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.


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


Looks like maybe a little sun damage, as well.


The headband is filthy.


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!


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.


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


Moment of truth, in it goes!


Bird bath!


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!


I let the cap soak for several hours.


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


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


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


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


Here’s the bottom view.


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

View of the top.


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

We’ll let it sit to dry overnight.


24 hours later:


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:


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!


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.






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