Sad to say, but the way the Giants have been playing lately, it’s time to break out the rally caps BIG TIME. They’re a powerful tool in a fan’s arsenal, but can also be a much maligned practice scoffed at by non-believers.
A rally cap’s function is to help the team tie the game and hopefully pull ahead for the win. The power of a good rally cap effort can change the course of a game, with multiple runs, homers, exceptional plays, and errors on the part of the opposing team. When used strategically, they can result in spectacular walk-off wins.
Personally, I’m a strong proponent of the practice as long as you can get enough people in your section to cooperate. Five caps seem to be the magic number, although miracles have happened with just 2 people — and we always look at each other, point to our hats, and in unison say ‘RALLY CAPS!’ When people make fun of the practice and don’t participate, well, you can never tell how that affects things on the field. But it’s usually not good.
A rally cap is pretty simple – it’s a regular baseball hat turned inside out, or folded in half and placed precariously on the head, or for those who like the subtle approach, just turned around so the bill is facing the back or side, rapper style. Those don’t help the team as much as inside-out hats, but 5 points to the fans who make the effort. And lots of points to the fan with a hat full of pins – turning one of those inside out and then back on your head can be downright painful. But as they say – no pain, no gain. It’s all for the good of the team.
I’ve seen different hats used as rally caps. At the recent orange fedora giveaway day, people got very creative. Some fedoras were turned completely inside out, and some were perched on the head along with a baseball cap. A double-headed approach.
Mike Krukow is the Rally Cap King, and I’ve learned most of the rules from him. If going strictly by the book, rally caps should only be used starting in the 7th inning, except in rare instances when your team is so far behind in the 6th that a miracle is all that will save the game.
Other important rules:
* When you put your rally cap on, turn to others in your section, point to it, and yell loudly, ‘IT’S RALLY CAP TIME!!’ It’s OK to use a little guilt on them.
* When something good happens, point to your hat and say, ‘Rally cap!’*
* It’s OK, and even advisable, to wear a rally cap when watching the game at home.
* Turn your hat back to right-side-out after your team is at bat. You don’t want to give the other team an advantage.
But here’s the problem: Some folks just won’t participate no matter how much other fans in the section plead and cajole. I’ve asked many a neighbor to turn their caps inside out, or at least turn them around, but have gotten looks and comments from people who say, ‘I don’t want to mess up my hair.’ Or , ‘I’ll look silly.’
Seriously? Let’s get something straight here – you’re at a ball game. You’ve been outside for hours. Your head has either been sweating or freezing, depending on the weather. And your hair’s been squished under a form-fitting hat. It already looks bad! You have hat-head. And still . . . you don’t want to turn your cap around because you’ll look funny or your hair will get messed up? You don’t think you look kind of silly with 4 layers of clothing on and a blanket wrapped around you? REALLY?
I’m pleading with you non-rally-cap people. When the time is right, do it for the team. Please. Believe me, your Gamer Babe date will understand. This is one of those instances when it’s not about you, it’s about your team. They need your help. They need the magic of your rally cap.
NOTE: 7/30/14 – watching the game from home, rally cap on, I take credit for the Giants pulling ahead in the bottom of the 7th. It was probably my rally cap that contributed to that passed ball. You’re welcome!
UPDATE 9/10/14 – Giants vs. D-Backs. I’m taking some credit for the run production in the bottom of the 7th. My friend Janie and I had our rally caps on and got a few others in the section to join in. BINGO – the Giants scored some runs. Just sayin’ . . .