A baseball cap is a type of soft cap with a long, stiffened and curved bill. The back of the cap may have a plastic, Velcro, or elastic adjuster so that it can be quickly adjusted to fit different wearers. While the baseball cap is specifically associated with those who play the game of baseball, it is often worn as a fashion statement as well as practical headgear. It is very popular in the United States and Japan. Traditionally, the bill is worn forward, shielding the eyes from the sun, but it is also often worn backwards or at other angles. People with long hair in a ponytail may pull it through the gap in the cap above the adjustor.
Baseball caps are made of all types of material and shaped in various styles for different purposes. Major league baseball players wear classic-style caps made of wool (or, more recently, polyester) with their team's simple logo and colors; the logo is usually embroidered into the fabric. Caps used by players may sometimes have sunglasses attached to the peak that can be flipped down when the player must look into the sky, but kept flipped up at other times.
Athletes in other sports wear caps with their team's logo and colors as "sideline" caps; both types are also sold as authentic team merchandise in retail stores and are quite popular. Other caps may simply have a company's logo, such as Reebok, Nike or Carhartt; these hats are often made of brushed cotton. Golfers tend to prefer the visor form of cap which does not cover the head but keeps the sun out of their eyes; women also traditionally have worn visors casually but a trend towards certain youth subcultures see an increase in visor popularity among both sexes.
Many armed police units around the world, notably SWAT in the United States and Scotland Yard's Specialist Firearms Command in Great Britain, often wear baseball caps to shield their eyes from the sun where a full helmet and facemask would be excessive.
Another version of the baseball cap is a plastic mesh cap with a foam front imprinted with a company logo. This style of baseball cap is sometimes called a trucker cap or a "gimme cap" because it is given away for free as an advertising pitch.
Wearing a baseball cap with the peak facing in a certain direction may denote membership in a gang. For this reason, some public schools ban baseball caps. The idea of wearing the cap backwards is commonly attributed to catchers in baseball, as when they began using facemasks, they had to turn the cap around to fit the mask on. It can also be found in professional tennis. Another profession associated with the wearing of a baseball cap backwards is that of photographer, notably paparazzi - for the reason that an SLR camera cannot be held vertically to the eye whilst wearing a baseball cap with the peak forwards.
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