The Legend of Stormy Kromer
George "Stormy" Kromer was a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer. He wasn't really the type to start a clothing company, but nonetheless became famous for a long-wearing cap that stayed put, even in the fiercest winds.
Born in Wisconsin in 1876 and nicknamed "Stormy" for his temper, he played on nearly 30 semi-pro baseball teams throughout the Midwest – and might have continued to play, if not for Ida. Her father wasn't about to let some travelin' ballplayer have his daughter's hand, so Stormy had to find a steady job.
He started making long, cold trips across the plains for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. As an engineer, he had to stick his head out the window into the wind, which took his cap more than once.
In 1903, he asked Ida to modify his old baseball cap so it would stay on in windy weather. Her all-cloth cap with a soft, canvas visor was untraditional, but its six-panel fit stayed put.
Soon Stormy's co-workers wanted caps for themselves, and when Ida could no longer keep up with demand, the business was born.
According to Stormy Kromer Mercantile, "a lot of things have changed since those first few caps – new colors, new fabrics, new styles – but we haven't changed the way we make 'em. They're hand-stitched right here in the good old U-S-of-A, and they're still made to fit better than anything you've had next to your noggin. Stormy Kromer caps are true to the original, and that means you get all the comfort and function that made them famous."