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July 9, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Billycocks and Derbies

by Jason Wojciechowski

I've been tweeting about it literally all night, but I realized that I wanted to share this with a larger group and in a more permanent location, so:

On Wikipedia, you can find an article about the hat that most call the "bowler" but that some call the "derby." Los Angeles was home to a chain of bars called The Brown Derby, which you might know if you've seen Swingers, though the last of these was shuttered in 2009, much to the chagrin of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy fans. Anyway, besides "derby," other names for the hat, if Wikipedia is to be believed (and who would dare doubt it), are

  • billycock
  • coke hat
  • bombin

The 2012 Home Run Coke Hat is amusing in a 1980s Mets kind of way, but it's not very safe for the kiddos.

"Mom, why do you laugh every time they call it the 'Coke Hat'?"
"Hush."

So that's out. And the 2012 Home Run Bombin is … well, it's a bit on the nose, isn't it? I mean, I'm sure it's pronounced "bom-bin" or something, not with a silent "b," but how long would it take the TV commentators to run straight to the obvious jokes?

No, "billycock" it must be. Sure, it actually has exactly the same problem as "Coke Hat," but I'd rather explain anatomy to my four-year-old than drugs. (I don't have a four-year-old. Those with kids: feel free to shake your heads ruefully at my innocence and also woeful inadequacy as a hypothetical parent.)

So congratulations, Prince Fielder, on your 2012 Home Run Billycock victory.

Jason Wojciechowski is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

Related Content:  Derby,  Billycock

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