Major League Baseball's All-Star game is called the Mid-Summer Classic because it's exactly that: a July tradition that brings together the league's best players for one unforgettable night.
This year, the players will sport a classic look: stripes. The special edition New Era cap
sitting atop each All-Star's head will feature two distinct stripes running behind their team logo. The crisp new look pays homage to the vintage caps once sported on the diamond by the Cincinnati Reds.
Beneath the visors of the caps, you'll see the faces of some fresh young players. There's rookie phenom Joc Pederson prowling centerfield for the National League. On the other side of the field, Yankees fireballer Dellin Betances is ready to show the world that a new pitcher is putting lights out in the Bronx.
Alongside these young guns will be stalwarts like Buster Posey, who seems to take the field in every All-Star game, because he shows up big whenever the Giants need a play.
Here's how those three stars punched their tickets to Cincinnati, so when you see them take center stage at the Great American Ball Park on July 14, you'll know the stories behind their sharp striped look.
Many people probably didn't think a kid stepping into his first full year in the big leagues would make it so far so fast. But those people didn't know about Joc Pederson. Heading in to the break, Pederson already has 20 home runs, and he is in a race with Chicago Cubs phenom Kris Bryant to earn Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Defensively, Pederson's a spectacular thief, making long runs and incredible grabs all over centerfield and consistently adding to his highlight reel. The 2015 All-Star game is Pederson's first, but it definitely won't be his last.
For much of the first half of the 2015 season, New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances posted a goose egg in the ERA column, blanking opponents with stunning consistency. And although perfection can't last forever (his ERA is up to 1.65), Betances has firmly established himself as one of the best relievers in the game. He's struck out 71 batters in 43 innings, while allowing only 18 walks. When Betances comes jogging out to the mound on Tuesday night, it's a safe bet viewers will be watching a short inning.
His baby face makes it hard to believe, but San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey is appearing in his fourth All-Star game in seven years. During that time he's won three World Series rings and an MVP award, so this season—in which he's hitting .300 with 14 home runs at the All-Star break—seems almost ho-hum. News flash: it isn't. Posey is the backbone of the Giants' recent success, and his place behind the plate in the Mid-Summer Classic appears safe for years to come.
You can purchase your favorite team's All-Star cap over at neweracap.com.