The science of the rally cap

It’s midnight and the Tigers and Indians are still playing baseball. The game has been tied for some time now and both teams look solid. Entering the top of the ninth, the Tigers were down 10-11. Two Tiger pitchers busted out the good ol’ rally caps, which lead to us tying the game at 11!

We don’t know how or why it works, but it does. And since there are no rules or guidelines as to when it’s appropriate don the rally cap… I decided to make a few.

  1. You may not wear a rally cap until the 8th inning. – If you are trailing in the second inning, you best not show your rally cap. All you’ll do is jinx your team. The game just started you putz, fix your hat.
  2. Runs – The rally cap only really works when you are down by a couple runs. If you are down by ten, entering the 9th inning, you can but your rally cap on, but good luck – you may need more power then the rally cap can offer.
  3. How to wear your rally cap? – The preferred method is simply turning your hat inside out (picture on the right). But many major leagues use push the hat in and wearing it on half your head (like the boys are on top).

History of the rally cap from Wikipedia

The first appearance of the Rally Cap was during the 1942 baseball season, when fans of the Detroit Tigers, while in attendance at Tiger Stadium, occasionally would wear their baseball caps inside-out as a makeshift talisman to generate a come-from-behind victory in the late innings of a baseball game.

The superstition spread from the fans to the Tigers players themselves and rose to national awareness during the 1945 World Series when the Detroit Tigers were playing the Chicago Cubs. The Tigers were tied in Game 5 with the series tied at 2-2. In the 6th inning of that game, the radio announcer mentioned certain members of the Tigers in the dugout wearing their caps inside out. Subsequently, in that inning of that game, the Tigers scored 4 runs after a ball rolled between the legs of Chicago first baseman Phil Cavarretta.

The Tigers then went on to win the game 8-4. The historic rally led to a Game 7 win, allegedly with the prominent assistance of their “Rally Caps” allowing them to become the 1945 World Series Champions.  The Rally Cap subsequently was adopted by baseball fans internationally, being used to give their team a little extra mojo and come from behind.

The Rally Cap was later seen and made popular to this day in 1986 when the New York Mets wore them in their come from behind World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox.

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