Those ubiquitous red baseball caps with snippets of the American flag included in each MLB team’s logo (the Canadian flag was in the Toronto Blue Jays’ red caps) weren’t just worn during Monday’s games in honor of Memorial Day or to sell even more merchandise.
The New Era caps are part of a fundraising campaign for Welcome Back Veterans, a program that helps veterans returning from war with employment and mental health issues. The organization, launched last year and funded in a partnership of MLB, MLB Advanced Media (the sport's interactive arm), and the McCormick Foundation, provides grants to organizations that help veterans.
The Stars & Stripes cap program started last year with blue caps players wore on July 4 and Sept. 11. This year, Memorial Day was added and the red caps will also be worn on July 4 and Sept. 11. Major League Baseball is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from its portion of the caps to Welcome Back Veterans. MLB.com is donating $1 from the sale of each cap purchased through mlb.com to the organization. The caps are selling for $36.99 apiece.
Three-quarters of the number of caps sold last year have already been sold this year, an MLB spokesman said. Counting last year's and this year's sales, MLB is on pace to donate $1 million to Welcome Back Veterans.