On November 21st, I set out on a mission across New York City to see if it was possible within 30 days to find strangers, whether tourists or residents of the city, in all 30 hats of Major League Baseball teams. To accomplish this task, my plan was to go and just observe the caps people were wearing over the course of this time period, as I went about my daily life. There are two major reasons why caps are worn:

  1. Fandom of a team
  2. Fashion

Being in New York City, I expected that a major fraction of the hats seen would be those of the New York Yankees or New York Mets – find here for further inforamtion. I expected a lot of difficulty finding some hats of the least popular teams (or more remote teams). Instead of just looking for all 30 Major League teams, I decided to also create a tally of the hats I saw. The results are summarized below:

MLB caps observed in NYC over a month MLB_Caps_Table


To summarize the main findings:

  1. The majority of hats were those of the Yankees and Mets, as expected.
  2. I witnessed not a single person wearing a Texas Rangers hat, although there were plenty of New York Rangers hats (the Dallas-Ft Worth-Arlington metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in the US).
  3. There was a surprisingly large amount of people that wore Arizona Diamondbacks (8) and Chicago White Sox (9) hats. This is my largest follow-up question. Why are Diamondbacks hats popular? The biggest surprise was seeing two people on the same subway car wearing the same throwback 2001 Diamondbacks cap.
  4. The defunct Montreal Expos are more popular than the current Washington Nationals (as well as the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs).

I want to re-run this social experiment again when it is warmer outside. But I am really curious about the obsession of New York City with the Diamondbacks and White Sox.

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