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Flat Bill vs Curved Bill


The hot fashion style of today’s ball players involves a part of the uniform that is designed with a functional purpose.  Players have taken that purpose and used it to instill a fashion statement alongside the functionality.  I am referring to the brim of hats, or ball caps.

The reason players even wear ball caps is to be able to block out the sun and sometimes the lights at night.  That is the functional purpose of the hat.  In previous generations, players would bend the brim, or the bill, of the cap to get more coverage over the corners of their eyes.  This style of bending the brim is how most hats are made and designed to be worn, as they provide more shade over the eyes that way.

Flat bill hatOne of the more prevalent and extreme examples of players bending the bill of their hats is seen by Little League teams from Japan in the LLWS each year.  They tend to over bend their bills but do so nonetheless.  The exact opposite is seen by almost every other Little League player today as well as many big league players.

Some Major Leaguers now have adopted the flat bill style even going so far as to bend it slightly upward.  This isn’t a popular look among many of the older fans and viewers of baseball; it’s different and just doesn’t look right when it is taken to an extreme.  Fernando Rodney is the biggest culprit out there as he turns his hat to an almost 45 degree angle while keeping it stiff as a board.  His worst look was in the most recent World Baseball Classic pitching for the Dominican Republic.

There is a difference between a curved bill, a flat bill, and a slightly curved bill.  The slightly curved bill is by far what I believe should be the most common and most used.  Unless you are wearing sunglasses on the top of your hat that you want to have a completely smooth and flat surface to lay on, then there needs to be a bend in the hat.  Maybe not to the extent of how fashion trucker hats can look, but at least so that water would run off the sides and not make a puddle right over your head.

C.C. Sabathia

C.C. Sabathia

Hats typically come with a flat bill in the store, but this is more so for stocking purposes.  If you go and buy an official MLB hat of your own, be sure to do us all a favor and remove the sticker on top as well.  There is nothing that looks more stupid than someone that has the size of their head, or two sizes bigger, labeled on their hat for everyone to see.  They might as well leave the waist size sticker on their jeans as well.  That’s a separate rant for another day though.

Each player wears his hat a different way, but there is definitely a right and wrong way depending on who you ask.  Old timers will tell you to bend it, younger players today will want to keep it flat.  It all comes down to comfort  and what you think looks best and fits well.


  1. Levi smith says:

    I still believe in the curved bill myself, even while wearing a flat bill style hat. I think it’s the only way people should wear ball caps too. My good friend wears a backwards 45 degree flat bill hat and sometimes it makes me want to slap him.

  2. I believe in curved bills I mean what’s the point of warring a hat if it doesn’t block the sun.I went on a field trip to Washington, D.C. And all of my friends were warring flat bills my friends dad’s phone went off as a duck noise and my dad said “it’s all them flat bills going off” he is 38 and I trust him.

    • THANK YOU! When I was growing up, my brother played baseball. When he got a new glove, he put a baseball in it, and put it under his mattress… When he got a new hat, he curved it around the fat end of the bat, and it went under his mattress as well. Adjust as needed. I have been wearing ball caps all my life. I ALWAYS curl the bill.. because I think it looks much better, plus, even wearing sunglasses, I like the extra shade over my eyes. Cant roll it too much or the sunglasses dont fit, LOL.

  3. Flat if you got swag but no sticker because it gets worn out

  4. The flatt bill looks stupid. I don’t just mean that the look is not right. It actually lowers the apparent IQ of the wearer. They look like they are, in fact, stupid, especially when wearing those flat-billed hats that are especially made to be flat-billed with the extra-wide, extra round bill, the particularly bulbous top, and the sticker left on the center of the bill’s top. It looks like a three-year-old who dressed himself with a piece of apparel he designed with a crayon. It robs the wearer of any remaining dignity. I don’t get how someone could wear a cap like that and yet refuse to run around in a tutu or a Donald Duck swim ring.

    This isn’t a race thing. Black people and white people look equally stupid with the flat-billed cap. If this flat-billed thing came out of black culture – well that’s too bad. Blacks gave the world jazz, soul and much else that was good. I do not mean to denegrate the overall contribution of African Americans or Africa. But if the flat bill was African – this was a mistake. If it wasn’t, so much the better. Someone else’s mistake. Hopefully, nobody will have to claim credit for this lapse of judgement.

    FWIW, an over-bent cap – where the bill is almost like a tube – looks stupid too.

    I realize this is an aesthetic judgement and opinions will differ. Just giving mine.

    • I could not agree more. These flat bill hats look stupid. And I will bet my salary that the only reason 90% of the people who do it, do it, is because they saw others do it. Anyone who actually thinks this looks good should not be allowed to make any decisions on their own because they clearly cannot be trusted to think for themselves!!

  5. I never had a problem with players and how their bills are, even if the hat is slightly tilted to the side (except Fernando Rodney, that’s a bit over the top). I personally like to wear flat-billed hats, and when I played baseball, I’d use sunglasses or eyeblack to reduce sun glare. I’m not a fan of the sideways hat either, that looks pretty dumb. But I hate when people are out in public with flat-billed hats that still have the sticker on it, like do they plan to return the damn hat to the store!?

  6. Check it. I’ve played ball since I was 4 in 1993.we had extreme curves like the aforementioned Japanese kids. Since growing up, I’ve seen this new flat bill style and it serves no purpose. As a pitcher, a slight curve to the bill helps block out extra external annoyances,and creates almost a tunnel vision affect where I see only the catcher, hitter, and umpire. Maybe being a pitcher has something to do with my bias, however this needs to be said.

  7. Del Poppe jr says:

    Really we’re talking about a flat bill and not about pants hanging off the back of people’s asses?

    • Travis Coverston says:

      What Major Leaguer doesn’t have their pants around their waist?

    • Thats a whole other rant, and I dont know any baseball player that wears their uniform pants low. I have in fact seen coaches chastise players for wearing their street pants too low as well.

  8. Shit am I the only one who likes swaggy flat brims? Not saying I curve it up or leave on the tag though that’s retarded

  9. I personally thing the “leaving stickers” on hats was a class thing to start out with. Poor (minority) kids wanted their peers to know that their hat was “new” and not a hand-me-down. Same with shoes. I knew kids who spent hours washing their white shoes with toothbrushes and bkeach to kepp the appearence of “new” shoes. Kids whos parents have money always had new clothes. They didnt care about proving their clothes were new, they always were.

  10. I originally wore my hat flat, we are talking little league back in 1981 age 6. when it turned into us curving the bill circa 1990 I played along. now 42 I wear it flat again
    go figure.

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