First, the West Coast Portland stole our name, now they’re apparently stealing our baseball caps.

On TV anyway.

The new Fox show “Backstrom” premiered Thursday night and is about an oddball police detective in Portland, Oregon. The pilot episode featured the main character, played by Rainn Wilson, sporting a Portland Sea Dogs cap.

That’s the baseball team in Portland, Maine, Fox folks.

A case of Portland confusion? More like a case of Portland cap envy.

The producers of “Backstrom” contacted the Portland Sea Dogs about getting some caps for the show in early 2013, said Chris Cameron, the team’s assistant general manager. About a dozen caps were sent out, and the Sea Dogs heard nothing else until the promotional pictures came out this week, including one of Wilson smirking beneath the brim.

“We believe they know it’s the wrong hat, but they really like it and wanted to use it,” Cameron said of the cap with the Slugger the Sea Dog logo created by cartoonist Guy Gilchrist. “And who can blame them? It’s a great-looking hat.”

Sea Dogs gear is routinely among the best-selling merchandise in Minor League Baseball, according to

The producers do like the hat, but not because it represents a Portland. They like it because it has a Sea Dog on it.

In an email forwarded by Fox publicists, executive producer Hart Hanson wrote: “Believe it or not it had nothing to do with the Portland – it was the Sea Dog part that we wanted. Backstrom’s family owns a fishing boat and we didn’t have time to design our own hat for the pilot so we cheated, and got caught. In the ensuing episodes you will see the actual hat emblazoned (with the words) ‘the Sea Dog’ and an illustration of the family boat.”

“Backstrom” stars Wilson as Detective Lt. Everett Backstrom, described in Fox publicity as “a man with no filter.” His offensive behavior landed him a five-year stint in the traffic division, but now he’s back as head of a special crimes unit. And he’s brilliant at solving crimes. The show is based on a series of novels about the Backstrom character by Swedish criminologist Leif G.W. Persson.

Wilson, 49, is best known for playing another obnoxious character, egomaniac and paper salesman Dwight Schrute, on the former NBC sitcom “The Office.” One of Wilson’s co-stars on “Backstrom” is Dennis Haysbert, best known for playing the president in the Fox show “24” and for being the booming voice of Allstate insurance in TV ads.

Cameron said that he and Sea Dogs staffers have seen some previews of the show where Wilson wears the made-up Sea Dog hat.

That’s fine, Cameron said, it still gets the team’s name out there.

The show airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on Fox.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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Twitter: RayRouthier

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