“Rally Cap” 2023
Baseball coaches wear the same uniform as their players. The tradition started when baseball was a new game and the coach was one of the players. As the sport grew and became more organized the tradition stayed. When immigrants move here they have decisions to make about how they want to fit in and identify with their fellow citizens.
The baseball cap started around 1849 with the New York Knickerbockers who wore straw hats to protect them from the sun, Merino wool caps shaped much like today’s caps came shortly afterward but it wasn’t until the Detroit Tigers began wearing a uniform cap with their logo in 1903 that it became part of every teams uniform.
These hats are a reflection on the immigrant experience. Since I myself am not an immigrant I interviewed immigrants to better understand how they felt about their adopted homeland and how it differed from their native land.
Turkey: This subject came to the U.S. to study and has remained here ever since. He says that when he goes home he is saddened by the restraints his friends practice when speaking about their country, and the government in particular. This piece is made from a baseball cap, a felt fez, a pair of plastic lips, staples, and sharpie.
This subject moved to the U.S. from the U.K. when her children were teenagers. She said that her son was incredibly bored in high school because his studies in the UK had led him way beyond the material that was being taught here. This piece is made from a baseball cap, a mortar board, and a tiara.
Venezuela: This subject immigrated here from Venezuela (though she is Colombian) for college. She said the biggest difference between the U.S. and the South American countries of her youth is that in the U.S. we only think about “me” whereas in hispanic cultures they think more about “we”. This piece is made from a baseball cap with embroidery.
India: This subject moved here as an adult with two children. She said that she misses her family and celebrating various holidays with them but that immigration is like a marriage. She chose to move here and now she is married to the U.S. and that is her life. This piece is made from a baseball cap and an Indian bridal headpiece
The word Cap is slang for a lie. My subjects all relocated for education or family reasons but many who take desperate measures to escape danger and extreme poverty in their own countries see America as a safe haven and often find they were lied to when they arrive at the border. A rally cap is when fans wear their hats inside out and sometimes sideways to encourage a rally for their team.