When the San Francisco Giants announced that they would be celebrating last year’s Pride Day by wearing rainbow SF caps during the game, I hoped that it would start a trend that would spread throughout MLB.
I also had a feeling that it wouldn’t be long before the Los Angeles Dodgers took the field in Pride caps as well.
It turns out it took all of one year to see that prognostication come true.
Usually, the only times I’m that accurate with baseball predictions are when I mutter “I’m going to regret buying these Cubs tickets.”
Truth be told, it was a relatively easy call, partly because the Dodgers and Giants have both contributed to setting the pace for the rest of the game when it comes to Pride and LGBTQ outreach. After all, it’s not every team that can proclaim that their pitcher’s mound has been trod by Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, and Lisa Vanderpump.
But perhaps even more importantly, once the Giants unveiled their rainbow logo caps and received justifiable praise, I knew there was no way the Dodgers were going to let them have the plaudits all to themselves.
The Dodgers will never admit this, of course. But given the nature of their rivalry with their Bay Area neighbors, once the Giants took the field in Pride caps, it all but guaranteed that LA would do the same shortly thereafter.
And that’s a great thing. Because it shows us how we can utilize baseball’s biggest rivalries to help spread on-field Pride throughout the game.
As even casual fans know, the Giants and Dodgers have been at each others’ throats from the 19th century days when they were a Manhattan/Brooklyn interborough series between teams known as the Gothams and Bridegrooms.
But the closest their rivalry ever got to supporting the LGBTQ community was every time Giants fans booed Tommy Lasorda.
Then last year with the Giants making LGBTQ baseball history, if the Dodgers didn’t want to risk falling behind their in-state rivals, they were going to have to step up their Pride game. To their credit, they did that almost immediately.
Here’s how Pride caps spread even further. You know who can’t stand to be upstaged by the Dodgers? How about the team 125 miles due south whose every offseason move has been obsessively dedicated to unseating them from the top of the NL West? Or perhaps the team that changed its name to “Los Angeles” in order to battle them for the city’s hearts more directly?
If the Padres or Angels don’t want the Dodgers to stake a claim to the loyalty of Southern California LGBTQ fans, it’s time for them to do something about it with a Progress Pride SD or Big A.
There is nothing I’d like to see more next year than baseball’s best player take the field as Rainbow Trout.
Beyond the West Coast, the Yankees are probably too full of themselves to add anything resembling an exciting color to their “sacred” pinstripes. Which is unfortunate since the their organization is so narcissistic and self-obsessed, they could celebrate Pride by replacing the interlocking NY with the Grindr logo.
The Red Sox, of course, love making the Yanks look bad. As their 2021 Pride t-shirts proved, the olde English B looks great in rainbow colors so it shouldn’t be too big a leap to add the rainbow to their caps. Or perhaps the Mets could get some tabloid back page love by upstaging their neighbors and becoming the first New York team to show off a Pride NY.
Meanwhile in the Midwest, the Cubs have such a solid relationship with Chicago’s LGBTQ community that it’s certainly conceivable that they would adopt rainbow caps for Pride. But this Cub fan would be all in favor if the Cardinals or White Sox wanted to beat them to it in order to embarrass the Ricketts family. Especially since the current Cubs roster somehow doesn’t.
Thanks to the Giants/Dodgers rivalry, the number of organizations sporting rainbow caps on the field has doubled in just one year. Granted, that means going from one team to two. But if we bring more longstanding rivalries into play, this can keep doubling over the next few years and we’ll have a special new tradition going throughout the game.