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Sneak Peek at DeMarini’s New Custom Bat Builder

Screenshot_2015-02-06-17-45-25

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.)

Screenshot_2015-02-06-17-52-23

You might expect that the first steps are choosing your model, then length/weight.  Nice to see .5 measurements available.

Screenshot_2015-02-06-17-48-23

You’ll have several color choices on the barrel, grip (above), and even the tape that seals the grip on the bat.

end cap

DeMarini takes it a step further though with personalization on both the end cap (above) and…

knob

…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?

Things Are Kickin’ Up in the Swag Department

demarini

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.

Vanderbilt Nike MVP Pro 2

Instagram user @Jared_Castill0 called Vandy’s new Nike MVP Pro 2 cleats “icy” and I’m not mad about it.

Vapor Trout NIKEiD

Instagram user @BDawson66 sent these in and I don’t know his credentials as a ballplayer but his kick game is devastating.  Trout NIKEiD’s available.

Oregon Nike Hyperfuse Batting Gloves

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:

Oregon Kick Game

Ugh.

Illinois Gear

Illinois IF/OF David Kerian (@DKerian12) sent this in of his 2015 tools, including the Huarache Pro, the DeMarini CF7, and the Nike gloves we’re seeing throughout the country.

St. John's Rawlings Gear

St. John’s P and WPW ambassador Alex Katz sent in his battery-mates armor for the year, the 950x set from Rawlings.

Yadier Molina Rawlings Gear

I should also mention that I noticed Yadier Molina’s leather chest protector is also available right now.

Brett Lawrie's Kyrie 1 Turfs Brett Lawrie's Custom Vapor Trout Cleats

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.

Penn State Nike Batting Gloves Washington State Nike Batting Gloves Minnesota Golden Gophers Batting Gloves

More Nike BG’s from their respective schools.  Note: Penn State’s chest selfie doesn’t qualify as a selfie I don’t think.  (Thanks @Traxler_23, @Jake_Mulholland, and @ReidFrazier for the photos)

3n2 southern 2

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.

3n2 southern

What do you guys think?

WPW’s College Roundup

ship

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.

demarini vandy batst

DeMarini made certain to roll out the presidential treatment for the Commodores, customizing both ends of their DeMarini Voodoo Overlord FT.  (via @VandyBaseball)

We also saw this from Oklahoma State (Twitter):

oklahoma state demarini cf7

david price jordan 12

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.

wilson gloves vandy 2

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.

rajin cajuns adidas cleats

Louisiana-Lafayette coach Anthony Babineaux gave us a peek at the Ragin’ Cajuns new cleats for 2015, the adidas Energy Boost Icon (top) and custom Excelsior Pro (middle, bottom).

I’m a fan of the Energy Boost Icon, not so much the Excelsior Pro.

under armour deception dt south carolina

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.

south carolina under armour turfs under armour turfs south carolina

Under Armour paired the cleats with a really nice pair of Yard turfs, seen above.  Get those here.  Photos courtesy of @SCBaseballEquip.

fsu pro helmet decals

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:

under armour yard undeniable maryland batting gloves

Get those in several loud colorways here.

TCU got their custom Easton BG’s in, too. Couldn’t find an equivalent for sale.

nike air mvp pro 2 pitchers cleats texas longhorns nike mvp elite 2 cleats nike air mvp elite 2 cleats

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.

nike free weight room texas

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.

Tres Barrera rawlings pro mesh catchers mitt james barton rawlings pro preferred catchers mitt michael cantu wilson a2000 catchers mitt

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.

marucci gloves texas marucci gloves texas 2

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.

unc unis unc home uni

A couple of looks at UNC’s new threads, courtesy of @DiamondHeels.

unc nike air mvp pro cleats unc cleats

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.

Show It Off: St. John’s University 2015

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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.

Cityscape Jerseys Throwback Powder Blues Throwback Pinstripe  Utopia Parkway Jersey A couple more crisp jerseys New Reflective Jerseys Rawlings Black and Red Throwbacks

Black Throwback Alex Katz

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:

St. John's Fitted Hat

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.

UA Deception DT Cleats UA Deception DT Low Cleats

UA Deception DT Cleats (and Low)

Joey Panik still gettin' love in Queens

A friendly reminder where World Series hero Joe Panik got his start.

Rawlings 5150 Bat

Rawlings Velo Bat

The Rawlings 5150 and the Velo are the expected weapons of choice for this year’s Johnnies.

Bat Knob Decals from Pro Helmet Decals

St. John's Hoodie

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.

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.