Hanley’s “Hanleywood” 4040s from his Dodger days were awesome, but New Balance took it to the next level with Hanley’s new Sox customs.
New Balance put to good use the Red Sox’ iconic font to personalize these 4040v2s for Hanley, with his first name on the insert and initial on the tongue.
Hanley likes the high ankle support as in years past, but I wonder, will that still apply in the outfield?
For me, as an outfielder, I would rather have low spikes because it makes me feel quicker and more agile. I think that is more a preference than a rule, though. What do you guys think?
And one more poll. Do you like Hanley’s cleats with the Dodgers or Sox better?
So the one thing I didn’t really plan for when I went down to AZ—split squads. Lots of guys missing.
I still was able to get some good shots of some gear worth talking about, so this is more of an abbreviated look at what some of the Giants are breaking in for 2015.
Hector Sanchez with a saucy pair of NB 1500 trainers.
The Giants hauled a Keiser M3 stationary bike over to Hohokam (A’s) Stadium so Matt Cain could get his work in post-start.
THE MOST REQUESTED PIECE OF GEAR IN WPW HISTORY, the All-Star Lace-On Wrist Guard (on Hector Sanchez’ mitt, and its AVAILABLE FINALLY.
Matt Duffy had a nice custom Wilson G4 (or G5) Superskin glove.
Pennant-Clinching Hero Travis Ishikawa swings the same cut as Mike Trout, the Old Hick J143M.
Juan Perez wore the Kaenon X-Kore sunglasses, which seem to fuse to the face, and a Slugger Pro Flare that we could not find.
You may have seen Gregor Blanco’s Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO303-6GTM mesh masterpiece on our Instagram. As far as we know, this is a Gregor Blanco exclusive.
Interestingly, a lot of great outfielders seem to implement the mesh to reduce the weight of the glove. Even just that extra ounce or two can be the difference between a sno-cone web gem or a 2-run double.
Judging by the embroidery, Casey McGehee must have picked up some Japanese Mizuno leather during his season abroad with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
The Giants trainers use a fitness tracking software called OmniSense, which reads information from a “BioHarness” around an athlete’s chest and is just really bad-ass:
“The Software was initially designed in partnership with NASA and US Special Operations to give immediate feedback on the health and condition of a human being under stressful situations and has been adapted for including support for training optimization based on feedback from researchers and several professional sports trainers.”
Crawdaddy still rockin’ the Nike MVP Elite 3/4 cleats long after they’ve been discontinued. He must love ‘em.
CJ Wilson has been with New Balance since before it was cool (below from 2011), and the Boston company that’s giving Nike a run for their money has returned that loyalty.
For 2015, CJ has his own clean gold accented home & away pair of the New Balance 3000v2. Check them out below.
The American League Champion Kansas City Royals were short a few guys (Hosmer, Gordon, Guthrie, Cain) but did not lack for “estilo.”
In Kansas City, the Rawlings cup runneth over.
Alcides Escobar’s Rawlings PROPL217JB was most esteemed and Jarrod Dyson’s Mesh might be the one I’d most like to play with, but that Bubba Starling PRO303HC2T in Mocha won the beauty pageant for me.
Ryan Roberts won the award for “Glove Most Likely to Smell Bad.” Thing was mangy.
Some notables in this gallery:
Evoshield Digi Camo used to its utmost potential.
Dove Tail Bats getting a look from a few teams that I saw while in AZ. Has a nice menu of pro models on its site at $75-$105 (I looked briefly).
Max Bat with fancy stickers.
Ryan Roberts with some woodland camo Oakleys.
Omar Infante swings an R205 profile Slugger which we traced as far back as Reds greats Barry Larkin and Eric Davis.
On a related note, I wish bat companies would stop letting guys name their own models and stick to the original numbers set forth by the Godfather of Lumber (who was just acquired by Wilson Sporting Goods), Louisville Slugger. That way WPW can better trace the lineage of bats and in 50 years we can say the AL MVP of 2065 “swings the same bat as the great Mike Trout.”
Speaking of changing the names of bat profiles, we saw our first Louisville Slugger DJ2, the new namesake of the historic P72 profile. Royals hopeful Ryan Jackson was swinging it.
Omar Infante looked like a football player doing his stutter steps pre-game.
A couple of odds and ends, Hilltopper Clay by Stabilizing Solutions is the choice of Rockies and DBacks grounds crew at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
BatTar Up by Markwort Grip Enhancer
A few sets of custom kicks:
Jarrod Dyson’s Huarache Pro
Terrance Gore’s adidas Power Alley 2
Omar Infante’s New Balance 3000v2
Which would you rock?
Big Papi made the switch, like a lot of Red Sox, to New Balance last season. We noted it in Ortiz’ profile, and now we have the beauty shots of his fully custom 4040v2 cleats. Above you can see both, with some Dominican flavor, including the “809” area code and the Dominican Republic coat of arms on the tongue.
These are two very handsome shoes. Notice that they both have MCS, or plastic, cleats as opposed to metal. This is still a question we get asked a lot, and we did a full breakdown on why many Big Leaguers wear plastic here. For Ortiz, being a full-time DH, if he feels fine in the box with plastics there’s really no need to go metal.
Ortiz kept this pair pretty classy with only subtle red accents for color. Which do you prefer? Are you more flashy or classy? Shop the 4040v2s here and many thanks to New Balance Baseball for providing some great looks.
WPW’s Cactus League tour continues, this time with the Oakland Athletics.
Coco Crisp told us his Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO-TB is headed into its 9th season. I posed this question on Instagram: considering the amount of ridiculous diving, crashing, leaping catches Crisp has made in the last 8 seasons, can you think of a more distinguished piece of leather in the game?
A few consummate Oakland Grinders in this gallery. Eric Sogard told us he mixes a few companies in, but in the two games we watched, he only swung the Phoenix ES10A model bat pictured. Sogard also wore the Cutters Power Control batting gloves, jackin’ Will Ferrell‘s style. We also saw him in the 4040v2 turfs along with too many other A’s to count.
Sam Fuld wears a Rawlings PRO303-6JB with green script, and took his BP cuts with a Marucci custom cut.
Swiss Army Knife Ben Zobrist’s told us that the glove he was wearing, a Rawlings Pro Preferred PRO200-2KBR, will be his gamer this year. He was wearing the New Balance 2000s, a plastic version of the 3000.
Sean Doolittle’s Rawlings Two Piece came out of the box looking dirty with dark brown leather, but it looked purdy in the sun.
Sonny Gray looks like he’ll stick with the Nike Two Piece we’ve seen him wear in season past, while Spring Training hopeful Brock Huntzinger had my favorite glove for the A’s, a light tan Rawlings Pro Preferred Modified Trap with green in all the right places.
Billy Butler has been getting plenty of work in at first base, and we noticed his gamer was a black Mizuno, but he is breaking in the green Pro Limited GZP 32. After that is a shot of Butler’s Mizuno model bat, the AD67, which is normally not something we see—usually the closest we can get is the trademark, on which Mizuno’s never go into detail.
The last glove pictured is Rickey Henderson’s Rawlings PROMB, a gift from former A David DeJesus. Rickey talks about it in my brief and interrupted interview below:
Brett Lawrie’s Nike Vapor Pro cleats have a colorway exclusive to Lawrie. He was swinging a Tucci BL-420 bat and said he expects that to be his gamer this year. Lawrie’s Mizuno glove is barely recognizable, looking like he bathes it in baby oil each night, but it looks like he’s working in a new black one with the inscription BL13 on the ring finger.
Turd Ferguson (Josh Reddick) did not dress for the game.
Coco Crisp’s Slugger M301S is not a model we’re familiar with but it looks like its available at that link.
WPW doesn’t just stop at the gloves and bats. What about the resistance bands? The lawn mowers? The tarp? OK, didn’t get the tarp, but…
After that, some gorgeous leather from All-Star and Rawlings for non-roster invite Bruce Maxwell, a Brett Fungo w/ an old Kurt Suzuki Wilson piece, Peter Gammons giving those NB’s a beat down, Rickey in the Nike Frees, and former A’s catcher and All Star Ray Fosse had some encouraging words for A’s new backstop Josh Phegley.
So yesterday was Will Ferrell, today was actual baseball, and it was another very good day for WPW. Carlos Gonzalez, who has been following WPW for two seasons, recognized my hat and graciously took me into the clubhouse to get a look at some of his gear.
There is so much content here that I’m not going to have time to link to it all. Just enjoy the best day in WPW history…
Cargo told me he’s a fan of the all-synthetic Nike Vapor 360 because its easy to break-in and light. He’ll be using one of the two pictured (pink or white). If you can rock a pink glove, that’s just a whole other level. (Cargo’s models are available at the link)
Which do you think Cargo should use?
I asked Cargo about his bats, too, having seen him swing a few different companies but mostly Sam Bat in games. So why does he keep coming back to the Sam Bat CG5 Maple? “I got a batting title with that bat.” “Nuff said.
Also got good looks of his Nike Vapor Elite Pro batting gloves, available in select colors.
Then Brandon Barnes walked up behind me and said “Oh, WhatProsWear!” and proceeded to tell Corey Dickerson to follow us on Instagram. I was basically living out a baseball gear fantasy. Barnes was equally as gracious as Cargo (even though I blew the WPW pic) and showed off some of his new swag, too:
Barnes told me he’s usually a Chandler guy but has been swinging Old Hickory recently, the Matt Holliday model you see in the gallery.
The Rockies Nike glove game is absolutely off the meter and Barnes’ purple SHA DO Elite J might be my favorite of all. Here’s a few others from Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs:
Now I’m having second thoughts about Barnes’ being my favorite. Stubbs SHA DO Elite J H-Web is so so so so tight. Love that little design element on the ring finger and the Longhorn (Hook ‘em) logo on the palm.
Corey Dickerson wore the MVP Select in game but told me he’s got a new gamer coming this week. He likes the hybrid synthetic/leather, Barnes and Stubbs go full leather, and Cargo’s Vapor 360 is completely synthetic.
How about a Rawlings to throw in the mix, courtesy of Charlie Blackmon.
The first one, the PROS17ICBR, looks like Blackmon’s future gamer, while the PRO303-6KBT is his current gamer. Looks well broken in.
If you could wear any of the Rockies OFers gloves, which would it be?
Oh yeah, Tulo was there, too.
Still swinging the TL-271 from Tucci. His MVP Pro 2 cleats were plastics as we’ve seen him wear in the past. We also got a really nice look at the BGs that I love so much, an old Nike version, the Diamond Elite Pro. Also check out that tape job. Looks like paper mache, not sure the agent he’s using.
EVERYBODY in the Rockies infield straps on the Gargoyle Gamers.
A few close-ups of the rest of the Rockies infield gamers, including Daniel Descalso’s I-Web, Nolan Arenado’s Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO12-6TI, DJ Lemahieu’s H-Web, and Morneau’s Wilson A2000 2800.
And finally, a few other items from the Rockies top guys:
A lot of Old Hick out there, including Nolan Arenado’s J154 Maple that he had signed by his locker. The stud 3B had some camo NIKEiD Huaraches that I’m sure we’ll see much more of this year. Morneau swinging birch wood from BWP, and staying classy with the Franklin Pro Classics. Corey Dickerson likes the Nike MVP Elite Pro 2 BG’s. That guy can swing it.
Also notice Charlie Blackmon’s Evoshield City Leg Guard.
Stay tuned for more spring stuff. Still got a few more teams and really encouraged by what we got so far.
I was talking about gloves with Rickey, then Will came over and that was that.
My findings from the interview: Rickey “did a lot of snatchin’.” Also Rickey doesn’t care nearly as much about his glove as I do.
I’m not a video guy, so its not Oscar winning work. It was really cool to see those guys together though, so I figured I’d share.
WPW caught a big break for Spring Training. The Oakland Athletics are a first class organization and gave us the opportunity to cover our first MLB game. Obviously, I was pretty pumped to come in and get some up-close shots of the Mariners and A’s gear. Then yesterday I learn that, for my first MLB experience, Will Ferrell will be playing.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW.
So I figured, when in Rome… So here’s Will Ferrell’s MLB Debut with the A’s, oh, and the Mariners… And I think he played for a few other teams, too.
P.S. I took some photos of actual players too. Will get those up soon enough.
Wilson A2000 Y-Web (Josh Reddick)
Marucci Los15 Maple
Ferrell’s 10 team, 5 stadium stunt was planned for HBO, Funny or Die, and to benefit an organization that grants college scholarships to cancer survivors called Cancer for College. His inspiration for the positional feat is Bert “Campy” Campaneris, who played all nine positions in a single game on September 8, 1965, for the Oakland Athletics. Bert was in attendance today, and Ferrell got his clubhouse name, “Campy,” on his Marucci maple.
Cutters Power Control
Its safe to say the Digi Camo takeover is complete. Will Ferrell in the Cutters Power Control batting gloves.
Here’s the full BP video (I couldn’t help myself but coach a little bit):
Claimed he’s a 5-tool guy mid-round. Decent oppo pop, rolls over the offspeed. Also notice the camera guy kneeling in fair territory who has probably never been to a ballgame before. You know that’s where they’re aiming right, chief? Guy just missed getting impaled by a hot shot to third, too.
Under Armour Deception DT in Black
Ferrell didn’t see any action, but he did a serviceable job running towards plays like a 4 year old on a soccer field, and he especially loved telling everyone how many outs there were.
He also proved to be an elite level heckler, at both his teammates and opponents, and got Brett Lawrie going a few times.
The veteran Lawrie did some coaching as well.
Ferrell then switched dugouts and jumped over to second base, but he kept the Reddick Y-Web.
He didn’t see any action at second either, but he did find an elf in the stands…
And proceeded to change his life…
The highlight of my
day year life, though, was before the game. I had been wanting to talk to Rickey Henderson about his glove, and finally got a moment with him. He was very friendly, we talked gloves, then worlds collided, when Will Ferrell walked over.
Check out the full video as Rickey and I chat about gloves while Will Ferrell shows up and blows my interview.
Good day for WPW. We’ll get some real gear up shortly.
You may have seen on any number of news outlets that Daniel Norris (Instagram)—Blue Jays #1 prospect, a southpaw with a staggering repertoire of pitches including the dirty curveball with which he introduced himself to David Ortiz—lives out of his 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia microbus (named “Shaggy”).
Despite a handsome salary and an endorsement deal with outdoor brand Patagonia at just 21 years old, the Jays’ future ace sees no need for excess.
Norris lives the mantra, “Waste not, want not.” He has everything he needs—food, shelter, clothing—to live and pursue his passion, to be a pro ballplayer. Besides, when you live in a van, you’re not exactly long on space. But what about the gear?!?
Oh, that’s another story, people.
When it comes to Wilson leather, Norris tosses his minimalist spirit right out the Westfalia window. He loves them, collects them, swoons over them, calls them “family,” and shows them off on Instagram between photos of Nicaraguan sunsets.
The Wilson with the finger hood seen above was Norris’ Science Hill High School sweetheart, down in Johnson City, Tennessee, and now, with all this fame and fortune, he’s got options.
Glove options, of course.
Norris sent WPW the shot above this morning, a good look at the seven bachelorettes vying for his love and affection. With such a stable of beauties, how do you pick just one to take to the dance?
From the top left:
- Black-grey stitch/piping-yellow logos 1799 H-Web with the finger hood on the middle finger (Norris goes two in the pinky with this one)
- The blacked out GG47 (Gio Gonzalez) with the standard finger hood
- Classic tan 1799 H-Web
- On the bottom row, another GG47 with the black-and-tan look that goes down easy
- Front-and-center, the B212 two-piece in Yellow Gold that seems to stand out from the crowd
- A Walnut/Grey 1799 (similar at that link)
- The Dark Horse, an A2K D33 laced web (new for Wilson) in black with white stitching
We can probably surmise that the 1799s (H-Webs) are just shag(gy) gloves, because in the time we’ve been doing this, only three pitchers, JP Howell, Huston Street, and Zack Greinke, have ever taken an H-Web out on the bump.
Most recently, we’ve seen Norris in Spring Training with the black-and-tan GG47 (two photos up in-game AND in the lead photo **on his head**), however, we also caught him giving the Yellow Gold B212 the bedroom eyes (above).
We know he’s got his work cut out for him, so lets help Daniel out and take it to a vote—or be a “me-guy” and head straight to WilsonCustomGloves.com to design your own.
A few updates that we’ve mentioned on social media, including Robbie Cano’s makeover from Nike to NB and Franklin.
Above are two custom pairs done by Mache Custom Kicks, the first hard evidence that Robbie is officially an NB guy after seeing him pose with Jose Bautista in some NB gear recently.
Robbie will also be switching out the Nikes for the CFX Pro customs and you can expect some more colors to surface as the season begins. Customize your own here.
Franklin also posted this teaser this week, which we could decipher from the below photos to be Pablo Sandoval, an Under Armour convert. Tally up another one for the CFX Pro. It seems like he’ll be joining Cano on the New Balance team, too, cutting ties with San Francisco and Under Armour in one fell swoop.
Looks like a stock version of the 4040v2s in this photo and a FRESH new piece of SSK leather that we will make sure to get close-ups of.
FILTHY. (And available.)
Some up-and-coming swag, the front-runner for my “favorite-Yankee-post-Jeter,” former national champ with Arizona, Rob Refsnyder’s Slugger I13. Ref is a WPW guy, and he showed off the renderings for his new Nike leather for us. Hoping to get some actual shots of these for you soon.
Moving right along, big news from the catcher’s department, Salvy Perez will leave All-Star for Rawlings in 2015, sporting a sublimated (gradient) blue/white chest protector and a glove that looks strikingly similar (aka identical) to his old CM3000XSBT from All-Star.
It doesn’t have a name yet, but you can expect the chest protector to be available in 2015, as early as August.
Here’s another shot of a red (no sublimation) version:
Bryce Harper got a new Rawlings glove, too, calling it his gamer, #fuego indeed:
Mizuno got with Harper’s teammate Ian Desmond to intro his new baby as well.
We got some close-ups for you to gawk at—looks like a discontinued GMP6:
Giancarlo Stanton’s new face mask, which was designed by Schutt Sports to protect him from another horrific, potentially career- or life-threatening injury.
Notice the “G” wired into the carbon frame.
Lots of developments coming out of Boston camp, and Ortiz might be flirting with a new pair of Marucci batting gloves, instead of his Franklin CFX Pros we’ve seen in years past. May be a permanent change, or may just be spring experimentation.
Did we miss anything? Of course we did. Let us know.
MIMSBANDZ: The Portrait Wristbands Worn by 90s Legends (Bonds, Strawberry, Ozzie, Griffey…) ARE BACK
Whether these are new to you, or a long-lost love, the story of Mimsbandz is WPW REQUIRED READING for its historical significance. Back in the mid-80s, a young man named James Mims from South Central Los Angeles, who was looking to get into business for himself, convinced Dusty Baker, then playing for the Athletics, to wear a wristband with Dusty’s face on it. Dusty reluctantly agreed to a hand-sewn sample and started wearing them to work.
Some of Dusty’s Athletics teammates laughed at him at first, but Dusty loved them and soon enough, it caught the eye of some other guys around the league. Before James knew it, he was outfitting over 100 MLB players. Baseball legends like Darryl Strawberry, Reggie Jackson, Barry Bonds, Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith, Frank Thomas, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey, Jr. were wearing them, with their face, autograph, and a short (and sometimes ironic) slogan like Bonds’ “SAY NO TO DRUGS.”
Bonds, whose father Bobby grew up with Dusty Baker, was one of Mims’ most loyal customers, wearing the wristbands religiously, like when he out-clubbed cross-town behemoth Mark McGwire in EPIC fashion in the 1996 Home Run Derby:
(actual recording of the Derby… skip to 1:45ish to see Barry hit 3 straight bombs in the final round, then rip off an absolutely merciless bat-flip for the fatality)
On first landing Bonds as a customer while Bonds was with the Pirates:
“Barry came into Dodgers Stadium, and I am in the old dugout seats… ’87 I believe. I walk up to the railing and introduce myself and we talked. Dusty told me to mention him, but I wanted the product to stand on it’s own. Barry and I talked for over 30 minutes. I heard things about him, but like Reggie Jackson, I treat people the way they treat me…..and Barry was AWESOME! We still are in contact today. His only request was that he wanted a little yellow on the top of his bandz and the rest all black, and he wanted to be the ONLY one with it because it was his idea.”
With Bonds and the other greats retired, Mimsbandz were just a lost relic in 2011 when James approached Brandon Phillips, a meeting that Mims recalled in an interview for Classic Kicks (check it out for some more great stories from James):
“I said, ‘do you remember the wristbands with the player’s likeness and autographs on it?’ He turned around and his eyes lit up! He said, ‘You’re the one? Barry Larkin was my favorite player and I was always wondering where I could get them. When I came up to the Big Leagues with Cleveland I had my agent try to find you and nobody could find you.'”
After Phillips brought them back, Tulo and a host of other new school ballplayers caught wind of it and wanted that one-of-a-kind swagger that their childhood heroes had.
Mims contacted WPW a couple of weeks ago and I was thrilled to hear from him. He was gracious enough to send through some Mimsbandz from the old and new school so that we could show them off and let you know that Mimsbandz are now on sale to the public for the first time ever.
You can buy classic AND current Mimsbandz on Mimsbandz.com. They are very reasonably priced between $12.50 for guys like Phillips and Tulo and $49.50 for the greats like Ozzie, The Big Hurt, and Mr. October. UNTIL THE END OF MARCH, WPW READERS GET 25% OFF NON-HALL OF FAMERS WITH THE CODE “WPW3/1/15″ at checkout.
On the site, which is still under construction (but taking orders), Mims hints at a future custom offering, and once we have more details on that, we’ll fill you in immediately.
Check out the gallery above for some of the Mimsbandz from past and present, including Tulo, Reds great Eric Davis, Carlos Gonzalez, and others. Just within the past few days, James added Adam Jones to the Mimsbandz roster.
Keep an eye out as we’re going to put together an Instagram giveaway soon. One of the rules of the contest will be to FOLLOW @MIMSBANDZ ON INSTAGRAM. You can do so by clicking the follow button above.
Finally, would you rock one of these with your face on it?
Since the year 2000, Ray Tanner’s South Carolina Gamecocks have been arguably the best program in college baseball, winning consecutive College World Series in 2010 and 2011, and falling just short of a three-peat in 2012, losing to the Arizona Wildcats in the championship. During that span they have made 6 CWS appearances, reaching 11 Super Regionals.
With success comes spoils. Premium Rawlings leather as far as the eye can see. Team logo custom cleats from Under Armour, which even the pros don’t get. Generous helpings of swag. Check it out here, and thanks to Zach at @SCBaseballEquip for putting together some really good shots for us. Keep up with the Gamecocks on Twitter.
Love the South Carolina state flag on the back of those hats.
Shop the Rawlings S90 Helmets here. (90 stands for 90 mph)
We can all agree, Rawlings knows how to make a fielding glove. But what’s the deal with the batting gloves? I feel like they are still trying to sell off a design they produced in 1995. Step it up Rawlings.
Love those turfs though.
UA Deception DT Cleats
UA Yard Cleats
UA Yard Turfs
Rawlings Workhorse Batting Gloves
Rawlings 950X Catcher’s Equipment
Rawlings 5150 BBCOR Bat
Rawlings Trio BBCOR Bat
And here’s a little taster of the sweet leather:
Absolute gems. I want to swan dive into that cart of Rawlings gloves like Scrooge McDuck.
Aside from the gear, I would be remiss to leave this batflip by freshman bopper Alex Destino off SC’s “Show It Off” feature. May it live in batflip lore for all eternity:
You can actually see the bat at the bottom left of the screen as the camera follows the ball into the next town…
Here you can see the technique:
And here’s the AND1 Mixtape reaction from his teammates postgame:
So the obvious question being, is the Jason-Giambi-toothpick batflip too much, not enough, or just right?
Here’s a more understated Giambi for reference, though his 14th inning walk-off vs the Twins in ’02 was far more majestic (no video/gif of it):
Auburn gives us a peek at the life and locker of an SEC ballplayer, and its NOT TOO SHABBY. Thanks to Andrew Dewing and the staff there. Follow Auburn baseball on Twitter and for more gear, follow @wdebaseball365.
But first a little Auburn Baseball History 101 taught by WPW:
Bo Jackson swinging a lead pipe that he wrestled away from a junkyard dog.
The Big Hurt
Tim Hudson. A guy who’s been taking the ball every 5th day for 150 years.
Watch the last HR if you can, tell me if he jumped a fastball there.
Dirtdog Josh Donaldson, a WPW staple.
You’ll see a lot very nice looking Easton gloves in this post. The Auburn styles are customs, but you can shop Easton’s Pro Series style of gloves, which seem comparable.
The Auburn player who wears this glove, Sam Gillikin, mentioned in the comments that it “doesn’t come close to the SSK I used with the white sox.” I followed up but haven’t heard back yet. If Sam responds I’ll update.
UA Spine Trainer
UA Spine Venom Workout Shoe
UA Deception DT Cleats
Lets take those jerseys to a vote. My allegiance rests with the throwbacks.
Shop the similar Pro Series gloves here.
Thanks again to Andrew for the photography. Follow Auburn University baseball.
According to Madison Bumgarner‘s WPW profile, he’s a Rawlings guy. Not anymore, says Mizuno in a press release today.
The Mizuno Pro Limited GMP100BK (available at that link) is masterpiece of a baseball glove, and Mizuno tells us that this will be World Series legend Madison Bumgarner’s game glove.
While a $500 pricetag makes the Pro Limited line of gloves the most expensive on the market, Mizuno’s Off-season Conditioning Program “allows for one free repair and recondition,” a really nice perk that extends the life of a glove you’re probably not going to want to ever die.
Here’s the menu of services available with the repair/recondition program:
We’ll reserve our profile update until we see it on the field, but expect to see MadBum with Mizuno for the foreseeable future, as Mizuno calls it a “multi-year deal.”
Should he have stayed with Rawlings?
Over the long, desolate, baseball-impoverished winter, New Balance dropped an innovative new cleat that caught my eye. The Minimus line of New Balance footwear is designed to give a “close-to-barefoot” experience—that might be a preference for runners, but to ballplayers its a myth. Not once in my life have I put on a cleat and had any doubt that I was wearing a baseball cleat. You come to expect the stiffness, the heaviness, that’s what a baseball cleat is supposed to be, right?
Not this one. My first impression with the Minimus was just putting them on and walking around my apartment, and right away they felt like nothing I’d ever worn. They felt so low to the ground (4mm drop) that I honestly felt like I was wearing tennis shoes. They are as light as New Balance technology could reasonably allow (9.8 oz), and the feel reminded me of an adidas Samba (soccer turfs).
I took them out for a couple of practices so far, and coming from the original 4040 which was already pretty damn good for ranging in center field, the Minimus feels extraordinarily agile. The combination of a remarkably thin “FantomFit” upper and a very low profile tongue creates a form-fit that I’ve never felt before in a baseball cleat. As far as top speed and change of direction, I doubt there is a better shoe on the market.
I haven’t had a chance to pitch with them yet, but my instincts tell me that these probably aren’t the best shoe for going the distance, just based on the streamlined design prioritizing speed over support. However, they are sufficiently supportive for a position player, though I can’t speak on how it would handle the rigors of a pro, college, or even high school schedule.
Overall, I am a big fan of New Balance’s approach with the Minimus cleat. When you put it on, you will feel like you’re wearing a low-profile turf/training shoe, and the Minimus performs just the same. If you’re a guy who uses his legs and athleticism to get an advantage on the diamond, the Minimus is for you.
LSU starts off the season as the #2 team in Baseball America’s national top 25 (behind National Champ Vandy), and the perennial contender knows as well as anybody how to show it off. This is LSU’s second “S.I.O.” and you can check out their 2014 feature (which has more of the facilities) at this link.
I want to sincerely thank Spencer at LSU for putting this together for us. Follow LSU Equipment on Twitter for more looks as the season progresses and beyond.
Nike is customizing the MVP Pro 2/MVP Elite 2 silhouette for its top schools this season, and LSU gets one of the best treatments we’ve seen.
A few fresh customs from Wilson. Some really nice work from the guys on these. They customized theirs at WilsonCustomGloves.com.
OF #6 Andrew Stevenson’s Wilson A2000 1799
C #2 Michael Papierski’s Catcher’s Mitt (didn’t get model info before we published)
OF #9 Mark Laird’s Wilson A2000 1799
This is the part of the feature when your feelings of awe turn to jealousy. Don’t worry, its perfectly normal. LSU is lapping just about everybody in the Swag Department and there’s not much you can do about it.
Wilson Promotion Catcher’s Gear (Homerun Monkey has some really nice colors there)
Some miscellaneous items here… Opening Day in the clubhouse (which happens to be today 2.13.15). The bat knob decals are from Pro Helmet Decals. Sick Nike jersey. In that last photo of the door decal, I don’t even know what purpose those plaques on the left actually serve but I need them.
This is not a drill.
You may have noticed @RawlingsSports throwing up a few posts with a peek at some new leather for the season. Well, I wanted to see if we could get a better look at these beauties so I asked Rawlings if they could send through the raw photos of each of the gloves to show you guys. They came through for us and here you have a nice league-wide view of “The Finest in the Field” for 2015.
Here are the game gloves we have for the players we’ve profiled before, regardless of what is shown here (a lot of these guys are just getting the same pattern with fresh hide). If its available we linked to it:
Xander Bogaerts – Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRODJ2 w/ H-Web 11.5″
Tim Lincecum – Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS991BCBR (Lincecum wears a few different gloves)
Kolten Wong – Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS12ICPR
Jacoby Ellsbury – Rawlings Heart of the Hide JE-46
Eric Hosmer – Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRODCTSL-125
Curtis Granderson – Rawlings PROS303
Buster Posey – Rawlings Buster Posey Game Day Model (PROCM43BP28)
Alex Gordon – Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO303-6JBT
Adam Jones – Rawlings PRO303-6SLM
Salvador Perez – All-Star CM3000XSBT (not what you see in the photo obviously)
We mentioned it in our last past that DeMarini will be releasing their industry-first custom bat builder soon, and over the weekend WPW got a sneak peek at the tool itself. I tried it out on mobile because I know that’s where a lot of you are coming from and I figured that’s probably where you’ll first check it out.
As for the details, the release of this tool is IMMINENT. Here’s what DeMarini PR had to say:
In February 2015, DeMarini will introduce the first and most robust, fully customized bat site available to consumers with their top Baseball and Slowpitch Softball models with Fastpitch following shortly after in the Spring. End-to-end customization will allow players to create a bat that is uniquely their own and truly one-of-a-kind. DeMarini is the first outlet to offer custom bats directly to consumers, offering distinct personalization of the most popular performance bats in the world.
“We believe in the importance of the relationship that exists between the player and their everyday tools.” said Jim Hackett, General Manager of Baseball at Wilson Sporting Goods Co., “Our platform will offer the first of its kind in consumer bat customization, bringing athletes closer to and establishing a personal connection with their equipment.”
Jim Hackett gets it. Go sign up at demarini.com/custom you’ll be notified when the site goes live (as well as entered into a contest to win a custom bat of your choice).
Throughout the article are a few screenshot previews of what to expect. (I did not include every step. Gotta leave something to the imagination.)
You might expect that the first steps are choosing your model, then length/weight. Nice to see .5 measurements available.
You’ll have several color choices on the barrel, grip (above), and even the tape that seals the grip on the bat.
DeMarini takes it a step further though with personalization on both the end cap (above) and…
…on the knob. You’ll be able to add text on the knob in two different places.
As the first company to ever attempt this, DeMarini should be applauded for pushing baseball equipment forward another step. No matter your opinion on whether you’d consider buying a custom bat, this creates competition for the equipment manufacturers—and when manufacturers compete, we, the players, win.
Will you consider a DeMarini custom bat for this season?
In the last few days DeMarini has made some not-so-subtle hints about a custom bat offering coming this spring. DeMarini, a Wilson-owned company, hasn’t said much about the details just yet, but we know that the following models will be available:
Available models for customization:
- 2015 Voodoo -3 BBCOR Baseball
- 2015 Voodoo -10 2 ¾ Youth Baseball
- 2015 ONE SlowPitch
- 2016 Fastpitch (Coming this Spring)
We’ll be in touch with DeMarini tomorrow and I’ll publish any more details I can gather, but you can sign up for notifications and enter to win a custom bat here.
Instagram user @Jared_Castill0 called Vandy’s new Nike MVP Pro 2 cleats “icy” and I’m not mad about it.
Oregon SS Mark Karaviotis (@MKaraviotis_24) makes WPW history with the FIRST EVER SELFIE PUBLISHED HERE. As selfies go its one of the best I’ve seen. Oregon’s new Nike Vapor Elite Pro batting gloves. Karaviotis says he likes them because they’re lightweight.
Karaviotis threw this up on his own page in case you weren’t already jealous enough:
St. John’s P and WPW ambassador Alex Katz sent in his battery-mates armor for the year, the 950x set from Rawlings.
I should also mention that I noticed Yadier Molina’s leather chest protector is also available right now.
Top: Brett Lawrie showed off his Kyrie 1 NIKEiD’s which he says he’ll be using for turfs this year. I was surprised to hear that, but others have said its not that unusual for guys to be wearing basketball shoes on turf these days.
Bottom: Lawrie’s Trout NIKEiD’s.
Ryan Flynn (@ryan_flynn9) of Southern University out of Louisiana sent in these 3n2 Viper cleats customized for the Jaguars. Honestly I’d love to see how the full uni looks but I think they look pretty tight.
What do you guys think?
Been absent for a while because its the winter and there isn’t a whole lot to talk about gear-wise, but I wanted to drop-in and throw some college stuff at ya if you haven’t already seen them around.
Above, the only gear that really matters, Vandy’s 2014 ‘ship ring. Always in style.
We also saw this from Oklahoma State (Twitter):
David Price showed up on campus looking like money in head-to-toe Jumpman apparel. The 12 Gamma Blues on Price’s feet are only available on the secondary market (eBay), and without a doubt there are fakes at that link.
As far as presentation goes, Vandy equipment nailed it here. Dropping some mint custom leather—the baseball equivalent of “A Spoon Full of Sugar”—on top of the playbook just makes it a little bit easier to digest.
I’m a fan of the Energy Boost Icon, not so much the Excelsior Pro.
South Carolina gets some of the first custom Under Armour Deception DT cleats we’ve seen in a sick colorway. Get a pair of those in several colors here.
We’ll see more from FSU baseball in the next few weeks, but for now here’s a look at their base decals for 2015. Pro Helmet Decals is really the only game in town for this kind of thing and worth a look. (Photo via @FSUBaseballEQ)
Maryland showed off some flashy new jerseys/compression gear from Under Armour, as well as some custom BG’s:
Get those in several loud colorways here.
TCU got their custom Easton BG’s in, too. Couldn’t find an equivalent for sale.
We showed you these on our Instagram, but here’s a few other looks at Texas’ Nike Air MVP Pro 2 cleats. I mistakenly called them MVP Elite 2 (though the shoes are basically identical), but apparently without the Air Max sole, Nike decided to call these by a different name. Get either of them here. Photos via @UTBaseballEQ.
Here’s a look at UT’s weight room shoes, the Nike Free Trainer 5.0. I can personally attest these shoes are incredibly comfortable and versatile. Get them here.
UT backstops Tres Barrera, James Barton, and Michael Cantu’s new leather for 2015. Barrera’s a Rawlings Pro Mesh, Barton’s a Pro Preferred, and the freshman Cantu with a Wilson custom A2000.
As we’ve shown in the past, UT ballplayers get treated like pros, getting the pick of the litter on pretty much anything they wear on the field. Custom Marucci gloves, sure! How about that “Gumbo”-colored I-Web for assistant coach Tommy Nicholson? You can get pretty close to that one here.
A couple of looks at UNC’s new threads, courtesy of @DiamondHeels.
Another Nike MVP Pro 2 entry, this time with “elephant” print. Thanks, Michael Jordan.
We’ll be adding a lot of college stuff over the next few weeks, especially on our Instagram. Check us out there, and as always, if you see something, say something.
As far as I know, brand reps (Rawlings, Wilson/DeMarini, Slugger, Easton, etc) fight tooth-and-nail for the allegiance of top flight schools like St. John’s. The reason (besides market share) is that they know D-1 ping is their best chance to get the most lucrative baseball product they sell, metal bats, into the spotlight.
A team like St. John’s has the potential to swing Rawlings alloys all the way to Omaha while the ESPN cameras are rolling, and that’s why this 2015 St. John’s ballclub and CWS contenders like them will always get styled, custom-fitted, and downright spoiled. Its just good business.
Thanks to LHP Alex Katz for tugging on the WPW side of the rope and getting these pics over.
Throwbacks just do it for me. The black/red one above and the powder blue “Johnnies” with the two-tone full body piping are what brings the ladies to the ballpark and I think I speak for all ballplayers when I say that I appreciate the fans.
Also of note is the reflective jersey that glows for the flash of a camera.
Note: That isn’t even all of their jerseys. I’m told there are 12 sets in total. 12! How many games are there?!
The dual threat:
If it was up to me I’d wear both.
As far as leather goes, the Rawlings custom shop cut no corners. Gorgeous team-inspired colors and the St. John’s logo sewn into the thumb of each model.
That last red one is a carbon copy of the Bryce Harper we saw last year.
These gloves are just the kind of thing, if its yours, that you’ve got to display in the mancave for the rest of your days. Just an American relic.
A friendly reminder where World Series hero Joe Panik got his start.
Bat knob decals from Pro Helmet Decals and some standard issue swag.
Thanks again to Alex Katz and his teammates for helping put this together. Follow St. John’s baseball on Twitter for more swag as it develops.