KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new line of hats from the New Era Cap Company’s MLB Local Market Pack highlights area codes and symbols from each MLB team’s city.
But for the Kansas City edition of the hat, a vital area code from the Kansas City area was omitted: 816.
Since 1993, New Era has been the exclusive cap provider for Major League Baseball. Every year, they release several different versions of hats for each MLB franchise.
The hat does include the following area codes:
- 620 – Southern Kansas
- 316 – Wichita metro area
- 785 – Northern Kansas
- 913 – Kansas City, Kansas side of the greater KC metro
All of the area codes on the hat are in Kansas. No Missouri area codes are featured on the cap despite the team residing and playing out of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
One of the panels on the hat even includes an embroidered Kansas City, Missouri, flag and another has the state outline of Missouri with a 1969 inside of it in reference to the year the team was founded.
The cap does include a saxophone in reference to the city’s jazz history as well as the logo from the franchise’s first World Series victory in 1985.
Above the World Series logo it says, “Kansas City Heart of America.”
There is no reference to the 2015 World Series victory on the hat.
On the back of the hat, opposite of the state’s outline, is an embroidered pig to represent the famous barbecue, of course.
FOX4 spoke with Royals fans Tuesday about the ball cap blunder.
“[New Era] kind of forgot the two most important parts of Kansas City, which are 816 and the World Series in 2015,” Josh Lewis said.
“I don’t know what [New Era was] thinking, but somebody’s going to get canned, sounds like,” Spencer Modiri added.
They weren’t the only Royals fans speaking out.
KC Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted, “Cancel this.”
The Royals told FOX4 it had no official comment on the hat, but the team’s Twitter account changed its bio Tuesday to read, “Located in Kansas City, Mo.” It had other references to the hat, even pigs.
“I’m not buying that hat. None of my kids are buying that hat, so we’re going to only buy it when they recognize who we are in the 816, and that we won the World Series in 2015,” Steve Scanlon said.
But buying the hat doesn’t appear to even be an option anymore.
After hours of criticism online, late Tuesday, New Era appeared to remove the Royals hat — and all others from the local market line — off its website.
“It’s a little too late at this point [to remove the hats] because now it brings more attention to it,” Lewis said.
If you ask Lewis and others, it was just another unforced error on a day where the hits just kept on coming.
New Era did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
The hat appears to have been an online offer only and was not going to appear in Kansas City stores, including the Royals official team store.