supposed to be black instead of turquoise.

Many New Era customers were extremely disappointed with the way that they handled this cap, one customer who was disappointed was the team itself! The Arizona Diamondbacks didn't even wear these caps on the field, instead they wore caps they had in stock which dated back to 2006, at least they knew then they would be getting the correct cap to give the throwback uniforms some justice.

Here is a screencap of manager Kirk Gibson the September 9th game vs. the Padres, wearing the correct throwback caps.

Imaged owned by Major League Baseball

About the only plus about the cap was the fact that it was made in the USA, I was extremely disappointed because I've been an Arizona Diamondbacks fan since their formation in 1998 and I was looking forward to getting a modern throwback hat which is made out of the modern Performance Polyester material, I was so irritated with New Era that I didn't even buy the cap, which is amazing due to the fact that I normally can't let anything Dbacks go.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GameStop Purchase - NHL 12 and Crackdown 2

Yesterday after another trip to GameStop, I rewarded myself with two gifts <3

What made mt go to the store to begin with was the fact that I had a reservation for NHL 12, which I am really excited for. My friends all played NHL 11 last season, so after they kept bugging me I finally dropped the coin to get the game, so after about 10 minutes on Craigslist, I found myself a copy and began my obsession. Prior to last year, I hadn't played a Hockey Game since Blades of Steel on the Nintendo, and I was extremely happy with the results of NHL 11, so I was able to look past all of the glitches. After playing 2-3 games of NHL 12, I can say that it's still an extremely fun game, a few tweeks here and there but it's generally the same game. One odd thing I saw was that you have the option to make a female hockey player, problem is she has a male body but a female head, so whatever.

My other gift to myself was purchasing a copy of Crackdown 2. The first Crackdown was an extremely fun game, as you can read in my previous reviews, but this game just doesn't have the same feel to it. Sure it's a sequel and they can't re-hash the same game, but it just doesn't exactly have the same feel to it. Currently I'm a few hours into it, and they've definitely made some improvements but I feel they regressed in some places. Remember in Crackdown when there would be a random mutant? Well there's 8 million in this game, basically a terror organization releases a virus that causes everyone to turn into a mutant..... guess their goal here was to zombify the game which seems to be the norm lately.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Era: Made in USA vs. China

USA vs. China
I have been purchasing New Era caps ever since 1999, my first cap was the original purple Arizona Diamondbacks, I ordered it from the Dbacks own website and I loved that hat to death.  To this date, I own more than 40 New Era caps, and I don't plan on discontinuing my love of them any time soon.
New Era was always a company that prided itself in advertizing that their caps were made in the USA, but up until about 2007 however, New Era started to outsource their cap manufacturing to China.  New Era still does produce some of their stock in the United States, but since the caps are made of the same materials and basically the same way, you wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference, but there is.
Currently as it seems, most of the MLB On-Field caps are made in America, but some of them are Chinese made, especially the god awful Stars and Stripes collection.  Come to think of it.... why the fuck are the STARS AND STRIPES hats made in fucking China?  Minor League Baseball hats are also currently made in China, and it appears that most custom logo/colour hats are Chinese also.

New Era caps have always been subject to debate when it comes to quality and sizing, but when I see a cap that's made in China, I really don't know what to think.  When I buy American caps, I know that I will fit somewhere between a size 7 and a size 7-1/8, but when it comes to Chinese hats, I can fit between a size 6-7/8 and 7-1/4, that's a huge difference, thankfully the sizing for me hasn't caused too much of a problem, but it makes me feel like it's impossible to order a cap online, not knowing what it will fit like when it gets here.

The size of the crown is also subject of distortion, in American caps the crown sits somewhat high, and will allow for it to fall as the user wears it so that it will conform to his/her head, but with Chinese caps the goal seems to be to make the crown as high and boxy as possible, and it is nearly impossible to remove the shape even through alterations to the cap's crown.

USA on Left, Chinese "Stars and Stripes" on right.

Now here are two identical caps located next to each other on the shelf at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ; home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

There are major differences between the two caps, the cap on the left is made in the USA and the cap on the right is made in China.

1. Colour Difference
The colour of the two caps are noticeably different, and the picture doesn't do it justice; The American made cap has a lot more colour to it, a much deeper red to it while the Chinese made cap is extremely faded and just looks dusty, overall disappointing.

2. Material Difference
Both of the caps claim to be 100% "performance" polyester, but they are most definitely two different materials. The American cap is much softer whereas the Chinese cap feels extremely stiff, as if it was soaking in starch all day; almost helmet like.

3. Embroidery Detail
The American embroidery is pristine and fantastic, the detail of the snake is awesome and everything is clean without stray strings ruining the overall look.  As you can see in the Chinese cap, there are some loose strings which ruin the overall look and would easily be pulled upon and could destroy the logo.  The Chinese logo also has poor detail such as if you look into the eye of the snake.....where is it on the Chinese cap?

The sizing between the two are awful.  The hats pictured are not the ones I tried on, trying on two size 7-1/8 caps the Chinese cap was noticabley larger, and trying on a 2nd one it felt smaller; trying a size 7 and it fit right.

Bottom line is, the Chinese caps have no quality control and should be discontinued immediately.  The only time I can tolerate Chinese caps are when it comes to Customs and Minor League Baseball caps.  I advise everyone who buys New Era to avoid these Chinese caps if at all possible.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

*Post-Play* Crackdown

As posted in my previous blog, I noticed this game on a recent trip down to GameStop and thought I'd pick it up.  Originally I played this at a friend's house long, long ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit; never followed up on it since I never had an XBOX until years later. When I first started playing, I noticed how heavily the game borrowed from elements of Grand Theft Auto such as the targeting system, the sandbox like cities, and the ability to commandeer vehicles through theft or picking them up from a dealer. Turns out that my suspection of the game borrowing from GTA was true afterall, being that Realtime Worlds' founder, David Jones, was also the creator of the Grand Theft Auto series.

When you start up the game, the menu just wreaks of old XBOX, but don't let the menu fool you... the game itself is fantastic. The basic story of the game is that there are 4 different islands, 3 of which are over-run by their respective gangs: Los Muertos, The Volk, and Shai-Gen Corporation. Your job is to wipe out all 21 of their gang leaders, then wipe out the top leader in order to clean up each faction of the city.

There are different online options for the game, such as your friends or even random people can join in your game at any time (with your approval) and help you fight off the gangs or help you do missions; even simultaneously.

The game, you basically play as a super soldier in the future and have 5 traits that you can level up and "evolve" as the game progresses.

This trait helps you run and jump, this trait is enhanced by finding upwards of 500 Agility Orbs hidden on rooftops or by doing rooftop races. This is by far one of the easiest traits to level up due to the fact that you're running and jumping around constantly, and it's way too hard to avoid glowing orbs.... hah!

Driving is a trait that I guarantee you won't level up to max unless you aim for it. You can drive and steal cars just like in any Grand Theft Auto game, but when you're given super speed and super jumping, along with the ability to warp to ammo stations, it is extremely unlikely that cars will be an asset to you. The only way to level this up is to do tricks in your car and to run over gang members, but still pretty useless IMO.

Fuck yes. You have Grenades of several different types, depending on what you stock up on. The more enemies you kill with grenades the higher your skill increases, it's so fun to blow shit up.

You kick someone, they fuckin FLY. The more you kick, the higher this goes....fuck yeah. The stronger you get, the bigger object you can pick up too. You start out only being able to pick up people, but the higher level you get your fighting skill you can eventually pick up cars or even larger objects to throw at your enemies.

Self explanatory. Aim, shoot, die. Level up. The only difference with levels seems to be the accuracy and how long it takes to reload, but other than that it's just run and gun.

To my surprise, the game does end with quite a twist that I wasn't expecting what so ever. So this makes me want to play Crackdown 2 even more to see what exactly the story is about.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 3

All right.......

So as a follow up to the last post about these New Era Caps, my main complaint was that the caps used a cross hatch for the stars. The hats were originally just really ugly modified versions of the regular team hats, with a depression of the American Flag inside of the team's actual logo, but they decided to ditch that concept mid-season and throw US flags back onto the hats. However as I blogged about before, the flags looked like ass with an AWFUL crosshatch. So what does New Era do next? THEY FUCKIN CHANGE IT AGAIN! So what happens to all of the people who all ready bought the hats? Well fuck them I guess, haha.

The new hats actually look pretty decent. The only real change for the 3rd alteration of the caps was that the cross hatch was removed and replaced with a 32 star flag! Now the 32 star flag actually looks pretty damn good, not much to complain about it other than the fact it looks just a tad messy on the edges. It's really hard to complain about the missing 18 stars though, there's only so much detail you can put into a patch that small.... A for effort, but C- for overall effort put into the whole process.

Pardon the foul language here, but as we all know New Era and MLB only throw these patches on here to make money, and I guess that's all right since everyone continues to buy them.  As a Diamondbacks fan, I'm sure I'll eventually cave in and get my cap with the US flag on it..... but I'm glad that I waited until the 32 star design came out.  I honestly couldn't see myself purchasing the caps if they had the cross hatch.  I'm sure if you were one of the people who purchased the first crosshatch version you'd feel pretty screwed over this.

Now the last thing that I must complain about is the fact that these are not made in the USA....these are made in CHINA.  What's awful about this, is that all proceeds go towards the Welcome Home Veterans foundation, yet New Era decides to have these be made in China to stimulate their economy and not ours.  There used to be a time where New Era valued to quality of American made products, but that apparently isn't in their future plans anymore.

So what are your guys thoughts on the change, I'd love to hear your opinions!

Original Crosshatch

32-Star Flag