I’ve never tried to be a collector, but sometimes you collect things by accident.

In my case, it’s hats.

I had to get rid of several hats recently, but I still have sixteen of them, with various stories about how I got them.

Here’s some of the most interesting hats and their stories:

Roma and Italia

My family lived in Europe for many years and frequently traveled to other countries.

We visited Italy in 2004, and I brought these hats back as souvenirs.

Italy continues to be one of my favorite locations in Europe, with its unusual architecture and food.

Washington Nationals

My dad bought this for me at a Washington Nationals game we attended in Washington, D.C.

Looking back, I have to admit I don’t remember what actually happened during the game, but you’ve got to have some memento of your first baseball game.

Latourell’s Moose Lake Outfitters

In 2014, I went with my father and some of his friends on a fishing trip to Minnesota.

During that trip, I learned 3 things:

1) Minnesotans really do have interesting accents.

2) You can catch and cook crawfish very easily.

3) You can have an enormous amount of fun with a group of good friends and some canoes.

Davey Tree


I acquired not one, not two, but three ball caps when I worked for a landscaping company.

This is partly because a manager gave everyone a new hat on his first day.

I’m pretty sure I still have some fluorescent shirts from working at that company too.

Walmart

Strangely enough, I worked for Walmart for a while but didn’t get this hat until much later.

One of my siblings dressed as Sam Walton for a school event and didn’t want the hat when they were finished with it.

One of these days I should drop back into the store wearing this hat and see if anyone remembers me.

Asian hat

It’s amazing what you can get at White Elephant gift exchanges.

About five years ago I attended one such party and got two presents.

The first was a coffee pot lit (not the pot, just the lid), the second was a book titled “12 Hours to a Great Marriage.”

I ditched the coffee pot lid, kept the book for another gift exchange, and managed to get this from another attendee who didn’t want it.

The Hat Rack

By the time I had twenty baseball hats, it became clear I couldn’t keep them all in a box.

So my dad suggested I build my own hat rack.

To do so, I took two pieces of wood, drilled holes about six inches apart and then covered the pieces with wood stain.

Then, I dropped by the nearest Hobby Lobby and looked for the most interesting hooks and doorknobs I could find.

The biggest cross-shaped piece hangs lower than the others because the top rack is actually hanging upside down.

Some time I really should look into getting that fixed.


Note: all images used in this article were taken by me. I hereby release all the pictures of individual baseball hats into the public domain, since they show logos that I do not own. Please contact me before using the other photos.