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NEVER BEFORE SEEN Nike “MVP Select” Hybrid Gloves Arrive at University of Texas, UNC

Texas Longhorns Nike MVP Select I-Web Glove 2014

The UNC and University of Texas clubs are the first teams we’ve ever seen with the provocative new Nike MVP Select line of hybrid (leather/synthetic) gloves.  We knew nothing about them until Nike told UT baseball’s Vince Alcazar the following three key components:

“The ring, middle, and index finger are perforated steer hide leather.”

Texas Longhorns Nike MVP Select I-Web Glove 2014 

“The thumb and pinky are a lightweight composite material we manufacture using our Hyperfuse process.”

Texas Longhorns Nike MVP Select I-Web Glove 2014

“It is comprised of a light, flexible, perforated base material, a breathable mesh, and a super strong synthetic skin.”

Nike is learning before our very eyes how to make the lightest possible high-performing baseball glove.

Its cool to see it happening.  First, Carlos Gonzalez in 2013 (and later George Springer) debuted the “Hyperfuse” glove you see below:

They probably got some good insight from Springer/Cargo and made some tweaks in the production version, which is called the Vapor 360 (you can read about that one here):

With even more insight from high school’s elite players at showcases like the Perfect Game All-American Classic, Nike has taken another step forward with the MVP Select handed out to the Tarheel and Longhorn clubs.

5 Texas Longhorns Nike MVP Select Trap Glove 2014

The web on the MVP Select Trap outfielder’s glove is borrowed from Matt Kemp‘s Japanese made SHA|DO (Matt Kemp’s “Mighty Fine” version here).

Got a good look at UNC’s thanks to their Twitter account (link above).  Wish we could get you a few more of these, but I’ve had no luck getting in touch with UNC’s equipment guys.  For God’s sake they tagged Uni Watch in this tweet.  Which is about uniforms.  (sad face)

(On a side note, take it easy with the #filters, @DiamondHeels.)

In the below shot you can see other MVP Select webs (front to back: modified trap, I-Web, basket taken from Nike’s Diamond Elite line, H-Web, and Trap):

UNC Nike MVP Select Glove Day

A few thoughts on them:

  • Based on the perforation coupled with the distribution of real leather and synthetic materials, this looks to be the best combination of speed/performance of all the hybrid gloves Nike has produced during this on-going project.
  • There’s dimples on the synthetic parts.  Is Nike borrowing that from the golf ball?  Aerodynamics?  Maybe not.
  • Thank God they’re not Volt.
  • I want the trap.

These gloves pass the eye-test with flying colors, in my opinion.  What Nike does better than any other sports manufacturer ever has is they listen to athletes and learn from them.  These gloves are proof.

Big thanks to Miguel Avila @MigAvila11 for getting all these great photos together at UT.  Hook ‘em.


Nike Makes Lunar Vapor Trout Available on NIKEiD

nike lunar vapor trout id

The headline tells the story.  DESIGN YOUR OWN LUNAR VAPOR TROUT HERE.


WPW’s Christmas List

When I was a young kid, I wanted Ken Griffey Jr’s glove for Christmas, and I wanted to leave no margin for error for my mom who I hoped would buy it for me.  So I went looking for the exact model information, and I found it, thanks to a glove forum (probably Glove-Works).  Even though I found the info after some digging, I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find!  I ended up not getting the glove that Christmas, but what I did get was the dream of a place like WPW—so that one day baseball fiends like me could accurately beg their mothers for expensive equipment!

Fast forward about 15 years, and I’m building another Christmas List.  If money was no object, what would I want for Christmas going into the 2015 baseball season?  If all the “exclusives” were inclusive, who’s swagger would I be jackin’?

Here is my most wanted list, some buy-able, some exclusive.

(Buy-able) Fantasy Bat

evan longoria flame treated ash i13

Evan Longoria’s flame-treated Ash I13

As far as THE LOOK and only the look goes, there are some instances when a classic just can’t be touched.   Apologies to the new school labels, but like Wrigley’s Ivy or Yankee pinstripes, the caked on pine tar/flame-treated ash look is everlasting.

Fantasy Glove

 The Nike Treatment

Maybe its Nike’s experience with larger-than-life mega stars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but there is just nobody better at pampering their athletes with hyper-personalized gear.  Its not just the special colorways, or a stylized logo–Nike stands alone in their ability to embed the DNA of a specific athlete in the gear they use.

In the above example, Nike uses Shane Victorino’s H-Web as a canvas, paying homage to his family, his heritage, and his own personality, all the while providing Victorino with a high-performance glove worthy of a Gold Glover.

In 2014, Nike’s baseball designers set the new high-water mark for custom glove work.  Check out their work here and here.  And here.  And here.

Buy-able Glove

Not everyone can get a one-of-a-kind custom glove made by Nike’s best designers to your exact specifications.  However, there is a company out there now, called Gloveworks, that offers the amateur player a taste of what that’s like.

Gloveworks has a custom tool that allows you more customization than any other similar tool we’ve seen, including the ability to embroider your own image/logo.

Custom glove builders have never before offered this much personalization, and Gloveworks does it for a ridiculously reasonable price.  The top of the line European Kip will run you $199, and customizations like the logo you see above only cost $10 extra.  Not only that, but the sheer number of options is unbeatable.  On the fingers alone you can choose the color of 10 separate panels completely independent of one another.  See more of what I’m talking about here.

BUILD YOUR OWN HERE.

Fantasy Cleats

Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh Elephant Print from this week (May 2013)

Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh Elephant Print

This decision was extremely difficult.  Gut reaction when I first started thinking about this was these Pedroia 4040v2s:

Dustin Pedroia's New Balance 4040v2 Memorial Day Cleats

Dustin Pedroia's New Balance 4040v2 Memorial Day Cleats

But then I went on a scroll binge on our Instagram and fell back in love with the Guthrie 2KFresh Elephant Print beauties and that’s when things got complicated.  And how could I forget Nick Swisher’s Cleveland customs?  Or his desert camo 4040s?  I could probably come up with 5 or 10 more that I have dreamed about one time or another, so its a tough call.

Between Guthrie’s Elephants and Pedroia’s Camo 4040v2s, which would you choose?

Buy-able Cleats

dustin pedroia new balance 4040v2 digicamo

Pedroia Low-Cut New Balance 4040v2

My team colors are black and green with a hint of Columbia blue.  These cleats would not match those colors.

I do not care.

Fantasy Batting Gloves

Kolten Wong's Under Armour Yard VII Batting Gloves

Josh Harrison's Under Armour Yard VII Batting Gloves

Chris Young's Under Armour Yard VII Batting Gloves

Chris Young’s Under Armour Yard VII Batting Gloves

The UA Yard VII isn’t a total fantasy, its available, but unfortunately, Under Armour hasn’t come around to offering anything but the white base leather, nothing like the ones you see above from Kolten Wong, Josh Harrison, and Chris Young respectively.

For my money, there isn’t a better looking glove in the Big Leagues right now.  UA provided their contract guys all over the League with an array of colorways that I gradually fell into lust with throughout the year.

Buy-able Batting Gloves

wpw franklin batting gloves

wpw franklin batting gloves 2

This is an easy decision.  Franklin’s new custom builder is awesome.  The Emerald Beauties you see above are gettin’ sewn up by Franklin’s finest seamstress as we speak.

My team is called the Tsunami (Roll Tide) and we share Tulane’s colors (below).

Shoved that day. (Photo Courtesy of Tsunami Lifer Matt Rowe)

(sexy photo of me courtesy of Tsunami CEO Matty Rowe)

I can’t wait to rock these.  I will most likely get some shit from my square-ass teammates about it, but if I was them, I’d be a little sour about it too.  Check out Franklin’s custom builder here (you can get the Pro Classics too).

(Buy-able) Fantasy Sunglasses

bryce-harper-under-armour-phenom-sunglasses

Bryce Harper’s UA Phenom

Profiling so many players, I look at a lot of baseball sunglasses.  Harper’s Spine-inspired shades are stunners.  They’re different than the swarms of Oakley Radar standard issue we’re used to seeing, and they make that very clear.  I’m a big fan of the reptilian style and I hope UA expands on these.  Imagine a custom builder for these?  I think I’d go with black and green with a green-tinted lens.  Maybe Christmas 2015.

Fantasy Ice Pack

ice pack

Pro Ice 200 Adult Shoulder / Elbow Cold Therapy Wrap

This thing would be nice.  And maybe someone to help me put it on.  Would probably be better than that bag of frozen peas I’ve slapped on my poor UCL for 3 seasons.

Tweet at me, let me know if I missed something on my Christmas list.


Superman Swag: Under Armour’s Alter Ego Batting Gloves and Cleats

superman bgs

We saw Under Armour tease a superhero batting glove at the Derby this year with Brian Dozier (below) and now we can get our hands in our very own Captain America, Batman, or Superman batting gloves, too.  (SHOP SUPERMAN AND BATMAN HERE, CAPTAIN AMERICA IN LIMITED SIZES HERE)

dozier captain america batting gloves

Looking at Dozier’s, these are the UA Undeniable style, while the retail gloves are UA’s Motive style glove.

captain planet bg

batman bgs

SHOP THE UA ALTER EGO SUPERMAN AND BATMAN BATTING GLOVES HERE AND HERE FOR CAPT. AMERICA.

The UA Undeniable is also worth checking out:

under armour undeniable batting gloves

If it was up to me, I think I’d rock these.  SHOP ALL 5 COLORWAYS HERE.

Pair the Alter Ego gloves with these UA Deception Alter Ego cleats for the complete look:

under-armour-alter-ego-deception-superman-cleats

2-under-armour-alter-ego-deception-superman-cleats

3-under-armour-alter-ego-deception-superman-cleats

 

under-armour-alter-ego-deception-batman-cleats

2-under-armour-alter-ego-deception-batman-cleats

3-under-armour-alter-ego-deception-batman-cleats

SHOP UA DECEPTION DT ALTER EGO SUPERMAN AND BATMAN CLEATS HERE.

We posted this on Instagram earlier and I wasn’t too sure how they’d be received, but the reception looks pretty positive.  What about you?  Would you be into this?  I don’t think there was ever a point in my baseball life that I wouldn’t have gotten TORN APART by teammates/opponents if I was wearing Superhero shoes, but maybe that’s not the case anymore.


Nike’s 1 of 1 Lunar Vapor Trout “MVP” Edition PLUS Great NIKEiD News

Mike Trout Nike California Golden Trout MVP Lunar Vapor Cleats

You may have heard, Mike Trout got his first MVP award today, a unanimous vote and about as shocking as the sun rising in the East.  He’s the best player in baseball for the foreseeable future.

To celebrate Mike Trout‘s (profile) historic season in which he won both the All Star MVP and regular season MVP, Nike created a 1 of 1 cleat for Trout which you can see above and below:

The box they came in with Trout's first LVT's and his All Star version included.

The box they came in with Trout’s first LVT’s and his All Star version included.

You can’t get the gold ones, those are MVP exclusives, but you can shop the rest of the Lunar Vapor Trout collection here.2 Mike Trout Nike California Golden Trout MVP Lunar Vapor Cleats

3 Mike Trout Nike California Golden Trout MVP Lunar Vapor Cleats

I’m gonna guess that Trout won’t be wearing these on the field.  The baseball gear equivalent of killing a unicorn.  What about you?  If you got these 1 of 1s, would you wear them?

 

IN RELATED NEWS, likely even more exciting to you is that the LUNAR VAPOR TROUT WILL BE AVAILABLE ON NIKEID.COM STARTING ON DECEMBER 15TH.  Something tells me a few Christmas lists just got a little longer.

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to the people who commented giving the heads up that these wouldn’t be available until next month.  That’s my bad getting excited and reading too fast.)


Pitch Smart by MLB Worth a Long Look

I was just alerted to this by an old teammate Jake Seiner who writes for MiLB and I think its worth a look and a bookmark to be used as reference.

MLB’s PITCH SMART, is (as you can see above) “a series of practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers for youth pitchers.”

What I found most interesting so far is the pitch count guidelines chart (below).

There are also some great videos from guys like Dr. James Andrews and Brian Cashman.

As a pitcher who’s UCL is feeling more like Polly-O’s string cheese than a functional tendon these days, I think its worth a look.

Check out PITCH SMART here.


Huge Announcements from Franklin Sports…

franklin custom wpw

Franklin Sports made two HUGE moves today that all WPW readers NEED to check out:

1. A CUSTOM BATTING GLOVE BUILDER

2. THE FRANKLIN PRO CLASSIC IS AVAILABLE, FULLY CUSTOMIZED!

We saw hints from Franklin that this day would come, and after giving their custom tool a shot myself, it is well worth the hype.  Within their robust custom tool Franklin Sports is offering the legendary Pro Classic for the first time in a long time, which you can see above, as well as the Franklin CFX Pro below (you can look at those here).

franklin custom wpw 2

Both models allow for total creative freedom—the Pro Classic offering 14 different areas for customization and the CFX Pro offering 21 different areas for customization.

On the main page you can check out some other custom jobs, including those from Hunter Pence and Miggy among others.

franklin custom matrix

Pricing for Franklin’s custom batting gloves is $49.99, which is excellent when you consider that Nike is pushing their stock Vapor Elite Pro gloves at $60.  You can add options that will bump the price slightly.

As WPW news goes, this is as big and as exciting as it gets.  CHECK OUT FRANKLIN’S CUSTOM BUILDER HERE.  YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.


Madison Bumgarner’s Profile Added

madison-bumgarner-glove-cleats-bat

If they ever held a vote for the MOST VALUABLE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER in World Series history, Bumgarner might be the unanimous winner of this year’s epic 7 game dogfight.

For me, he’s a Hall of Famer already.  At the very least he should be able to photobomb Bruce Bochy’s HOF plaque since he’s as responsible for punching his manager’s ticket as the manager himself.  Bochy would be the first to tell you that.  MadBum’s WPW profile here.  (Hint: the game was much more exciting than his gear.)


WPW’s Arbitrary and Biased World Series Preview

BY MIKE CAROZZA

 

MLB.com along with every other self-respecting baseball website has a World Series position-by-position breakdown, but not a single one is covering the WPW angle.  The gear of the World Series, in its own respect is worth examining.  Think about any big game you’ve played in—would you have gone out in the field with even a speck of doubt about the tools you were using to win?  No chance.  Look good, feel good, play good.  The Giants and Royals are at the apex of the game and you can be sure that every guy in these lineups is 100% confident in the equipment he’s using.

From WPW’s perspective, though, some guys make it look better than others.  Below is a totally arbitrary, blatantly subjective breakdown, position-by-position, of who’s got the edge in the (pivotal) “Swagger” category in the 2014 World Series.

Right Field

pence-vs-aoki

Pence (profile) vs Aoki is a great way to start this breakdown because its a perfect example of a better player with far less style or grace in his play.  Hunter Pence’s awkwardness is so well-documented he made a spoof video about it:

Pence is the only guy I’ve ever seen wear his pants above his knees, which is strange and also strange-looking.

I give Pence some credit for individuality and for his bulldog demeanor, but Aoki is also unique, but not in a strange-looking way like Pence.  He’s got some one-of-a-kind shiny blue Asics cleats that really stand out, plus another one-of-a-kind elbow guard made by Asics as well.  As well as he plays, it doesn’t take much to LOOK better than Pence on a ballfield.  Ugly swing, ugly throw, ugly run.  On the other hand, an Asian-style, closed leg lift, sweeping lefty swing is modern art, and Aoki’s got a pretty good one.  He gets the nod here.

Advantage: Royals

Center Field

blanco-vs-cain

Lorenzo Cain (profile) has been making a name for himself during this run as an elite defender, and that is crystal clear at this point.  The Giants are feeling pretty good in center field, too, though, with Blanco who makes tough plays look easy on a nightly basis.  As far as outfield defense goes, this is about as good as it gets.  Blanco definitely makes it look good, but Cain and his adidas gear and powder blues just look better.  Is that subjective, absolutely.  Powder blue for the win.

Advantage: Royals

Left Field

ishikawa-vs-gordon

No contest.  I know Ishikawa is coming into this Series feeling as good as he’s ever felt on a baseball field, but here’s all you need to know about this Swagger matchup, from a recent article about Ishikawa getting sent the new Nike Lunar Vapor Trout cleats before the NLCS:

Ishikawa showed the cleats to Bumgarner.

“I said, ‘Am I cool enough to pull these off?’ ” Ishikawa said. “And (Bumgarner) said, without hesitation, ‘No.’ “

That is hilarious for a lot of reasons.  Alex Gordon’s (profile) repertoire, on the other hand, is no joke.  He does everything right, and unique, with a sick set of Lousville Slugger System 7 batting gloves and a digi camo Evoshield leg guard that just completes the blowout here.  Also, you simply cannot beard better than Gordon beards.

Advantage: Royals

Short Stop

crawford-vs-escobar

Escobar gets plenty of points for really bringing his best when it comes to footwear.  We’ve seen him in converted Kobe 8s, as well as some other really clean colorways.  Crawford (profile), though, is an athletic wonder and his style of play is jaw-dropping.  He is as graceful a short stop as there is today, and he also has one of the best walk out songs in the game right now, Drake’s “Believe Me.”  Cold-blooded.

On the diamond Crawford has the long-haired, laid-back look of a guy that is in his element, at his happiest, like a world-class surfer shredding a wave.  Its easy for him.

Advantage: Giants

Third Base

sandoval-vs-moustakas

Moose vs Panda (profile), a battle of mammalian beasts, is one of the more intriguing matchups we’ve got in the series.  Sandoval has World Series MVP swagger, a type of swagger that just 58 men who’ve ever walked the Earth can claim.  Moustakas on the other hand hasn’t been here before, but after 4 bombs in his first 8 playoff games and some big-time defensive plays, he’s not lacking for confidence either.

As for the look, Panda and Moose both bring it.  Moose rocks a fresh pair of volted Franklin Natural II custom batting gloves, while Panda mixes up his UA exclusives day-to-day.  We even saw him rocking the first-ever Batman batting gloves in a game back in August (unavailable as far as we can tell).  Where Panda sets himself apart, though, is his SSK leather.  Great colorway, drop-dead gorgeous glove.  That, and the ice in his veins is what gives him the edge here.

Advantage: Giants

Second Base

panik-vs-infante
Omar Infante and Joe Panik (profile) have a similar, understated style on the field that reflects their style of play.  They both let their game do the talking, not a ton of rah-rah, expressiveness, or style points.  Infante does have a cool feature in his batting gloves, like Derek Jeter’s Jordans, with armor embedded in the top of the hand of his Franklin CFX Pros.  He’s pretty much standard issue, as is Joey Panik.

Where Panik stands out, though, is that textbook left-handed swing.  When the hips fire, the top-hand releases and Panik is fully uncoiled at the finish, you might as well be looking at the logo.  Panik’s swing is the prototype.

Advantage: Giants

First Base

belt-vs-hosmer

Unlike Panik, Belt’s left-handed swing is not very photogenic.  Though extremely quick and powerful, its just not as pretty, though he gets points for a flat-out savage pimp job like the one seen after his 18th inning game-winner in the longest playoff game ever.

Hosmer (profile), though, is just an all-around swagger hound, a WPW follower (student of the game), and could be the freshest 1B in the league.  It doesn’t hurt that his 1.314 playoff OPS is just about double his 2014 regular season mark, which is completely ludicrous.  The guy just looks like he’s having a great time out there.

Hosmer loses points for a weird haircut, but not enough to change the outcome in this matchup.

Advantage: Royals

Catcher

posey-vs-perez-2

Analysts have pointed behind the dish as maybe the key position that has carried these two scrappy teams so far.  In Posey (profile) and Perez, you have the two best backstops in each league, both with different styles but tremendous results.  Salvy (profile) racks up points for his various sets of All Star gear, which I’ve mentioned is arguably the best in the game.

Where Salvy loses points though, is in his performance.  Perez, though he got a legendary walk-off knock in the wildcard game, has been lost at the plate during the postseason.  A .118 playoff batting average is not swag, no matter how good you look.

Posey, underwhelming as he might be stylistically, just performs.  When you’re wearing two World Series rings with a Rookie of the Year and an MVP award in the trophy case, at age 27, the rest of your outfit doesn’t matter.

Advantage: Giants

Aces

bumgarner-vs-shields

As much as any position in sports, the word “presence” is used to measure starting pitchers.  Both of these aces have it in spades.  Bumgarner and Shields, at 6’5/235 and 6’3/215 respectively, are imposing forces on the bump.  Both will gladly throw fists if not baseballs.

Intimidation is a strength for both of these front-end horses, but what really makes this matchup a landslide is blatantly irresponsible nicknaming.  Somewhere along the way, someone started calling James Shields “Big Game” James, a catchy slogan, yes, but deserved?  Absolutely not.  Shields is 3-4 with a bloated 5.19 ERA in his playoff career, getting through 7 innings just one time in his 9 career playoff starts.  Last I checked, playoffs qualify as “Big Games.”

It may not be Shields’ fault that the name has stuck, but its a glaring misnomer, especially when put up against a guy who threw 8 innings of shutout ball in the World Series at age 21.

Bumgarner is the second-coming of Randy Johnson, he could care less about who’s in the box (“not a video guy,” his words), and he drinks 6 beers at a time.

Advantage: Giants

Total: Giants 5, Royals 4

In a tight one, the Giants edge out a slight Swagger advantage over the Royals.  Regardless of the outcome, I’m ready to watch these two warrior ballclubs scrap.  So many enjoyable players to root for, and two teams that so clearly enjoy the game.

If it were up to you, who would you have taken?

Enjoy the Series.  Tweet me.


Kolten Wong’s Profile Added

kolten wong chandler bat, kolten wong rawlings glove, under armour spine cleats, under armour yard vii batting gloves, oakley sunglasses, kolten wong stirrups

This dude is out of his friggin mind right now and you have to wonder just how much power he derives from those stirrups.  Check his profile out here.


Jeremy Guthrie and the Best Press Conference Outfit of All Time

guthrie os royal shirt

I might be late to the game on this one, considering the Twitter newscycle nowadays, but Jeremy Guthrie wore this shirt last night in his post-game press conference after the 11 year vet dealt in his MLB postseason debut—and it was awesome.  Its tough to read in this photo, but it says “These O’s Ain’t Royal,” an awesomely clever, harmless, non-venomous play on the Chris Brown song “Loyal” that plays 85 times a day on every pop radio station in the world.  Its funny, right?!

But wait!  According to Twitter’s grimiest, slimiest, cave-dwelling trolls, Guthrie is now “CLASSLESS! ARGHHHH!!!”

“A True Lack of Class,” says Twitter Troll

God forbid an athlete show even a molecule of personality or E!SPN and other click-baiters will run a headline like this, reinforce the behavior of these trolls, and force the “offending” player to apologize for it, further discouraging any athlete from having any fun at all with fans or showing any signs of a beating heart.  And then people turn around and criticize guys like Jeter and Belichick for being boring and playing it by the book every time.

OH MY GOD JEREMY GUTHRIE IS ROOTING FOR HIS TEAM TO WIN, WHAT AN ARROGANT CLASSLESS GUTLESS SCUM OF A MAN!!!

We can all agree that every last one of these buffoons needs his internet license revoked, and if you disagree you are one of them.  But the general disgust I have for these parasites obscures what makes this particular situation even more ridiculous.  What in “These O’s Ain’t Royal” is actually offensive?  Its funny, harmless trash-talk directed at no one.  I still can’t figure it out, and I’d bet my life savings that most of the deeply offended people (who have nothing better to do than find ways to be deeply offended) wrote something infinitely more hateful and offensive.

I try to keep my opinions out of the equation here, but if I can help just one Twitter troll see the light, then this was all worth it.

Most importantly, I can’t find the shirt available online.  Let me know if you see it.


Lorenzo Cain’s Profile Added

lorenzo-cain-old-hickory-bat-lorenzo-cain-wilson-a2000-1799-glove-lorenzo-cain-adidas-poweralley-2-cleats-evoshield

One of KC’s playoff heros, Lorenzo Cain is a breath of fresh air for WPW with some adidas gear we haven’t seen anywhere else.

Check out his profile here.


Louisville Slugger Offering Pre-Wrapped Lizard Skin Grips on Select Cuts

louisville slugger lizard skin wrap

Quick note to let you guys know that Louisville Slugger has teamed up with Lizard Skins to offer select cuts pre-wrapped with the bat wrap that is taking over the Big Leagues at no extra charge.  Some reading this might think “taking over” is an overstatement for the kind of grips we once thought were only for Little Leaguers.  Well, David Ortiz, David Wright, Bryce Harper, and about 160 other MLB players swing with ‘em now, and that’s after just two seasons of existence.  That doesn’t just happen because they’re fancy looking.

Hosmer’s bright yellow Lizard Skin:

All pre-wrapped grips are 0.5mm.

Louisville Slugger bats pre-wrapped with Lizard Skins include the MLB® Prime Birch I13 available in wine high-gloss finish retailing for $129.99, the MLB Prime Maple C271 with black high-gloss finish at $119.99 and the MLB Prime Ash M110 model in black high-gloss for $99.99. There’s a C271 model available in M9 Maple with black finish for $79.99, an I13 Pro Stock in black for $49.99 and a Pro Stock Lite C271 model in black for $49.99. All Louisville Slugger bats pre-wrapped with Lizard Skins can be viewed and purchased online and at sporting goods and baseball specialty stores.

louisville slugger m110 lizard skin

Get each one at the following links:

Prime Birch I13

Prime Maple C271

Prime Ash M110

M9 C271 Maple

Pro Stock I13

Pro Stock Lite C271

One question arises that I’m very interested to hear from the ballplayers in the audience: does this make you more likely to buy the bat?  Or would you rather buy them separately and do it yourself?  Isn’t there something sacred about wrapping your own bat?  Look no further than these guys for what I mean.


Matt Carpenter’s Profile Added

matt carpenter marucci bat, matt carpenter nike cleats, rawlings glove, rawlings pro200 glove,

No batting gloves, no problem.  Check out the man who conquered Kershaw here.


Eric Hosmer’s Profile Updated

Eric Hosmer's Under Armour Yard Mid and Deception DT Cleats

The 1st WPW follower in a League Championship series!  Check out his update here.


Victor Martinez’ Profile Added

Victor Martinez' Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced Swagger 2 Cleats

The AL MVP not named Trout, V-Mart had a career year at 35 and is fully fitted in Mizuno’s finest.  Check his profile out here.


Josh Harrison’s Profile Added

josh harrison marucci jh5 bat, josh harrison under armour cleats, josh harrison wilson a2000 glove, under armor yard vii batting gloves, evoshield leg guard custom

Check out the game’s most versatile player here.


Jeter Announces New Player-to-Fan Website, “The Players Tribune”

Jeter

Derek Jeter ended a 20 year Yankee career on Sunday.  At 40 years old, he’s been a Yankee Shortstop for half of his life, one of the most scrutinized jobs on Earth.  You’d think maybe a week’s vacation would be in order?

Na, Jeter tried the retired life on Monday.  It was boring.  So he started a media company yesterday.

“Introducing The Players’ Tribune, a new media platform that will present the unfiltered voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before. Founded by Derek Jeter, The Players’ Tribune aims to provide unique insight into the daily sports conversation and to publish first-person stories directly from athletes.”

From what it sounds like, Derek and his team are attempting to cut out “the middle man,” in this case the media, who so often fabricate controversy in the TMZ age of media.  Check out Jeter’s first post here.  Its worth reading.

The Players Tribune sounds awesome and I can’t help but see some parallels to WPW.  Our goal here, and I’ve said it before, is and will always be to cut out the marketing bullshit.  To eliminate the fluff.  So as a site with a similar philosophy, I really hope The Players Tribune succeeds.

P.S. Jeets, if you’re listening, I know of this great gear website that your readers would love (wink, wink).

 

JOSH HARRISON PROFILE COMING TODAY


Salvador Perez’ Profile Added

salvador-perez-catchers-mitt-gear-bat-batting-gloves-cleats-sunglasses-guards

Nobody’s got a better set-up than Salvador Perez behind the dish.  Check it out here as we get ready for the Royals first playoff game since 1985!


Every Single Playoff Player that We’ve Profiled

mlb postseason

Of the 2014 playoff teams, here are the guys we’ve profiled.  There are 39 here, and Josh Harrison will be the 40th.  Some may be outdated and I’d love for you guys to let me know if you see something that needs to be changed:

Baltimore Orioles

Adam Jones

Manny Machado

Chris Davis

Nelson Cruz

Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera

Justin Verlander

David Price

Anaheim Angels

Albert Pujols

Mike Trout

Josh Hamilton

Tyler Skaggs

David Freese

Oakland Athletics

Josh Reddick

Josh Donaldson

Brandon Moss

Kansas City Royals

Eric Hosmer

Alex Gordon

Raul Ibanez (from 2012 playoffs)

Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg

Bryce Harper

Ian Desmond

Ryan Zimmerman

St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina

Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw

Matt Kemp

Hanley Ramirez

Yasiel Puig

Dee Gordon

Adrian Gonzalez (hitting only)

San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey

Tim Lincecum

Pablo Sandoval

Hunter Pence

Brandon Crawford

Joe Panik

Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen

Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez

Gregory Polanco


Joe Panik’s Profile Added

Joe Panik's Louisville Slugger T141 Maple Bat

Three second basemen in Major League Baseball hit .300+ this season.  The first two are Jose Altuve and Robinson Cano.

Can you guess the 3rd?


Derek Jeter’s Career in Gear

I had a lot more written down, but I just had to scrap it because its all meaningless.  Just roll the tape:

“The one I did not want to see forever in the postseason was actually Jeter. Jeter was just uncomfortable to pitch to, especially in the postseason.” -Pedro Martinez

I don’t even know if my brain can comprehend how much I’ll miss my childhood and adulthood idol, Derek Jeter.  All I know is that I feel lucky to have been around to see him.  Here’s a few shots of his gear through the years so I don’t just sit here and cry all night.

Derek Jeter's Louisville Slugger P72 Ash - 1996 WS

A good look at Jeter’s career-long companion, the Louisville Slugger P72 Ash bat, which he used to rack up 5 runs in his first World Series victory vs Atlanta in ’96.  The 22 year old Rookie of the Year hit .361 in the postseason, the Yankees first championship run since 1978.

Derek Jeter Fila Cleats

In ’97, Fila of all companies signed Jeter and outfitted him with some of the ugliest cleats ever made.  Jeter managed to steal 23 bags with ‘em, anyways.  Notice the Franklin Pro Classics, too.

The 90s were the first of three decades that Jeter has crushed life in.  His chances of destroying future decades are still very high.

1998, at his first ASG.  MVP OF THE GREATEST TEAM EVER.  125 wins and 50 losses.  Finished 3rd in the season MVP voting behind Juan Gonzalez and Nomar Garciaparra.  Juan Gonzalez hit 45 bombs and drove in 157 runs.  He was the size of a horse.  Nomar, at 24, hit 35 bombs, and drove in 122 (in 143 games).  He never hit more than 28 homers in a season again.

Some time in August of that season, Jeter steps out of Fila (and the shoes immediately shrivel up and die like in The Wizard of Oz) and into a pair of Nikes.  Earth resumes spinning on its axis.

It would be cool if someone could ID those.

As Michael Jordan says goodbye to the Bulls, he handpicks Jeter to be Jumpman’s torchbearer.  Jeter wears it well, including these first-ever Jordan baseball cleats not worn by Jordan himself, Jeter’s custom Jordan XIVs.

Jeter's Jordan Wristband

He switched out the Rawlings wristband, and you can also see him rocking a simple Benik wrist guard.  Also switched out the Gargoyle F-8 flip-ups, Ken Griffey Jr.’s signature shades that came out in 1997 (thanks Brent for finding those) for Oakleys. Walt Frazier would say that Derek Jeter, by 1999, is officially stylin’ and profilin’. A third ring, for the pinky, while the Yankees finished the season on a 12 game World Series winning streak.

In the year 2000, he poured a drink on his boss.

jeter camcorder 1996

Couldn’t help myself on this one.  Jeter holding some kind of primitive telescope or something in his fourth ticker tape parade.

Derek Jeter Jordan Cleats - 2001 2 Derek Jeter Jordan Cleats - 2001

In 2001, Jeter earns one of his many nicknames, Mr. November, with a walk-off HR off Byung Hyun Kim to tie the World Series at 2 games a piece.  He did it in these Jordans with his “Turn 2″ Foundation embroidered on the heels. Derek Jeter's Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRODJ2

Between 2002 and 2005, Jeter won 3 consecutive Gold Gloves with a Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRODJ2.  Major League coaches voted on it.  They watch all the games.  But he was a terrible fielder, though, because you know, WAR and stuff. Derek Jeter Jordan Batting Gloves - 2006

A freshhhh pair of Jordan BGs from his 2006 season, in which Jeter finished second in the MVP vote, behind a big season from Justin Morneau.  Morneau’s teammate from the Twins took the batting title, beating Jeter out .347 to .343.

jeter 2009 cleats gehrig

These are Jeter’s 2009 Jordans.  He broke Lou Gehrig’s All-Time Yankee hit record with his 2,722nd hit in these, then topped off his World Series resume with a .407 batting average, and a fist-full of rings.

Derek Jeter DJ3K Cleats

For his 3000th hit game he wore these special Jeter Cut DJ3K cleats.  In that game he hit a game tying home run off David Price for 3000 and finished the game 5 for 5, with the game-winning RBI.

jeter-previous-batting-gloves

He also wore these Jordan Team BGs, some of my favorites ever.

Derek Jeter Jordan Lux Cleats - 2014

For tonight’s walk-off in his final home game, Jeter wore these gorgeous Jordan Jeter Lux cleats. To see Jeter’s current (and final) profile, check it out here. Thank you, Derek.  If there was one guy that I wish could play forever, it would be you.


#2


VIDEO: More info on New Balance Minimus and 3000v2

New Balance released a little more on the 3000v2 and Minimus cleats that we took the wraps off on Monday.

The videos show a little bit about them paired with some skrillexy music that actually is pretty tight.

More in words below…

New Balance 3000v2 Cleat Colorways

3000v2, from New Balance:

As the regular baseball season comes to a close, some New Balance baseball athletes will head into the postseason sporting an updated version of the popular 3000 cleat, the 3000v2, featuring the first dual density midsole in baseball. The two layers of the midsole will have athletes questioning whether they are wearing cleats at all. Revlite RC foam runs the length of the foot bed, providing excellent responsiveness against spike pressure, and traditional Revlite foam gives extra cushioning under the heel. With more mesh on the cleat’s no-sew Fantom Fit upper, the 3000v2 gives the athlete the lightweight feel of a running shoe on spikes. A highly polished outsole plate provides a more consistent traction platform, and is easier to clean after each game.

The 3000v2 will release on October 1 at $90, in a low top only.  You can order them right now here.

  • 12.4 oz
  • 11mm drop

New Balance Minimus Cleats (Grey)

Minimus, from New Balance

An innovative concept, the lightweight Minimus cleat offers unrivaled flexibility, providing elite players with the freedom of natural movement and articulation underfoot.  The Flex Motion Zone plate maximizes underfoot flexibility, allowing natural foot movement.  With a 4MM drop , it is the same as the popular Mx20 training shoe, allowing players to play in the same style footwear they train in.

Minimus also releases on 10/1, at a $120 clip.  Order them right now here.

  • 9.8 oz
  • 4MM drop, same as popular Mx20 training shoe, allowing players to play in the same style footwear they train in