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A Nats hat in The Karate Kid

New to me: this scene from The Karate Kid (non-remake version) featuring some drunk guy at the beach wearing what looks for all the world like a Nats hat. The Karate Kid (non-remake version) came out in 1984. That's before the Nats came out.

I should have known this, but one version of the Senators featured hats that looked nearly identical to the current models. Though that team had been bellly-up for more than a decade by the time The Karate Kid -- which was set in California -- was released. So I guess I'm still wondering why a D.C. baseball hat was chosen for this all-important role. Theories welcomed.

And thanks to Reader Todd for the heads-up.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 11, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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He's like an incidental celluloid John the Baptist; preparing the world for the coming of Baseball Jeezus.

Posted by: fourteenth_and_otis | August 11, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It's a Senators hat. My friend and I used to laugh about that when we were younger. The late 60s Senators hats are equivalent to the current red Nationals hats. I bought a Cooperstown Collection Senators hat in 1995 and the logo is identical to the current team.

Posted by: Bauschz | August 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Larry Drake (wearing the hat) shares the same name as a Larry Drake who played seven games for the 1948 Senators.

And my boss says I have no motivation...

Posted by: Section117 | August 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Old news

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | August 11, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

My guess is the wardrobe supervisor for the film chose it simply because it's kind of "random," something someone would have picked up for 25 cents at a Goodwill

Posted by: noahjacobs | August 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's not a Senators hat - perhaps the guy works at Walgreen's.

Posted by: frenchyb | August 11, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

You seriously didn't know that was a Senators hat? Dude. Do you get paid?

Posted by: RIP-21 | August 11, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I emailed Gene Weingarten yesterday at 2:39pm to ask him to look into this. Either he did, or this is an very bizarre coincidence. Glad to know the answer, though!

Posted by: whatrocks9 | August 11, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Turns out this is indeed old news. My bad. New to me.

And @RIP-21, in 1971, I wasn't born. In 1984, when The Karate Kid came out, I was 8 years old and living in Western New York. I actually have tried to s learn about D.C. sports history, but I'll never know as much about D.C. sports in the late '60s as anyone who lived through it, or who grew up here. Maybe I should have known what hats Washington baseball teams have used, but I didn't.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | August 11, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

That's good costuming. The director needed a reason for a stranger to be a fall down, angry, violent drunk. He found his answer by simply making him a Washington sports fan. Brilliant.

Posted by: steneho | August 12, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

That's Larry Drake, who went on to play Benny Stulwicz, the mentally challenged mail room employee, on "L.A. Law" for years. My guess: Drake, a noted Method actor, created an elaborate back story for the important role of "Yahoo #1 at Beach." (There are no small parts, only small actors). Drake envisioned Yahoo #1 as a deranged Senators fan, unhinged by the team's flight to Texas in 1971. He wanders the country for 13 years, arriving on a Malibu beach where he encounters Miagi and Daniel-san. In a drunken stupor, mistakes them for Bob Short and his son and attacks.

Posted by: McMaynerberry | August 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

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