It seems everything has a name. The little button on the top of a baseball cap is no exception. The button doesn’t serve any purpose other than covering where the six panels of cloth are sewed together, but it does have a unique and strange name. With that being said, the button on the top of a baseball cap is called a “squatchee,” but it’s also known as a “squatcho.”
The origin of the term has been attributed to baseball broadcaster Bob Brenly, but this isn’t the whole story. In an article by Paul Lukas on the website Uni-Watch, which takes a detailed look at athletic uniforms, Bob Brenly was interviewed, and while he said he used the term, he said he wasn’t the one that came up with it.
Brenly used to be a major league catcher and said that he would take off the “squatcho” since catchers weren’t required to wear a helmet under their mask during his playing days. It was a matter of safety since a hit on the “squatcho” was dangerous to the head. Brenly stated that he heard that the button was called a “squatcho” from a teammate of his from the San Francisco Giants in the 1980s named Mike Krukow.
When Lukas then interviewed Krukow about the word, he said that he saw the term while in a Pittsburgh bookstore in 1984 and that it came from a book called Sniglets. Sniglets was a book by Rich Hall which had words that should be in the dictionary but aren’t. In the book, a “squatcho” was the term used for the button on the top of a baseball cap.
Brenly and Krukow, who both continued to be baseball commentators, used the term “squatcho” or “squatchee” in their broadcasts to refer to the button on the top of a baseball cap. The words caught on, and that little button has been known as a “squatcho” or “squatchee” ever since.