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 dayyear 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”).
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?!?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first-ever Mimsband, hand-sewn for Dusty Baker in 1986 via @mimsbandz
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.
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.
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:
A photo posted by WhatProsWear.com (@whatproswear) on
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.