Another new wrinkle in our mission for world domination: forums. We are much stronger as a group than as a solo operation (see the comment section on pretty much any page for all the times I’ve been wrong). Because of this, I added a couple of simple topics, “MLB Gear Spotted” and “What YOU Wear” to a forum board in an effort to give you all a voice (see the top right of this screen for the “WPW Forums” page).
The topics are pretty self-explanatory. If you see a MLB guy wearing something new, fresh, unidentifiable, ugly, or notable for whatever reason, post it in the “MLB Gear Spotted” section for discussion. If you want to show off your own stuff (you all do and I know this), share it in the “What YOU Wear” topic so that we can all check it out. Once the forums take off, we’ll have even more diversity with topics of interest.
Like I said in the About page, my goal is to make this a dynamic community where we can all see the latest and greatest gear out, and with your help these forums will take WPW to the next level.
What will it take to register, five seconds for years of gear euphoria? Don’t be foolish. Click here for the forums.
In celebration of MLB’s number one prospect Jurickson Profar’s 2013 debut, here we highlight the gear of the young middle infielder who is sure to be a WPW favorite.
Profar’s glove is a nice Ranger-inspired Wilson A2K custom with a red web and blue laces. Profar is the first guy we’ve featured that opts for the A2K leather over the A2000 leather. The difference between the two is where the hide is taken from the cow. The A2K leather is taken from the backside, which is thinner and smoother and supposedly easier to break in. The A2000s are taken from the sides and the belly, which result in a thicker, stiffer, and supposedly more durable leather. The reason for the A2K being more expensive is the fact that the backside type of leather is a rarer cut.
There is no A2K option for the Wilson Glove Builder but you can make Profar’s exact glove model with A2000 leather with the specs below:
- Palm – Black
- Web – Red
- Back Fingers – Black
- Thumb Strip – Black
- Wrist – Black
- Super Skin – No
- Lacing – Royal
- Welting – Black
- Binding – Black
- Wilson Back – Black
- Wilson Front – Wilson Yellow
- A2000 – Wilson Yellow
- Web Stitching – Red
- Shell Stitching – Black
Oakley Fast Jacket in Blue/White/Silver
Profar’s sunglasses are the Oakley Fast Jacket that you see above, in a frame color that is not offered on Oakley’s Custom Builder. He has a royal blue frame that you can’t add in the custom builder, with chrome icons and white earsocks. With the custom tool, you can get navy, sky, or light blue (but no royal???) and you cannot change the clip that connects the lense with the frame.
Editor’s Note: I would like to introduce everyone to the newest acquisition to the WPW team, Noah. With constant requests for more catcher’s gear, we had to go out and find an expert. Noah is that man. We grabbed this post from Noah’s blog, and from here on out, Noah will be contributing his vast knowledge of catcher’s gear and other catcher-related stuff on WPW. This is an exciting add for us, and one that will further our mission to be the best source for pro gear in the world.
Thankfully, Chris Stewart’s MRI came back clean. You wouldn’t think it by looking at the Yankees DL, as I’m sure you have already. Stewart has been a key part of the rag tag, yes, rag tag group of Yankee replacements holding down the fort at Yankee Stadium until the cavalry comes. Just glad we didn’t have to bring Bobby Wilson up. As he’s batting 174 in Scranton/Wilkes Barre. But, Stewart had a great frame on a low fastball featured in the 5/18 This Week in Catcher Framing. Love how he uses that big 34 inch CM3000 to pull that fastball up. Great stuff.
Also on one of my favorite websites Grantland and Ben Lindbergh had a sit down with Russell Martin. Some very interesting dialogue. Martin made a good point when he said he tries to “excite” the umpire by putting the ball in the pocket. Just one of the things that can effect a pitch. If you want more info you should probably just read it as it is an interesting piece and sheds some light on a growing subject in the world of baseball.
Yadi getting a curveball and working with it toward second base. It’s so hard to reach down and keep your momentum going forward and Yadi does it so easy. Amazing.
Robinson Chirnios battling the sun and some wicked backspin.
One of my favorite catchers Brayan Pena on another strike em out throw em out double play.
I am telling you right now, Hector Sanchez will be an amazing catcher some day. Maybe not amazing, but very good. Once he somehow (please dear catching god) gets out of San Francisco behind King Posey and goes through a few more years of Remedial Catchers Framing Training he will come out the other side a good player. This is what I want to happen. This is what I hope will happen. Plus I am probably saying this because the inner defensive minded catcher in me doesn’t like Buster Posey. But I mean, come on.
Almost made it through the entire week without more college gear and it was getting depressing. Here we have the #20 Oklahoma State Cowboys, with the best-looking throwback jersey in the game, hands down. Just an absolute classic. We also get a nice variety of Wilson leather, and the first DeMarini batting gloves we’ve seen on WPW. Many thanks to Alix for the hook-up. GO POKES!
There’s nothing in the athletic repertoire that people go more nuts over than footwear. The debate about basketball shoes (which most definitely have an influence here) is infinite, but there isn’t a ton of chatter out there about baseball cleats. For that reason, we had to put together a list of the best footwear on the diamond.
After taking into account your voting and our own inherent bias, we came up with the top 15 cleats in the game, as we see it. There were some really good suggestions that helped make this list more complete, but there are definitely cleats we missed and cleats we still haven’t seen yet. As always, hit us up on Twitter or Instagram and let us know your thoughts. To the list:
BJ Upton and Coco Crisp’s adidas adiZero 5 Tool 2.0 Cleats (worn on Mother’s Day)
These cleats manage to have a vibrant design but still look under control. Some cleats (see Adam Jones) have bold designs but end up looking sloppy—not the 5 Tool 2.0s. And I hear they’re ridiculously light.
Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinser’s Nike Zoom Vapor Elite Cleats
These are probably my personal favorite, which I mentioned in the Andrus feature. I love that gradient fade from blue to red and the bottom line is that the Zoom Vapor Elite is plain sexy as hell.
Matt Kemp‘s Nike Huarache 2KFresh Low Cleats
A popular vote, the 2KFresh seem to be a favorite cleat among the superstars of the game.
Brandon Crawford’s NIKEiD Air Max MVP Elite 3/4 MCS Cleats
These I had not noticed before and thanks to a WPW reader’s vote, I checked them out and absolutely love them. Crawford is just one of those guys that makes everything look good. The best part: these cleats can be made on NIKEiD.
Miguel Cabrera‘s New Balance 3000 Cleats
Jimmy Rollin‘s Jordan 12 Cleats
CarGo’s kicks won the popular vote. My personal favorite of the group is the Venezuela colorway. They’re just not something you see everyday but so clean.
Hanley Ramirez‘ New Balance 4040 “Hanleywood” Cleats
Like I said about Miggy’s, NB is not shy about catering to the big dogs, and the “Hanleywood” 4040s are no exception. These are just a lot of fun.
Jeremy Guthrie’s Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh Elephant Print and Nike Air Jordan 1 Cleats
Guthrie is a known sneakerhead and these Elephant print 2KFresh’s might be the sneaky pick of the litter in this entire group. So fresh and so fitting for the Royals colors. Flawless.
CC Sabathia’s Jordan 11 Concord (Opening Day 2013) and Jordan Melo M8 Cleats (Opening Day 2012)
I included CC more for the M8s than the 11s. The Melo M8 is my favorite of the Jordan choices. Jordan’s tend to be a little too flamboyant for my tastes, but the Melo M8 is a classic shoe. Nothing too fancy (the 11 is the same way), just gets the job done, a lot like CC.
Jason Heyward‘s Nike Air Swingman MVP Cleats
The Swingman MVP was a cleat a lot of you voted for, but most voted for the Adam Jones version. I’m sorry guys, that cleat is ugly. I feel like people get all hyped up at exclusives and ignore the fact that they aren’t a well-executed shoe. The Heyward is, and he goes socks up so everybody knows it. Heyward is my kind of ballplayer.
Carl Crawford’s Jordan 6 Rings Cleats
Such a nice looking cleat. They seem a little bulky though, no? I wonder how Crawford likes them in terms of playability, though we don’t need to hear it from him; they’re one of the prettiest shoes in the game today.
Asdrubal Cabrera’s New Balance 4040 Cleats
Another exclusive New Balance that I couldn’t ignore. The Indian’s colors just look really good, and Cabrera’s slick fielding only enhances their beauty.
Bryce Harper‘s UA Spine Highlight Cleats
These are on here because you all insisted. They just don’t really do it for me, and what baseball player without a history of ankle injuries needs that much ankle support? Regardless, I can’t ignore the fact that tons of you out there love them. But, wouldn’t you love anything Bryce laced up with? I sense a little bias.
Mariano Rivera’s Nike Cooperstown Cleats
The ultimate classic. Enough said.
How’d we do? Any we missed? Let us know and we’ll keep the dialogue going.
If you liked this, you’ll probably like our 20 PRETTIEST GLOVES, too!
The Andrus post and Guthrie Instagram got me thinking, who do you guys think has the best cleats in the game? I want to put a post together of the top 20 or so, so give me your suggestions in the poll below. Just tell me the guy and the model (if you can), and I’ll check them out. This post has been a long time coming, so I’m hoping for a nice response from you all.
Andrus’ bat has been slow to start this season, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that his shoe game is airtight. The Nike Zoom Vapor Elite is my favorite shoe in the game right now, and Andrus’ exclusives take it to another level.
We’ve seen him swinging both Tucci (one photo down) and Marucci (two photos down) recently, but he’s shown a lot of variation in his career. The DU26 is likely Dan Uggla’s model, which we haven’t seen online. He’s also swung SSK and MaxBat in the past. We’ll update the Marucci as soon as possible.
Nike Zoom Vapor Elite Exclusives in Black/Grey/Red/Blue with Blue Laces
Look two photos above for a great shot at these. Plain and simple they’re the fastest looking shoes in the game. He’s got two different versions we’ve seen. Aside from the obvious custom colors, there’s a gradient fade from blue to red on the dimples on one shoe and also on the midsole of his other version (below) that is the difference-maker for me.
Both of these Zoom Vapors have custom soles (including the molded spikes) and are not available online, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear about Andrus getting boosted in the parking lot by a WPW reader in the coming days. Smoke.
Nike Diamond Elite Pro II in Various Colors
As you can see in the photo above, Andrus most recently has been wearing a black/grey version of the DEIIs. These are exclusives, as are the royal/greys that he has also been wearing recently (below). He’s also worn whites with a black swoosh occasionally, too.
Sleeve on Mother’s Day
Figured we’d add this in since you guys love your pink. Get it while its hot.
I’ll let the photos do the talking…
Elvis Andrus, another popular request, is just dripping swagger. Smooth, flashy, stylish, the very pillars this website was built on. He belongs here, and here he will stay.
Andrus has one of the prettier gloves in baseball, and you can see it in the feature above and in the photos above. The A2000 1786-SS is available online, however, to get his colors you need to build a custom version yourself. You can get a glove just about identical to Andrus’—the only difference is the binding on Andrus’ is blonde and the builder does not allow for that color.
These are the specs:
- Leather Colors
- Palm: blonde
- Web: red
- Fingers: SuperSkin
- Thumb: SuperSkin
- Wrist: blonde
- Super Skin: yes
- Trim Colors
- Lacing: red
- Welting: black
- Binding: black
- Stitching Colors
- Logo Patch: black
- Wilson Logo: wilsonYellow
- A2000 Logo: wilsonYellow
- Web Stitching: red
- Shell Stitching: blonde
He also wears the Diamond Elite Pro II batting glove in royal/white underneath his glove. This is available.
Nike Show x2 in Black
Andrus’ black Show x2s are available, as well as a host of other colorways. Note: lately we haven’t seen him wearing the red version he’s wearing in the feature, though that version is also available.
Brecon No-Wrap Sleeve in Blue
Oddly enough, you can see Andrus wearing the Brecon No-Wrap sleeve on his non-throwing arm two photos above. Why? We have no idea. We’ve also seen him wearing them on both arms, just on his throwing arm, and not at all (multiple photos above). Who knows. Regardless, its available and you can wear it on whatever arm you choose.
Reyes stuck with the Under Armour Yard III’s from his brief tenure with the Marlins (what a disappointment that was), and has also stayed with the Marucci brand for his bats, but the new colorways are still fun to look at, and at WPW that’s what we do.
According to our source, Reyes uses the JR7 along with a model called the RH7. The RH7 is the same bat as Reyes’ JR7, except with Ryan Howard’s (RH6) knob-less handle.
Under Armour Epic in White/Blue
As you can see in the photo above, Reyes is wearing an exclusive white/blue pair of the UA Epic, a style we’ve also seen Bryce wear. The blue isn’t available, but a slick pair of whites is.
Under Armour Yard III Molded in Blue/White/Red
Reyes wears an exclusive version of the Yard IIIs (below). The ones in the feature are just the closest we could find. The Yard III is discontinued it looks like, but you can check Google and try to dig some up, as well as eBay at the above link.
On a related note, everybody is wearing molded cleats these days. Its something we’ve seen so much of lately that its hard to ignore. The reason, as I am told, is the grind. Over a long season, the pros feel that they’re putting too much stress on their joints with metals, so players are moving over to molded in great numbers.
In my opinion, I don’t think that should have an effect on the decision of a high school player, or even a college player, playing less than half of the games. I am genuinely surprised by the move, given the fact that molded cleats allow much less traction than metals, and I would think the demands of the Big Leagues would make performance the priority. Regardless of what I think, players are going molded—even Bryce Harper seems torn over the performance/durability debate, going half and half!
Benik W-107 in Royal Blue
As we’ve seen in the past, Reyes bolts around the bags with a Benik W-107 wrist guard on his left wrist. This is available at the link above.
Reyes stayed consistent this year, adding some Power Balance voltage, but mostly sticking to what’s already made him one of the most electric players in baseball.
Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSNP2KBM Pro Mesh
From our previous update:
The thread about Reyes on that forum is here, and what we know is that Reyes uses an 11 1/4 inch Neifi Perez model, an extremely popular model among today’s middle-infielders. That’s as small as you’ll see in the Big Leagues. It’s interesting to see (in the picture above) how high up on his hand Reyes’ glove fits. What’s even more unique is that Reyes uses a Pro Mesh style, which you can see on the back of the fingers of the glove. Rawlings claims that this reduces the weight of the glove by 12%-15%, essentially making your hands a touch quicker.
This glove is not available online except for the rare occasion it pops up on a forum or eBay. The very similar Rawlings PRONP5M is a good alternative.
This is more of a guess based on Reyes’ new team’s color scheme, since we haven’t seen him wear sunglasses in the regular season yet. Reyes wore his signature Core version in the WBC (below), but we suspect that those colors wouldn’t match up with the Jays’ blue/white uniforms as well as these. Either way, they’re both available, so suit yourself.
Though you can’t see the Phiten logo, you can see the MLB logo on Jose’s Phiten sleeve, which has been his choice since the beginning of WPW. You can add one to your game at the link above.
Two Power Balance Volt Wristbands w/ Silver Hologram
Reyes has been wearing dual PB Volt wristbands with the Jays. He wears the silver hologram, but there are other options available at that link above.
Power Balance Volt Necklace
The Volt necklace (pictured above) was only a limited edition. Though Reyes managed to score one for himself, they’re not available anywhere we’ve seen online. There are plenty of other colors to choose from, but you might have to do some hunting.
Like his flawless swing, Utley stayed consistent with his hitting repertoire since last year, remaining brand loyal, just switching out his adizero Diamond Kings for a new model adidas.
You mostly need to watch this video for his 2009 World Series performance, but you can also see the consistency in his gear choices from year to year.
Marucci Maple CU7, a variation of the CU26 in Black
As you can see in the feature, Utley has been swinging a CU7, one of the 17(!) variations, according to Marucci, that Chase has with them. This is the same bat used by Bryce Harper. The CU26 is available.
Franklin Pro Classic in Red/White and Pearl/White
We’re all well aware that the Pro Classics, the flagship batting glove of the Franklin brand, are discontinued, though Chase has been using them for years. He wears the red/white (below) on the road and the pearl/white at home. Though the Pro Classics aren’t available, Franklin makes a similar Neo Classic II as well as other styles worn by Josh Hamilton, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, and others.
adidas Excelsior Pro Metal Low in Red/White/Blue
Utley’s one of the only adidas guys we’ve featured on WPW, the other being Justin Upton, who also wears the Excelsior Pro in a player exclusive colorway. The cleats are really lacking in available colors, but they are available at the link above.
Fortunately for everyone (except the NL East), Chase Utley is back. Utley is as good an all-around player as there is in the game, and as hard as he plays, he still makes it look good. Utley is one of the first guys we’ve ever seen in a Marucci glove, a company that has earned its MLB stripes as one of the best bat manufacturers in the Bigs. Marucci might be just a baby in the glove-making game, but she’s a fine-looking baby.
As nice a glove as it looks, Marucci hasn’t released a single glove for sale to the general public. They’ve told me to “stay tuned” when I’ve asked about it, so we have to expect that they’re coming soon. If we hear anything about it, we’ll let you know.
Utley wears the blue version you see above and we’ve also seen him in a red version of these as well. You can’t find a lot of straight stems out there, but they are available through the custom tool, exactly as Utley wears them with the following specs:
- Frame: Team Blue (Straight Stem)
- Lens: Black Iridium Pitch
- Icon: Team White
- Earsock: White
Our 4th installment of “Show It Off” features one of the premier college athletics programs in all the land, the Florida State Seminoles. Like Louisville, FSU is a Louisville Slugger/TPX school, and the Pro Flares seem to be a real favorite in college. As you might expect, footwear and batting gloves are provided by Nike, and FSU has some of the best. Take a look for yourself, but don’t drool on the keyboard.
If that’s not motivation for you to get your ass in the cage, then there is no motivating you. Thanks again to @FSUBaseballEQ for hooking this up.
FSU New Era “NCAA White 2 Tone 59FIFTY” (White/Garnet/Gold) (Similar to their white hat)
Pine Tar Wrap from Paul Pryor Travel Bags
Leather (If it’s not listed we couldn’t find it)
Nike Lunar Vapor Trainer (General search since the sources are scattered)
ProHelmetDecals.com for all bat/base/helmet decals
Where are you supposed to hit the ball in Atlanta? You hit it to left, watch Justin Upton turn on the jets and chase it down. You hit it to right, watch Jason Heyward dive about 10 feet, then extend another 6 and a half to snatch a double from you. Hit it to center, watch BJ Upton make it look like he’s out for an evening jog, snatch a warning track missile out of the night, and throw it in like it was nothing more than an inconvenience.
Justin Upton might not be known as a great fielder at this point in his career, but with those three gazelles, the Braves’ outfield figures to be one of the speediest for years to come.
Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS303 (a brown, a black, and a 125th anniversary version at that link)
There wasn’t a single good look at Upton’s new leather out there. All indications tell us that his Braves’ leather is the same model that he had last year with the Diamondbacks, but with the dark tan leather you see in the photo below.
I know it looks black, but its a really dark tan. What we know about the glove is that its a Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS303 (H-Web, 12.75 inch). If anybody has a better shot, let us know and we’ll post it.
Oakley Fast Jacket XL in Carbon Fiber/Fire Iridium/Black
As hard as it was to find a good look at his glove, Upton’s sunglasses were even harder. The best image is below, where we see he’s wearing the “Polished Carbon Fiber” frame with black earsocks. These are an exclusive custom version of the Oakley Fast Jacket, a style that is available, but not in Upton’s frame color. For reference, his lens color is Fire Iridium (you can see this if you look closely at the feature).
Oops. That’s what you got the military-grade body armor on for, right?
Justin Upton shot out of the 2013 gate like a cannon, making the Braves an instant contender. His prodigious power has also made him the most requested WPW profile of the season to this point, so here you go.
Louisville Slugger Ash U50, Flame-Tempered
— Louisville Slugger (@sluggernation) February 19, 2013
As you can see, Upton is holding the same flame-tempered Slugger in the above tweet, with the new Louisville Slugger logo as well. The U50 is not available, but could very well be an exclusive model made for Upton, since we’ve never seen it before. We do know in past seasons, Upton has swung a Louisville M9 I13, which is available.
For those curious, Upton’s measurements are 34/32, though we’re all known to experiment in this department. Here’s a photo of an Upton knob from last September:
Franklin CFX Pro in Blue/Grey/Red (Away) and Pearl/White (Home)
Thanks to Franklin, we were able to get an exclusive view (in the feature photo) of Upton’s Franklin CFX Pro model batting gloves (also worn by Pedroia, Reddick, and Hanley) in Braves colors, exclusive to Upton. As for his home version, Upton wears Pearl/White, as seen in the photo of his April 6 walk-off below.
These ARE available.
Adidas Excelsior Pro Mid Metal in Grey/Red/Black (Away) and White/Red/Black (Home)
You’ll get a pretty good look at Upton’s home colorway in the photo above, as well as the aways in the photo below.
Unfortunately, Upton’s colorways, sharp as they are, are not available. In fact, we could only find two colorways online (white and black/white). It seems that adidas’ priorities are focused somewhere other than baseball.
Tulo made a few changes this year from last, but his shoe game is still tight. Unfortunately, I can’t really say the same for his batting gloves. He made a really strange choice with those, especially since he’s got a fresh pair of PEs already for sale. We wish we knew a little more. One thing we do know, however, is that the 3-4 combo of Cargo and Tulo is the freshest in baseball.
Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh in Purple/Grey/Black
Tulo abandoned last year’s Huarache 2K4 Low exclusives for a totally custom version of the ever-present 2KFresh cleats you see below. There’s nothing like these colors out there but the model is very much available.
Here’s Tulo’s from last year via SoleCollector.com:
The 2K4 is also available.
Tulo looks like he’s been swinging his Rawlings TULO2 model this year, too, but most recently we’ve been seeing a lot of Tucci’s 271, the same bat that Prince Fielder swings. Tulowitzki’s exact bat model is available via TLBats.com, you just have to do the customizing yourself.
Probably the most peculiar piece of equipment we’ve seen since the inception of WPW, Tulo has been wearing a set of Nike gloves that, upon further review, are not actually Nike. Luckily, we have some really knowledgeable readers of this site that helped us figure this one out.
These gloves are the Franklin Cold Weather Pro, available online. Thanks to WPW readers Bryan, Rob, Jack and Peyton for helping me out with this one. Denver has been cold, necessitating more tack and insulation, but since he’s got a Nike contract, he can’t wear any other brand. So Nike threw THEIR logo on a Franklin glove, and everybody gets what they want.
Tulo’s Nike PE’s, which he’ll probably go back to at some point, are.
Though Tulo hasn’t been wearing Evoshield this year, but according to Rob Li, he may start up again in the next few weeks. Regardless, we thought this was pretty cool:
This one isn’t available, sadly.
Why no one can hit Yu Darvish…
He would need half of one of those to thoroughly embarrass me.
Do the Rockies in fact rock? They can swing, but can they swang?
My bad. To the walk-ups.
A solid pick that we’ve seen a few times before. Drake’s songs (when not played into the ground) are infectious and for that reason, most of his hits are going to play well in a stadium.
I have a soft spot for Big Sean. His deliberate flow and that kettle drum (?) makes this a feel-good that’ll get the blood flowing.
I will say the Flow Violento is a damn good name for a song. And the guy isn’t a bad rapper. I just wish they’d give a little more thought to the bass line. Its like 15 years old.
“Check out my swag, yo, I walk like a ballplayer.”
This has gotta be one of the best possible choices, and for one of the best possible guys. Its nice when it all comes together.
Impossible to stay still…
Michael Cuddyer? Is this what they get down to in Minnesota? I guess I just had this impression of Michael Cuddyer as a down-home, hard hat and lunch pail type of guy, and I just didn’t expect this. This is hard.
Better fan of number 2 than number 1. I don’t even get how the first one could be a walk-up. At least the second one has bagpipes.
I really just can’t blame Josh, here. I want to, but I just can’t.
Needs an update for 2013, no? This song is legitimately flawless, though. Hit-making at its finest. But it makes me want to rip a shot more than a fastball. I’m just being honest.
This is a decent band but its a little too soft/hipster for my blow-the-stadium-loudspeaker preferences. There’s a time and a place.
I’d love to hear somebody rap over this. This beat would up my bat speed a few ticks.
Hey, I love it, but this isn’t about me. This is about Colorado baseball fans.
Last year I think Betancourt had my least favorite closer song, so this is a big step up. This is one of Guetta’s best, I’ve never seen it not rock the house whenever it comes on.
This was one of the better lists, with my favorite being Public Service Announcement/Tulo. That’s just an untouchable walk-up. 5 out of 5. My least favorite probably goes to Helton/Springsteen. I really have no idea what he was thinking with that one. Hit .320 for a career and you can pick whatever song you damn please, I guess.
Is 2013 the year Cano wins the MVP? He’s got no shortage of talent (see below), motivation (contract year), or opportunity (see Yankees disabled list). He is the best player on the Yankees even when the All-Star disabled list is all healed, and in his age 30 season, Cano needs to put the Bronx on his back.
Nike Air Max MVP Elite 3/4 Metal in Black/White/Navy (Home) and Black/Grey/White (Away)
The aways are sharp-looking with the white outline around the grey swoosh and grey midsole. You can see on the right foot that Robby customized the tongue, making it grey.
Cano’s home cleats are predominantly white and black, with another exclusive color on the tongue (navy) which is tough to see because its so similar to black. These are available, just not in Cano’s colors.
Robby has been exclusively swinging his signature bat from SSK, even though we saw him with Marucci last year. He cakes so much pine tar on the bat its barely recognizable, but you can barely see the SSK logo on his bat in the feature.
The only other guy we’ve seen so far with the padding installed underneath his batting gloves is Jeter.
Cano’s aways are available at the link above, complete with the number 24 on the inside of the wrist.
Spalding Elbow Guard
You can see the elbow guard two photos up with Cano’s logo on it. You can also see it here. Unfortunately, this one is exclusive to Robby so far as we know.
Cosby, also seen on A-Rod, wins the award for most archaic website, but they also must make a pretty good shin guard if Robby and Alex are wearing them. This is available by phone through the website.
ProHitter in Blue
Cano also wears a ProHitter hitting aid on his thumb to keep the bat in his fingertips and maximize whip. These are very available.
Eighth-Ranked Louisville Catcher and WPW-reader Shane Crain (@ShaneCrain41) coming up large with a nice mix of gear/footwear for us to swoon over. Its no surprise that the Cardinals’ clubhouse is canvassed with Kentucky-based Louisville Slugger/TPX, but it was nice to see some adidas baseball footwear for a change.
Our favorites are the Excelsior batting gloves from adidas, which we hadn’t seen before on WPW, and the custom Louisville Slugger IC1125 infielder’s glove with the Cardinal logo on the thumb. The turfs look sharp, too.
Much of this is available—links below the slideshow.
TPX Pulse (Set)
Bats (some differentiation in colors)
adidas AZ Pro Trainers (Louisville’s Turfs)
adidas Response Cushion 20 Running Shoes
“I think he has the single best pitch ever in the game.” –Jim Thome, 600 HR Club
Can you argue? With a cut fastball as his primary, secondary, and tertiary pitch (he’s thrown a 2-seam about 15% of the time for his career, and even less lately), Rivera has saved 600+ regular season games, 42 playoff games, won 5 rings, earned 12 All-Star appearances, and finished in the top three in the Cy Young voting four times.
How could Mo’s cutter not be the best pitch in the history of the game? Yes, the historians might throw out names like Koufax and his curveball, Bob Feller’s (alleged) 104 mph fastball, Nolan Ryan’s no-hit heater, and those are reasonable suggestions. Those pitches made each of those guys dominant starters, logging far more innings than Mo, and there’s definitely a valid argument there. (Note: For reference, Sandy Koufax threw 323 innings at age 30, his last season, and pitched to a 27-9 record and 1.73 ERA. Oh, and his arm was falling off.) However, all of those guys had complimentary pitches, whereas Mo has had one. Everybody in the ballpark knows what’s coming, and nobody has ever been able to hit it… OK, there was that one time. But who else has accomplished so much with one pitch? To look at it another way, lets look at all of the pitchers since 2007 (when Pitch F/X started tracking this) to throw a single pitch more than 80% of the time, just to see the caliber of pitcher that might surface:
- Bartolo Colon (Fastball, 84.7%)
- Matt Thornton (FB, 84.2%)
- Octavio Dotel (FB, 82.3%)
- Aaron Cook (FB, 80.3%)
- Tim Wakefield (Knuckleball, 84%)
Not to say they all haven’t had decent careers, but do we have any first balloters on that list? Aside from Colon, any real All-Star caliber guys? If those pitches are the competition, Mo’s cutter is the undisputed winner.
Nike PPro Gold Mo 42
Mariano’s consistency has carried over to his equipment as well. He’s worn the same Nike PPro Gold “Mo 42″ as far back as 2005, with only minor aesthetic modifications. One element we’ve seen is his number (the last number 42 the MLB will ever see) on the wrist strap:
Pro Gold’s are very rare online, and your best bet is scouring eBay to score one. Back in the late 90s, Rivera showed us all the first glove he had ever used—gives you some perspective:
Rivera also wore a custom Rawlings “R42″ early on in his career (not a lot of good shots of that one), as well as the Zett you see below, from 1998:
Mariano has also worn the same cleats since the beginning of his career, the Nike Cooperstown. In the feature you can see Mariano’s special edition Cooperstowns, commemorating his record-breaking 602nd save (courtesy of SoleCollector.com). Both his glove and cleats have always referenced the bible verse “Phil: 4:13″ from the book of the Philippians, “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Here’s Mo in ’98, showing off his World Championship hops:
And a close-up of his 2008 version:
Though there is nothing like it available to us, the overall simplicity of the shoe makes it an icon in my eyes, and a perfect representation of Rivera’s legacy. Simplicity, humility, excellence.
Rawlings Big Stick M456B
Kemp swings a maple just like in the feature.
Though his exact model isn’t available, there are a lot of Rawlings Big Sticks online at really attractive prices.
Nike Diamond Elite Pro II in Blue/Red
Though Kemp’s exclusives are not available, there are many different colorways for the Diamond Elite Pro II‘s.
We also saw him swinging with a grey/blue/red pair in the cages, but we haven’t seen these in the game:
Nike Air Huarache 2K4 Low and Nike Gamer
Kemp has had a few different versions of the 2K4 cleats. The shoe has many different color options, just not in Kemp’s exclusive colors.
Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh Exclusive Low in Blue/White
We’ve never seen a low 2KFresh without the ankle strap, so Matt Kemp could be the first to wear them. Seen in the feature, Kemp wore an even more exclusive version of these for Jackie Robinson Day.
At first, I thought they were Gamers, but seeing the below photo of the Huarache logo on the backs made me sure they were Huaraches. Though not the low version, there are plenty of Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh cleats available.