From the Alan O'Connor Collection
Solons '60 Cap Back in
by Alan O'Connor, 1/9/14
Pictured at right is a 1960 Sacramento
Solons “game-used” baseball hat. It just came back to Sacramento after spending 53 years in Salt
Lake City, Utah. The hat’s journey is an interesting story.
On September 8, 1960 the Pacific Coast League (PCL) Solons were playing the final game of a road
series against the Salt Lake City Bees at old Derks Field. Solons’ right fielder Jim Bolger had
just caught a fly ball for the third out of the bottom of the 8th inning and started
running toward the visitor’s dugout on the first base side of the field. A young Bees fan, John
Sillito, leaned over the railing and asked Bolger for the ball. The outfielder declined, but to the
delight of young Sillito, Bolger handed him his baseball cap.
Sillito immediately began wearing his prize. Later that day, he wrote his name in the cap and used
it to play sandlot baseball for a couple of years before relegating it to the back of the
Fast forward to August 2013. The now older Bees fan attended a Pacific Coast League (PCL) player
reunion in San Leandro, California. There he met another
reunion attendee who had been a young Solons fan (myself) back in the 1950s and in 1960. A
discussion ensued and the Solons hat was traded to the Solons fan in exchange for some 1958 Bees
player photos. The Bees photos are back in Salt Lake City and the Solons cap has returned to
The Solons lost to the Bees that day, 5-2, finished sixth in the PCL at 73-81 and became the Hawaii
Islanders in 1961. The Bees finished third at 81-73. Bolger went 0-4 in that game, but finished the
season with a .279 batting average. Bolger had a 13 year professional baseball career including
stints with Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies.