Wait, there is a backstory here. First, I am almost positive that I owned a 59Fifty cap many years ago without actually realizing it at the time. I recall owning a fitted cap back in the day - size 7 1/8 - but don't remember the design, team, or style. I assume that it was a New Era 59Fifty, which has been the most popular fitted cap for ages.
More backstory: I used to have a collection of NBA team caps, but they were not made by New Era. They were adjustable caps (aka "snapback" caps), and I had one for every team. I rarely wore those hats, and eventually got rid of them. So, caps and I have a little bit of history . . . but I've never really been interested in 59Fifty caps per se. Until recently. Seriously, there is a lot to learn about these caps! This is fascinating stuff, and could be the beginning of a new acquisition disorder around these parts.
OK, so the frontstory goes like this: I was at the mall recently and saw a kiosk selling a bunch of caps. At the time, I was looking for a Lakers cap (even though the NBA season is over and the Lakers suck these days). I wasn't looking for a 59Fifty cap in particular, I just wanted anything that fit. I tried on a few and ultimately settled on this one:
The return policy of the kiosk said something like: "OK to exchange within a week, but don't wear it, don't bend the bill, and keep it in as-new condition. In fact, don't even look at it." So I told my son to keep the stickers on his cap until he was certain that it fit well and he wanted it as a keeper. At this point, the sight of my kid rockin' his new cap with the stickers on them made me wonder why many people (young and old) wear baseball caps without removing the tags and stickers. I was also curious about the "flat bill" phenomena (see golfer Rickie Fowler) that has really caught on.
It didn't take much online research for me to realize that there is a baseball cap subculture (which includes baseball fans, hat collectors, 59Fifty collectors, etc.). I found a New Era fan forum, and several baseball cap blogs such as this one. I now know that there are certain techniques and protocols related to breaking in a cap, shrinking a cap, stretching a cap that is too snug, altering the shape of the crown, restoring the shape of a cap, brushing the silky smooth fabric of a cap, storing caps, etc. I've also seen videos, forum posts, and articles related to Sticker Syndrome and, to be honest, it all seems quite silly to me. The only rationale that makes a little sense to me is this one: "leave the hologram sticker under the bill of the cap because it proves authenticity if you are ever questioned by Squad 59Fifty of the New Era Police Department."
It matters because it's funny, that's why. Just ask Key & Peele: Dueling Hats (if that link is dead, Google it!).