If you are like me, you like baseball. Also, you are into baroque and weirdly symbolic expressions of nationalism. But most importantly, you are into the hats people wear when they participate in baseball as baroque expressions of nationalism.
Here are my rankings from Dope to Lame for World Baseball Classic hats.
Totally Jam: Israel
The star composed of well-positioned backwards sevens is really really cool, but the Hebraically calligraphed 'I' in the middle is a master stroke. All the yentas are going to be kibitzing about you when they see you walking to violin practice in this dope kippah.
Good Hat Would Wear: China and Australia
China kinda took that script C from an old Reds hat, which is going to score some points for me. The gold-and-red color scheme is also really beautiful.
Australia has used the dark green and gold color pairing for a long time and it is one of my favorites. This hat looks kinda like a sophomoric rip off of an Oakland A's cap, but I think the shooting star crossing the A is a really nice touch. The whole star motif as a nod to the nation's flag is really well done.
Oh, that's neat but I probably won't get it: Mexico, South Korea, and Venezuela
This Mexican hat reminds me a lot of the Marlins' home run sculpture/calliope. Like, there should be chasing LED lights bouncing up and down the curves of the M.
The South Korean hat is not bad, but it looks like it has so much more potential. The intention seems to have been an attempt to fashion the K to look like a Korean character, and I don't think that's a terrible idea. But in the end, it looks like a girl named Katie spent three months studying abroad in Seoul and it really changed her so now she signs her name with a K like the one on the hat.
I really love Venezuela's color scheme with the red, blue, and gold. But all they did was slap a boring V on it. Real missed opportunity here.
Way too busy. Hang up and try again: The Dominican Republic, The Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, and Puerto Rico
Overlapping letters is almost always a bad idea. If you want it to look neat, you usually have to overlap the letters a bit. But if you want it to look legible, you pretty much have to separate them. The DR and the Dutch both make the mistake of overlapping and looking way too busy, while Puerto Rico separates them and it looks really boring. Chinese Taipei tried something there, putting the stitches of the baseball across the negative space of the C. But the T looks more like a lowercase r and when I see the hat my first thought is "Cubar?"
Falling asleep looking at hats: Italy, Colombia, Cuba
There is nothing at all bad about any of these three hats. They are just so darned boring. There is really nothing going on here. They are all using the same colors and just displaying the first letter of the country's name. I suppose Cuba should get some credit for the distinguished little serif at the tip of the C, but that's about it. For all the reputation these countries have as raucous party animals, it looks like the actuaries and fork-lift drivers were charged with making these designs.
Seriously the most boring: Japan
Japan is the birthplace of so much cool stuff like ninjas, sushi, Gundhams, Chinese food and what not, you'd think they could design a baseball hat with a little bit of flair to it. Look at this crap. The only remarkable thing about this is the two little derts at the center of the J. The J is even black on black background. Jeez Lah-WEEEEZE!
The Absolute Dumbest: The United States and Canada
Overlapping letters can easily be disorienting and confusing, so the US put a big interlocking star in there just to mess with you that much more. The letters are drop-shadowed to boot, so it is next to impossible for your eyes to focus clearly on the whole thing. What a monster.
The Canadian hat is tied for the dumbest, but it very easily could be much higher on this list. If only there was a big red maple leaf with a baseball in the middle (or maybe sitting up on the top point like a star on a Christmas tree), it would be brilliant. But that big, gawky, black C over the leaf just makes a whole mess of it.