Orioles AJD Cap Restoration

Certain collectors may not agree with this decision, but I’ve decided to clean up my mid ’70’s game-used AJD cap.  It will ruin the game-used aspect of the cap, but I don’t care.  What’s most important to me is the cap itself, and I want mine in the newest, cleanest condition possible.

IMG_1102

As you can see, this cap has had some heavy use.

IMG_1103

Looks like maybe a little sun damage, as well.

IMG_1104

The headband is filthy.

IMG_1111

There’s that number 16 again.  In my previous article, I narrowed it down to belonging to either Tony Muser or Scott McGregor.  I happened upon a later Scott McGregor game-used cap online and the size was 7 1/2, way bigger than this cap, which is probably a 7 1/8.  So unless Scotty’s adult head grew around 3 hat sizes in just a few years, this has to be Muser’s cap.

Thanks Tony, fantastic hat.  It really sets off your ’70’s style mustache and sideburns combo!

1975-1976-sspc-390-tony-muser-nm-ce4ad65b3f0557558fc1e6f51d795ffc

I would never attempt this with a wool cap, but AJD made these caps with 100% double-knit Nylon, which will not shrink, so I’m going to go ahead and soak it in cold water mixed with Oxi Clean.

IMG_1114

Just a scoop full of Oxi Clean mixed in a sink full of cold water.

IMG_1115

Moment of truth, in it goes!

IMG_1116

Bird bath!

IMG_1118

Just look at that dingy water!  A mixture of Tony Muser’s dried sweat as well as dirt from the AL ballparks of the ’70’s.  Memorial Stadium, Comiskey Park, Tiger Stadium, just to name a few… Long since gone, but never forgotten.  Just think, all that baseball history in my bathroom sink!

IMG_1120

I let the cap soak for several hours.

IMG_1788

Then a quick wash with a little laundry detergent and a clean water rinse.

IMG_1121

It’s looking pretty good so far.  To get its original shape back, I’ll let it dry on a Nu-Cap cap shaper.

IMG_1790

Nu-Cap is basically a heavy-duty hat-shaped balloon that you pump up to restore the shape of an old cap.

IMG_1791

It should also help with the light wrinkles in the front panels.

IMG_1792

Here’s the bottom view.

IMG_1794

Looks like Tony Muser’s number 16 has faded significantly.

View of the top.

IMG_1799

I just noticed there are no vent holes in the black panels.

We’ll let it sit to dry overnight.

IMG_1798

24 hours later:

IMG_1136

Not bad!  I was hoping the front panels would come out a nice bright, gleaming white.  But due to irreversible sun damage, it’s more of an off-white cream color.  Definitely looks better than it did though.  Check out the before/after:

ajd compare front

All that dirt and sweat washed away.

AJD Side compare

The black panels came out perfect.  This is probably how they looked the day this cap shipped from the AJD factory down in Richmond, Virginia:

ajd back compare

The inside of the cap and headband turned out great.  Not too happy with how the under-brim came out though:

ajd inside compare

Looks like maybe the water-soaked rubberized cardboard inside of the visor fused with the fabric as the cap set out to dry, causing the discoloration.

All the dirt stains are gone, but you can see a similar discoloration on the top of the visor:

IMG_1129

The visor  looks like it’s still wet, but it’s actually completely dry.  Still has good flex though.

Behind the front panels is a major improvement:

ajd inside panel compare

Tags are brightened up:

ajd tag comparison

Finally a close-up of the logo:

ajd logo comparison

Besides the visor issue, I’m really happy with how this restoration turned out.  Not bad at all for a 40 year old cap!

IMG_1170

Here’s the AJD cap along side a couple of its on-field, white panel younger brothers.  The mid-80’s New Era and the current 2012-present New Era.

IMG_1162

completefamily

 

 

Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s