With the MLB Whatly hats ’47 and KICKZ present an exclusive collection of classic baseball caps. In contrast to the majority of modern snapback caps these hats don’t come with a padded or reinforced crown. Therefore the crown crinkles slightly, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. The team logos of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are embroidered at the front. You also find the 47 logo embroidered on the side of this fine piece of craftsmanship.
47 Brand history
Though still fairly unknown across Germany and Europe, ’47 looks back on a long and successful history in sports merchandise. With the emphasis on quality and style the family business’ headwear and apparel is unmatched. Recently, ’47 caused a lot of noise due to some very interesting collaborations with the likes of Boston’s Gourmet and the Black Fives Foundation. The latter one involved not only collaborating with the foundation itself but also with 7 of the hottest boutiques across the United States: Hall of Fame/Los Angeles, Major/Washington, D.C., Villa/Philadelphia, Leaders 1354/Chicago, Packer/New Jersey, Reed Space/NYC and Shop412/Pittsburgh each took on the challenge to interpret a Black Fives era team from their respective hometown. The full story of this collaboration is covered in a video interview series with the foundation’s founder and executive director Claude Johnson.
The history of ’47 started in 1939 when the twin brothers Arthur and Henry D’Angelo arrived in the United States from Italy. In the land of opportunity they were ready to work hard to make it. They were only 12 years old when shortly after their arrival they started selling newspapers in front of Fenway Park. The story goes that “2 cents” (the price for a newspaper) were the only two English words they knew in the beginning. From newspapers they later branched out to shining shoes and selling flowers and ice cream – all around the iconic baseball stadium in Boston. Eventually, the D’Angelo twins came up with a brilliant idea that would change their legacy. The Boston Red Sox had just won the American League Pennant in ’46 which inspired Arthur and Henry to create Red Sox pennants, believed to be the first ever sold in Major League Baseball. Those pennants sold at a souvenir shop next to Fenway Park were the very early fan gear and as ’47 stays true to its roots they still produce pennants today. So while Twin Enterprises started a bit earlier Arthur and Henry later renamed their sporting goods brand to ’47 to emphasize their long history in sports merchandise.
And it’s true, they’ve been around practically forever. They don’t just cash off sports fandom – they live it. Arthur hasn’t missed a single Red Sox home game in more than half a century. Before every game he sits in front of the souvenir shop proudly wearing his Red Sox championship ring. In 2013 the team and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino honored him by naming a street near Fenway Park “Arthur’s Way” and giving him the opportunity to throw the ceremonial first pitch. And let us tell you: It wasn’t only much better than 50 Cent’s infamous first pitch but also quite impressive for an almost 90 year old man (see the video below for proof).
After pennants the next key product in fan gear became the hat. ’47 Brand’s signature style is the Franchise, a fitted cap with a curved brim. The hats are among the most comfortable and best fitting ones you can find anywhere. The problem was that ’47 didn’t find a T-Shirt to match this quality. So eventually they began creating their own apparel as well. This passion for detail and emphasis on high quality is what makes ’47 special and how they became an integral part of sport history.
Today, ’47 is a proud partner of all major sports leagues in the US (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL) as well as over 900 colleges. The company employs more than 250 people and is run by Arthur’s four sons Bobby, David, Mark and Steven. What is truly remarkable is that ’47 employs a historian whose job title actually is “historian”. Jared Wheeler’s job is to dig through archives and discover interesting teams, logos and classic events in sports history. This allows them to come up with unique collections and styles that clearly separate them from the mass of uninspired headwear. Thus, teaming up with the Black Fives Foundation was the perfect match. Together, they created an incredible collection to bring life to the almost forgotten history of the early African-Amercian basketball teams and athletes in the US (learn more about the Black Fives in another blog post). The love for sport and its history is what drives ’47. But at the end of the day their success comes down to the simplest of recipes: work your butt off.