Rally cap

Last updated
A rally cap Rallycap.jpg
A rally cap

A rally cap is a baseball cap worn inside-out and backwards or in some other unconventional manner by players and/or fans to will a team to a come-from-behind victory late in a game. The rally cap is primarily a baseball superstition but has been adopted in various forms in other sports such as hockey.



Toronto Blue Jays player Carlos Villanueva wearing a rally cap during a 2012 Major League Baseball game. Villanueva puts on his rally cap.jpg
Toronto Blue Jays player Carlos Villanueva wearing a rally cap during a 2012 Major League Baseball game.

The original appearance of the rally cap is a subject of some debate. Detroit Tigers fans of the 1940s recall certain players wearing their caps inside-out or in other fanciful ways, but it was not particularly linked to its current usage as a way to urge their teammates to come from behind. The rally cap as a good luck talisman is said to have made its first appearance in the Major Leagues during the 1977 and 1978 Texas Rangers seasons when the team finished second in their division with the rally cap being employed in several of their come-from-behind victories.

However, many fans and baseball writers trace their first awareness of the rally cap to the 1985 Major League Baseball season when fans of the New York Mets, while in attendance at Shea 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. [1] The superstition spread from the fans to the Mets players themselves and subsequently to fans and players of the opposing teams when the Mets played on the road. [1]

The use of the rally cap rose to national awareness during the 1986 World Series when the New York Mets were playing the Boston Red Sox. The Mets were trailing in Game 6 with the Red Sox leading series three games to two. In the sixth inning of that game, the television cameras showed certain Mets players in the dugout wearing their caps inside-out. In the 10th inning, the Mets were trailing 5-3. The first two batters of the inning were put out on fly outs, putting the Red Sox one out from the title. But the Mets went on to score 3 runs en route to forcing a Game 7, which they won, again on a late comeback.

Origins of belief

Generally speaking, the belief behind the rally cap is to sacrifice a small amount of one's dignity in exchange for a little luck for one's team. It is widely understood that the baseball cap must be one depicting the logo of the team in order to be used as a rally cap.

Other uses of "rally" items

The use of chewing tobacco as a good luck talisman by Major League Baseball players and managers has come be referred to by some fans as the "rally chew". When the Boston Red Sox came up short against the Tampa Bay Rays in their division in 2008, some blamed Boston Red Sox manager, Terry Francona, and his switch from chewing tobacco to bubble gum.[ citation needed ]

The Detroit Tigers are said to have resorted to "rally gum" during their 2006 run to the World Series. In Detroit, the superstition began with Nate Robertson chewing massive amounts of bubble gum, sometimes so large that they barely were able to stay in his mouth. It appeared that the more gum he chewed, the better the Tiger's chances for a comeback. It eventually was picked up by the rest of the pitching staff. Robertson brought it back briefly in 2007 to less effect.

Use in the NHL

The rally cap has also been used recently in the National Hockey League in shootout situations. Instead of a traditional cap, however, hockey players will place their helmets on their heads backwards. Marc Savard, during his stay with the Atlanta Thrashers, was the originator of this tradition. [2]

Use in the media

In 2009, General Motors began using the rally cap in their advertising campaigns because they were in serious financial trouble. [3]

Related Research Articles

In baseball in the United States and Canada, the seventh-inning stretch is a tradition that takes place between the halves of the seventh inning of a game. Fans generally stand up and stretch out their arms and legs and sometimes walk around. It is a popular time to get a late-game snack or an alcoholic beverage, as alcohol sales often cease after the last out of the seventh inning. The stretch also serves as a short break for the players. Most ballparks in professional baseball mark this point of the game by playing the crowd sing-along song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Since the September 11 attacks, many American ballparks complement or replace the song with the playing of "God Bless America". If a game goes into a fifth extra inning, a similar "fourteenth-inning stretch" is celebrated. In softball games, amateur games scheduled for only seven innings, or in minor-league doubleheaders, a "fifth-inning stretch" may be substituted.

Steven Thomas Avery is an American former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers in his career.

The 2007 Major League Baseball season began on April 1 with a rematch of the 2006 National League Championship Series; the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets played the first game of the season at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, which was won by the Mets, 6–1. The regular season concluded with seven teams entering the postseason who had failed to reach the 2006 playoffs including all National League teams, with only the New York Yankees returning; a dramatic one-game playoff between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres; and the largest September collapse for a leading team in baseball history, with the Mets squandering a 7-game lead with 17 to play, losing on the final day of the regular season, and the Philadelphia Phillies capturing the National League East for the first time since 1993. The season ended on October 28, with the Boston Red Sox sweeping the World Series over the Rockies, four games to none.

The 2006 Detroit Tigers won the American League Pennant. They represented the AL in the World Series before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 1. The season was their 106th since they entered the AL in 1901. It was their 7th season since opening Comerica Park in 2000.

2004 Boston Red Sox season Major League Baseball season

The 2004 Boston Red Sox season was the 104th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. Managed by Terry Francona, the Red Sox finished with a 98–64 record, three games behind the New York Yankees in the American League East. The Red Sox qualified for the postseason as the AL wild card, swept the Anaheim Angels in the ALDS, and faced the Yankees in the ALCS for the second straight year. After losing the first three games to the Yankees and trailing in the ninth inning of the fourth game, the Red Sox became the first team in major league history to come back from a three-game postseason deficit, defeating the Yankees in seven games. The Red Sox then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, capturing their first championship since 1918.

The 1958 Major League Baseball season was played from April 14 to October 15. It was the first season of play in California for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. Three teams had relocated earlier in the decade:. New York went without a National League team for four seasons, until the expansion Mets began play in 1962.

The 2009 Major League Baseball season began on April 5, 2009, the regular season was extended two days for a one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins to decide the American League Central Division champion. The postseason began the next day with the Division Series. The World Series began on October 28, and ended on November 4, with the New York Yankees defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. This was the second time the season was completed in November. The only other occasion was the 2001 World Series, because of the delaying of the end of that season due to the September 11 attacks as November baseball would be guaranteed when Game 4 was played on Sunday, November 1. Had the 2009 World Series gone the full seven games, Game 7 would've been played on November 5, the latest date ever scheduled for a World Series game. American League champion had home field advantage for the World Series by virtue of winning the All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, 4–3. In addition, the annual Civil Rights Game became a regular season game, and was played June 20 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, when the host Cincinnati Reds lost to the Chicago White Sox in an interleague game, 10–8. Both teams wore replicas of their 1965 uniforms in the contest.

The 2010 Major League Baseball season began April 4, with the regular season ending on October 3. The 2010 All-Star Game was played on July 13 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. The National League ended a 13-game winless streak with a 3–1 victory. Due to this result, the World Series began October 27 in the city of the National League Champion, the San Francisco Giants, and ended November 1 when the Giants defeated the American League Champion Texas Rangers, four games to one.

The 2011 Major League Baseball season began on Thursday, March 31, and ended on Wednesday, September 28. This marked the first time a season began on a Thursday since 1976, and the first time a regular season ended on a Wednesday since 1990. The 82nd edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 12 with the National League defeating the American League for the second straight year, by a score of 5–1. As has been the case since 2003, the league winning that game has home field advantage in the World Series. Accordingly, the World Series began on October 19, and ended on October 28, with the St. Louis Cardinals winning in seven games over the Texas Rangers.


  1. 1 2 New York Daily News photo of Steve Bedrosian of the Atlanta Braves wearing a rally cap during the marathon game against the New York Mets in Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, July 4–5, 1985
  2. Duffy, Bob (17 November 2006). "Rally helmets". The Boston Globe.
  3. http://jalopnik.com/5196791/gm-total-confidence-its-time-to-put-your-rally-caps-on