“Sun hats, tool.”

Major League Baseball has been playing up Mother’s Day for a while, but in the past few years they’ve tied it in with breast cancer awareness. The majority of teams have some sort of event or giveaway that day, survivors are honored, players use pink bats and wear pink sweatbands-the more adventurous have been known to dye their facial hair pink for the day. Good times and awareness of a good cause, if a little pink-saturated.

In 2004 the Oakland Athletics had a nice little giveaway in which the first 7500 women through the gates would get a floppy sun hat courtesy of the A’s and Macy’s department store. All well and good and typical.

But Alfred Rava, a San Diego-based lawyer, didn’t like it. Not one bit. So he did what any good lawyer would do-sued the A’s for sex discrimination because men couldn’t get a hat.

Are you ready for the WTF? There was actually a settlement in the case, in the area of $510,000. Half will pay for lawyers (natch). The other half will be distributed to men who can prove they were among the first 7500 that showed up at McAfee Coliseum on Mother’s Day 2004. They’ll get fifty bucks cash, a $25 Macy’s coupon and two-for-one tickets to an A’s game.

Lest you lose all hope for humanity, A’s fans are shunning this big time. The operator assigned to take calls from “victims” says the phone hasn’t rung once.

Rava likes to sue for stuff like this. In 2005 the California Angels-oh, ‘scuse me, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-had a similar giveaway with a tote bag. Rava sued the Angels. He’s been involved in over forty lawsuits like this, as either the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s lawyer. With the A’s and the hats, he’s also claiming age discrimination since girls under eighteen couldn’t get one.

As ESPN’s Rick Reilly says, “(Rava)’s a greasy manipulator who has found a small leak in American law and stuck an open wallet under it. When they wrote California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act in 1959 — the act Rava cites in his suits — they never thought soulless creatures like him would someday slink about the earth.”

When Reilly spoke to Rava, Rava compared the hat giveaway to a team giving away Nolan Ryan-autographed baseballs to the first 7500 men at a Father’s Day game. Wait, what? Did he just actually compare a hat that probably cost about seventy-five cents to make (giveaways like hats and t-shirts are notoriously cheap and flimsy) to a baseball autographed by one of the greatest pitchers of the modern era and deem them of equal value? As Reilly says, “Dude!” The funniest part is when Rava insists on calling the hats “fishing hats.”

Back in the day, probably early nineties, I distinctly remember the New York Yankees having a giveaway on Father’s Day where the first ten or fifteen thousand men got a Yankee logo-embossed shaving kit. Women didn’t get one.