As you look out over baseball diamonds this Fourth of July you will see stars and stripes adorning uniforms, hats, socks, shoes, batting gloves, and most prominently catchers gear. This inevitably leads us back to an iconic set of catchers gear that we like to think launched a thousand themed jerseys. In 2008 Major League Baseball decided to weave an American flag into into the logos on hats worn on the 4th of July. The purpose was to show support for the Welcome Back Veterans Foundation, an organization devoted to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the ALL-Star website, discussions began the prior fall with Tek about the possibility of themed catchers gear and during the season Tek had already worn specialty gear for Mother's Day (pink), Memorial Day (camouflage) and Father's Day (blue), but All-Star came through with an epic set for the Fourth.
Tek took the field against the Yankees that day wearing a red white and blue set of gear that led the television announcers for the game to call him Captain America. Someday we will find out the back story on what led to the creation of the gear, but we know that Tek donated the gear to MLB Auctions after the game to be sold for charity. An unconfirmed rumor has Jeter asking Tek during one at bat if Evel Knievel knew that Tek had stolen his clothes. Oh . . . and the Red Sox won the game 6-4.
The reception for this type of themed gear led MLB to broaden the program to include many themed jerseys, and you can see many in the CATCHERS section of bostongameused.com. Also, if you are looking for a set of the red white and blue for your little leaguer, go to the ALL-Star site and order one, he will be the envy of the league!