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Employing the rally cap is wearing a baseball cap with a team’s logo inside out while silently wishing or praying for a losing team to rally and win a game. Usually the rally cap is worn by players and by fans in a superstitious attempt to turn around the team’s luck.
Many suggest that the rally cap may first have been employed during a Mets and Red Sox match in the sixth game of the 1986 World Series. During the seventh inning of the game with the Mets down, all the players could be seen wearing their baseball caps in rally cap fashion. The trick seemed to work and the Mets managed to win the game, and ultimately that year’s World Series.
Since baseball players and their fans often rely on superstition as a possible extra edge in the game, the rally cap has since been employed by other teams and by leagues of fans desperate to see their teams pull out a victory. The inside out hat may be a slight offering to the baseball gods that winning is more important than fashion or dignity.
Like many trends in Major League Baseball, use of the rally cap has filtered down to minor league players and to children on baseball teams. It is not unusual to see a group of nine or ten year olds turn their hats inside out in rally cap fashion to rally their losing team to victory.
Generally, the rally cap is only thought to be effective when one is actually wearing the team logo, though some argue a cap with team colors also counts. Fans turning a cap inside out that does not have the team logo may actually, according to lore, invalidate the rally cap plea.
Other superstitions exist among individual players that certainly match the rally cap. Baseball players may dress in very specific ways, exactly the same each time before a game. Some players brush their teeth before innings. Others have tried urinating on their hands to improve bat grip. Watching the traditions of baseball players may provide almost as much entertainment as watching the game itself.