Outstanding in the Field

By Andrew Matson February 14, 2011 Published in the March 2011 issue of Seattle Met


STROLL SODO as baseball fever builds and you’ll see hawkers unloading pink Mariners visors. Ebbets Field Flannels (408 Occidental Ave S, SoDo, 206-382-7249;, just a half a block north of Qwest Field, sells no such tchotchke.

Inside the small storefront are examples of the made-to-order, hand-cut, and hand-sewn baseball shirts, jackets, and hats that accurately depict historical leagues most of us don’t remember—Federal, Negro, Latin—and teams we’ve never heard of: the Brooklyn Eagles, the San Juan Senadores, the Seattle Purple Sox—a Pacific Coast League team that was around for a single year, 1919. Pre-Mariners teams are popular; authentic reproduction Rainiers caps (scarlet wool broadcloth, goat-hair buckram crown) mean you can sport our town’s iconic R without working promotional beer clothes into your wardrobe. But owners Jerry Cohen and Lisa Cooper and their small staff also hear from sports fans all over the planet. The 23-year-old business is booming online with hip-hop heads and history buffs who assume the Pioneer Square fixture is located in Brooklyn, like the namesake ballpark.

Occasionally, Ebbets fields requests for teams that don’t exist. The national pastime may or may not be what it once was; the world it’s played in most definitely isn’t. On a recent afternoon, the twentysomething manning the phone and cash register cupped the receiver and relayed one to his coworkers. “This guy wants us to make him a jersey. Says he’s got a blog: Boston Red Sux.”

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