Reds: What the New Era Local Market hat should have looked like

CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 31: Hats a lined up for sale in the stadium before the Cincinnati Reds game. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 31: Hats a lined up for sale in the stadium before the Cincinnati Reds game. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

If you haven’t purchased your Cincinnati Reds New Era Local Market ball cap, it’s too late. The company pulled them off their website following the widespread negative reaction from fans all across social media.

To be fair, the hats were possibly some of the worst merchandise I’ve ever seen. It looked like someone downloaded ClipArt from 1998 and stuck it in obscure places all over the hat. To represent Cincinnati, the company chose a buckeye, area code 513, and outline of the state of Ohio with 1869 inscribed inside, and what one can only assume was a bowl of chili.

What should the Reds New Era Local Market hat have contained?

Call me crazy, but I prefer just simple ball cap with the wishbone “C”. If you want to go all red, or red with a black bill, that’s fine. Even if you prefer Mr. Redlegs face in the center of your ball cap, I’m fine with that. However, this failed attempt to represent the city of Cincinnati with a buckeye and chili missed the mark.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room; the bowl of chili. Cincinnati-style chili is not for everyone, right? But I don’t hate the addition of chili on the hat. A majority of the designs had food on them somewhere. The Boston Red Sox had a lobster roll (which also looked terrible), the Seattle Mariners had a cup of coffee, and the Washington Nationals had a hot dog.

The thing that sets Cincinnati-style chili apart from the rest is not only the flavor, but the mound of spaghetti that’s topped with chili and then smothered in shedded cheese. If you can’t recreate that, don’t even try to put a bowl of chili on the hat.

Maybe a better depiction of food in Cincinnati would have been ice cream. Graeter’s is based in Cincinnati, and their black raspberry chip ice cream is universally loved and could have been easily created. A scoop of purple ice cream, dotted with chocolate chips sitting atop a waffle cone. Done!

What about the histrionic Cincinnati Zoo? While I don’t think you’d want to confuse Reds Country with Who Dey Nation, maybe a white tiger could have donned the cap. The Cincinnati Zoo is the sixth oldest zoo in the country and is a National Historic Landmark.

Fountain Square is the central gathering place in downtown Cincinnati. You’re telling me the designers decided to go with a buckeye over the Tyler Davidson Fountain. Now that would have been cool, right?

Cincinnati’s German heritage is on full display during the Oktoberfest. The yearly event features live music, food vendors, and more, all helping to celebrate the city’s deep German roots. Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest is the biggest of its kind in the United States of America.

Finally, there’s the unmatched architecture of Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. The terminal is now home to the Cincinnati Museum Centre and Amtrak series, but from the 1930s through the 1970s, it was a hub for seven different railroads.

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The good news is that no self-respecting Cincinnati Reds fan will ever don the putrid headwear shoveled out from New Era. The company pulled the hats from the market, but a simple search on Twitter will show you all you need to see.