As I wrote earlier, J started playing Challenger League Baseball this year. AT Mom and I may have been more excited than J with the approaching first game. The last practice before the game J received a uniform – a Blue Jays jersey and ball cap.
The day of the game arrived! We got dressed, packed up, and headed out for the ballpark. We arrived for warm up with the team. AT Mom and I had the biggest smiles on our faces watching all of the kids arrive in their uniforms complete with huge smiles on their faces, ready to “play ball!” It was a very sunny day, perfect for a baseball game. AT Mom whipped out the sunscreen and started protecting J’s exposed skin. (I was too excited for the game to start, after all J and I were about to play baseball!)
After AT Mom finished applying sunscreen I moved to complete the uniform by adding J’s ball cap. I took a step back to admire “J the baseball player.” J’s head turned to look at a friend and J’s ball cap fell forward. I stepped up and fixed the ball cap and took another step back. Again, J’s head turned towards the crack of a bat from one of J’s friends taking batting practice. Again, the ball cap fell forward.
For then next couple of minutes there was this sort of dance going on, J’s ball cap falling forward and AT Dad stepping in to readjust the ball cap. The problem was that whenever J’s head moved the ball cap would rub against J’s headrest. After a few minutes I realized why some of J’s teammates simply did not wear their ball caps, and we went capless ourselves.
The first couple of games involved the same dance each time. I would try to help J wear the ball cap, constantly fixing it, then give up and go without. J was happy to not wear the cap and focus on playing baseball. I think it helped that J could feel more wind through J’s hair as we ran the bases without the ball cap.
Then one game I got to talking with one of the other parents about possible adaptations for the ball cap. I thought about building a sort of halo that could suspend the ball cap above J’s head. AT Mom thought that would just be visually distracting. (She was right.) Then I hit on an idea that I thought would work great.
Side view of my ball cap to show before adaptation.
Back view of my ball cap to show before adaptation.
The problem was that J’s headrest would rub against the back of J’s ball cap and spin the cap of J’s head. What if J’s ball cap did not have a back to rub against the headrest?
Side view of J’s ball cap after my adaptation.
Back view of J’s ball cap after my adaptation.
I cut out the back three panels of J’s ball cap and used barrettes to attach the front of the cap to J’s hair. This allowed J’s head to turn against the headrest without rubbing the ball cap. The first time I tried the new ball cap it stayed in place for nearly the entire game. That includes running the bases.
J wearing the adapted ball cap.
The next couple of games did not fair as well. The cap stayed on better than before, but J’s fine hair made it difficult to get the barrettes to hold well. Thinking about the design a bit more, next season I will cut out the back three panels but this time I will leave the Velcro strap across the bottom used to adjust the size of the ball cap. When next season comes around I’ll have to remember to write an update to how well the new design works.