The Rules of Baseball Caps

  1. If someone notices that you are wearing the baseball cap of a team from a city other than the one you are currently in, including your region or metropolitan area—or the closest Major League Baseball team if your region or metropolitan area does not have an MLB team of its own—you must sound or look happy about this recognition.


  1. Let’s say the cap in question is an Expos cap. If someone else utters “Go Expos” or a similar phrase, you must express return excitement verbally or via a gesture. The sound or gesture must be such that a typical, rational person would interpret it as a sign of enthusiasm.


  1. If this other person is also wearing a cap from the uniform of said out-of-town team, then you must point at yours, smile, and shrug as if to say “small world” or implicitly ask “how about that?”


  1. If you want to be really bold, you can ask “Are you an Expos fan?” or “Êtes-vous de Montréal?” But be prepared for this to turn into a whole conversation, or for the other person not to have time to talk to you. Just because they have the same cap as, or a similar cap to, yours does not mean that you are destined to be best pals.


  1. These rules likewise apply, in modified form, to any band shirt.


  1. If someone sees you in an Expos cap and, smiling, points to their own—the same light-blue Expos cap that you are wearing, except it’s a bit faded because they have been wearing it for longer than you have—you should not grimace and look away as you walk past instead of at least acknowledging the gesture with a modicum of human kindness. Because if you do look away like this person is bothering you, what exactly was your game when, of all the caps in the world, you chose to don this one? Were you wandering the streets of suburban New Jersey, waiting for some mark to come by and notice that you were wearing the same cap as he was, so that you could send the message that “Only an idiot would like this Expos cap, let alone wear it?” Is that the sick way that you try to raise your own flagging self-esteem at the expense of others who are having a rough weekend and trying to unwind for one minute in the shade with a cold-brew coffee until you come by to remind them that they don’t fit in and never will, that any feeling of kinship with another human that they may think they’re experiencing is even more fleeting than the time the National League team now known as the Washington Nationals spent at Olympic Stadium (and, before that, Jarry Park)? If that’s what you’ve set out to do, keep in mind that it is against The Rules of Baseball Caps.


  1. No matter where you are, none of the above rules apply to Yankees caps, which people wear as a fashion accessory or something and not because of an interest in, or attachment to, the team. Who cares? Let’s go Mets and Expos.