Will the L.A. Angels have to wear an Anaheim cap on the Fourth of July?
Even during their eight-year run as the Anaheim Angels, the team’s caps did not include any reference to Anaheim. Now, almost two decades into their run as the Los Angeles Angels, Major League Baseball’s cap supplier has slapped “ANA” on the side of one of their hats.
New Era did not confer with the team about the “ANA” cap, Angels President John Carpino said, and the team is considering its options.
On Monday, the league unveiled what it hyped as the “official on-field cap of Independence Day.” Every team will wear a special cap on that day, either red or blue. The San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics, for instance, will wear red caps.
On the side, New Era included a geographic identifier for each team. The Dodgers are “LA.”
The home city is not necessarily the identifier. The Arizona Diamondbacks, based in Phoenix, are “AZ.” The Tampa Bay Rays, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., are “TB.”
In 2005, Angels owner Arte Moreno decided to identify his team with Los Angeles rather than Anaheim. The city of Anaheim sued and lost, and the two sides pretty much have agreed to disagree since then. The team refers to itself as “the Angels” and does not wear “Los Angeles” on its uniforms or caps, aside from throwbacks that reflect the team’s founding in Los Angeles in 1961. The Angels moved to Anaheim in 1966, initially calling themselves the California Angels.
In 2019, when Moreno and his development company agreed to buy the Angel Stadium site and keep the team in Anaheim through at least 2050, the city asked that the team name return to Anaheim. Moreno declined.
The council approved the sale, but the two councilmembers who voted against it cited the Los Angeles name as part of the rationale for their decision.
“If I’m going to have a team here, on our property, with fans that are going to bleed red, then for God’s sake give us Anaheim,” Councilwoman Denise Barnes said then.
Said Councilman Trevor O’Neil, who voted with the majority: “If I owned the team, I would call them the Anaheim Angels. But I don’t own the team.”
New Era did not respond to messages seeking comment.
The Angels led by four after two innings, but then gave up eight straight runs to drop the series finale against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
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