Me: “So what is the general idea of the rally caps?”
Informant: “Ever since I have played baseball I have known about ‘rally caps.’ Essentially, when playing a baseball game, if a team is down in the later part of the game, it is tradition to wear the baseball caps inside out and/or backwards. I’m not sure exactly why this is but it’s a superstition that is believed from kids all the way up to professional players.”
Me: “Does it matter whether the hat is inside out or backwards or both?”
Informant:”Typically the hats are worn inside out and then if the players want to, they can wear them backwards.”
Me: “Do you have any personal experiences with the rally caps actually working?”
Informant: “Yeah actually when I was a Freshman in high school, we were down by three runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, which is the last inning in high school baseball. We were the last ones at bat because we were playing at home. Realistically, we didn’t think we were going to win but some of us just put our hats on inside out to see if somehow the rally cap could trigger a win. Ironically enough, the first pitch of the inning we hit a home run. From that point on we knew it had to be the rally caps, haha. The next batter grounded out but then the next two batters got hits. Eventually we scored in the runs and won the game. Because we put the rally caps on from the start, our superstition was confirmed.. Well at least for the time being.”
Me:”Do you know where you first heard about the rally caps from?”
Informant:”Honestly I have no idea. It was just one of those things that you know growing up as a baseball player.”
Analysis: Like many other superstitions, this form of Folklore was a superstition that involved an item used within the particular sport. The roots of this lore are unknown but continue to be widely used in all levels of baseball. One can see players with stacks of inside-out caps on their heads during the latter parts of baseball games.
Information of the Informant: The informant is my brother who played baseball up until he was seventeen years old. He is an avid baseball watcher and could essentially state every stat from every player in the MLB.