The Look and Feel

Latest

You’ll Never Guess Who’s Hosting the All Star Game by Looking at These Hats…

We found a couple of bad pictures of the All Star BP hats for this year’s festivities at Citi Field.  Looks like the Mets are going for the (not even the slightest bit) subtle approach with these.  The “A” and “N” for American and National is something we saw done well last year, integrating the Royals’ logo pretty smoothly.  Not so much this time around.  Granted, the Mets cityscape logo isn’t as easy to work with.  I’m sure they will sell OK at Citi Field, but I wonder, what American League fan would buy these outside the ballpark?  Its a Mets hat with a typo.

Cano’s face is the face a tortured pet makes when their owner dresses them up as a pineapple for Halloween.  Ravech looks like he’s trying not to laugh at how pissed Cano is.  Wright will toe the company line if its the last thing he does.

2013-all-star-game-batting-practice-jerseys

The BP/HR Derby jerseys are just as subtle.

They’re also available on MLB’s shop at this link.

 

What Pros Wear: Matt Harvey (Cleats, Glove, Sunglasses)

matt harvey glove model, matt harvey nike cleats, nikeid gamer, nike diamond elite pro ii

Matt Harvey was dubbed “The Dark Knight of Gotham” by SI’s Tom Verducci because of his sheer power and nastiness on the mound.

matt harvey si cover

The name is a fitting one.  If his high-90s fastball isn’t scary enough, he’s got a top-to-bottom curveball, power slider, and a changeup that is statistically his best pitch (opponents batting average .122 vs. the change according to Pitch f/x).  Not only is his pitching repertoire sinister, he has the gear to match.

Glove

Nike Diamond Elite Pro II in Black with Blue Lacing w/ Custom Two-Piece Solid Web

Harvey has a wicked black Nike with a Mets’ blue custom lace-job.  Those four stripes of lace on the pinky of all Nike Diamond Elite gloves look nasty with this color combo, unfortunately, Matt Harvey’s glove is not available online.  His two-piece solid web, borrowed from Rawlings, isn’t available on regular Nike gloves, though the I-Web is a nice alternative.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Cleats

NIKEiD Max Air Gamer in Black/Blue/Orange and Black/White/Blue/Orange

You can see one option in the above photo and one below.  Both of these are available online at the links above, though I’m a much bigger fan of the ones below.  I just don’t like the white being in there at all.  It doesn’t really match up for me.

Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Harvey follows suit with his ride, too, driving a black 2013 Cadillac Escalade (no, its not a Hybrid like this one).  As you know, these are available, too.

escalade

What Pros Wear: Evan “El Oso Blanco” Gattis (Bat, Cleats, Necklaces)

evan gattis bat model, evan gattis louisville slugger, el oso blanco, mizuno 9 spike vapor elite 6, mizuno cleats, louisville slugger prime

Taken from Wikipedia:

“Gattis’ first job after quitting baseball (in 2006) was as a parking valet in Dallas.[4] He then visited his sister in Boulder, Colorado, and decided to reside there. He sold his truck and worked in a pizza parlor and for a resort as a ski-lift operator at the Eldora Mountain Resort.[3]

Seven months later, Gattis moved to Dallas with his brother, where they worked as janitors for Datamatics Global Services. He met a spiritual advisor there, and on her advice, he followed her to Taos, New Mexico.[3] There, he lived in a hostel and worked at a ski resort. Three months later, he moved to California to find more spiritual gurus.[3] Gattis also moved to Wyoming, where he worked at Yellowstone National Park.[1]

Later on:

After the (2012) regular season, he played in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he batted .303 with 16 home runs and a .595 slugging percentage in 53 games, leading the league in home runs and slugging percentage.[9] He earned the nickname “El Oso Blanco”, Spanish for “the White Bear”.[6]

And now:

A burn-out janitor (with the ID to prove it) who needed more than one spiritual advisor wanders his way back onto a baseball field in Venezuela and leads the league in bombs, earning one of the tightest nicknames I’ve ever heard, ultimately landing in the Bigs and becoming the odds-on-favorite to win the Rookie of the Year—no its not a Disney movie.  Its real.  And not only is the story completely absurd, so is that bare-handed bat-bender swing.

What makes the story even better is that Gattis didn’t climb up to the pros for one last fleeting moment.  Instead, he’s 26 years old and figures to be absolutely obliterating MLB pitching (sorry Kenley Jansen) for years to come.

Here’s another version of his story according to Sports Radio 680:

Bat

Louisville Slugger Prime C243 Ash

The C243 is a very popular model and is available in Maple as well as other versions.

Source: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America

Source: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America

evan-gattis-bat-model

Gattis swings the new Louisville Slugger style wood, and we found an interesting shot of the new engravings:

louisville slugger prime picture

According to Louisville Slugger’s site, the symbols mean the following:

louisville-slugger-prime

The “9H” is the level of hardness of the wood, which Louisville Slugger claims is the hardest possible.

Batting Gloves

Source: SI Tumblr

Source: SI Photo Blog

No need.

Cleats

Mizuno 9-Spike Vapor Elite 6 in Black/White

Gattis’ 9 Spikes, seen in the feature, are also available online.

Necklaces

Phiten x30 Tribal II in Navy

Akadema NTX Ion in Black/White

If he’s wearing them, they must work, right?  I’m just about convinced I need one of these.

Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Catcher’s Corner: Taylor Teagarden and the Oregon Ducks

Source (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

Devin Ivany is a catcher for the Harrisburg Senators. A Minor League veteran who plays for a former Nationals catcher Mathew Lecroy in Harrisburg. There’s a good story about him here. Ivany wears the no frills CP25PRO protector and LG21PRO shinguards. He also wears an All Star FM25TI mask and the Wilson A2000 1791. Another great shot here.

Source

Hey! Taylor Teagarden is back from the DL. The prototypical backup catcher behind Matt Wieters who wears basically the same thing as Matt Wieters, all the way down to the Palmgard glove they use. But before Teagarden wore Teagarden wore a Nike Keystone chest protector (Similar to this youth version, good luck finding an adult version) and Nike Pro Gold shinguards. But this year he wears the same Under Armour Pro Chest ProtectorUnder Armour Pro shinguards, same Under Armour mask as well. And he also wears the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROSCM34PJB, which is rarely found online. The only difference is the Gold Rawlings label on Wieters glove because of his Rawlings Gold Glove. And I don’t think Taylor Teagarden is getting a Gold Glove anytime soon.

Source (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

As soon as Jesus Sucre got called up from Tacoma a backswing caught a bit of his mask and he is on the 15 Day DL. Sucks. It seems that Brandon Bantz will take his place for a time. He is an All Star guy and in one of the few pictures of him available online his is wearing a CP28PRO protector so we will have to guess if he will wear System 7 or not at the Major League level.

Source

Oregon Ducks catcher wearing some nice Nike Pro Gold shin guards and chest protector and an All Star CM3000 glove. Very nice gear. Also the Rice catcher has a very nice Rawlings PROSCM20BRX mitt. Other shots of past Oregon catchers here and here.

Source

WPW Exclusive: Mystery J. Altuve Glove + Another Bat Co. Getting into the Glove Game?

So here’s the story.  We found this photo a few weeks ago thanks to Red Sox photography intern Michael Cummo.  We posted it on Instagram asking what brand it was.  After a lot of wrong guesses we got a response from @masekim who identified it as a “Hon” (meaning “Spirit”) glove, a Korean brand, which is non-existent online aside from a placeholder webpage.

@masekim added that the glove was produced in his company’s factory, who also produces gloves for other Asian brands SPS, Su, Aster, and Heat among others.  He was kind enough to send me some photos of a few of their models—some very unique work.  What was most intriguing to me though, was an up-and-coming American brand better known for their bats:

photo_1370568197

That’s a Tucci Lumber glove.  Tucci is best known for bats, swung by Prince, Elvis, and Tulo.  Tucci has shown a few photos of these on their Twitter account but there has been no mention of them selling them online.  However, we messaged them about it today and here’s there response:

tucci glove response

There you have it.  Keep an eye out in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, what do you think about these gloves?  Our source mentioned that his factory is preparing to release their own brand in the near future.  Would you rock one?  Tweet us about it—lets discuss.

What Pros Wear: Yasiel Puig (Glove, Sunglasses, Necklace)

yasiel-puig-glove-sunglasses

“You don’t walk off the island.”

Yasiel Puig, as is the case with all Cuban prospects, busted down the Big League door with his bat.  There’s no denying that.  However, in the short glimpse we’ve had of the Cuban bruiser, he’s shown raw tools and a total fearlessness in the field that suggests he’s more than just a slugger.  If his game-ending double play laser beam from the wall in right is any indication, he’s got a lot of Web Gems in his future.

Source: SBNation

Source: SBNation

Glove

Wilson A2000 YBG

Unfortunately, the Y-webbed Wilson YBG is discontinued, but there’s always the chance it turns up on the internet if you keep an eye out.  The Wilson 1799 model (used by Carlos Beltran and Melky Cabrera) is the closest alternative.

Sunglasses

Oakley Radarlock Path Straight Stem Limited Edition Fathom

Yasiel looks like he might be wearing prescription lenses in the field which are popped into the Radarlock model which is available at the above link.

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

If you don’t like the Fathom version, there are other Radarlock colorways available, or you can customize your own.

Necklace and Bracelet

Power Balance Silicone Pendant and Power Balance Electric Wristband in Volt (Enter promo code WPW20 for 20% off)

As you can see in the feature photo, Puig wears a Volt-colored Power Balance necklace around his neck, similar to his teammate Matt Kemp.  WPW now has a hook-up with Power Balance—if you enter the promo code WPW20 they’ll give you 20% off your purchase.

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

TUNE IN: WPW’s #SuperRegional Hypefest via @Section925

lead-photo-college

Former Cal Golden Bear, Bay Area scribe, and ping guru Connor Buestad takes the WPW reigns for a no-nonsense Super Regional preview with a WPW touch.  Buestad covers the Bay Area sports scene at Section925.com and is pissed off for greatness.

After what was a wildly entertaining first weekend of the NCAA College Baseball Tournament, the field of 64 has been pared down to baseball’s version of the Sweet 16. This coming weekend, eight different “Super Regional” sites will host a three game series, with the winner moving on to the College World Series. The Road to Omaha has never been more competitive, with the remaining field littered with future Big Leaguers all across the nation. Just as important, this crop of college ballers have not disappointed in the swag department, as everywhere you look, collegiate trend setters have been popping up.

Rice Closer/Big-Time Starter Zech Lemond and his TPX Pro Flare. Source: Michael Arellano/Emerald

Rice Closer/Big-Time Starter Zech Lemond and his TPX Pro Flare. Source: Michael Arellano/Emerald

Beginning on Friday, the Rice Owls will do battle with the NC State Wolfpack out in Raleigh, NC. The Owls of Rice were the 2 seed up in the Eugene regional in round one and had to stave off the Ducks in Nike country. Despite being arguably the best dressed squad west of the Mississippi, the Ducks gave way to Rice’s fearless pitching staff. In the final game of the weekend, Rice started their closer Zech Lemond, and eventually gave the ball to Friday starter Austin Kubitza to close out the Ducks in the 9th.

The Nation's K-leader Carlos Rodon wearing a Rawlings Two Piece. Source: Baseball America.

The Nation’s K-leader Carlos Rodon wearing a Rawlings Pro Preferred Two Piece. Source: Baseball America.

NC State will counter with a plethora of talent of their own. Pitcher Carlos Rodon leads the nation in strikeouts in 2013, while shortstop Trea Turner not only swings a great stick, but is also a force to be reckoned with on the basepaths.

UNC 2B Mike Zolk's custom Nike Diamond Elite leather.

UNC 2B Mike Zolk’s custom Nike Diamond Elite leather.

Just west on Interstate 40, North Carolina Tar Heels will play host to the always tough South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks recently won back-to-back national titles in Omaha, most recently behind the bat and glove of Red Sox Jackie Bradley Jr.

unc nike air mvp pro

Ray Tanner’s Gamecocks will have a stiff test in the (Air MVP Pro) Heels, a team that is ranked number one in the nation.  If you stayed up to watch the UNC-FAU game on Monday night, you were treated to one of the best baseball games in recent memory. Countless lead changes and dramatic home runs finally gave way to a 13-12 UNC triumph in 13 innings. To say UNC is battle tested going into this regional with SC would be a gross understatement.

LSU ace Aaron Nola's blacked out Wilson Two-Piece. Source: Bill Feig/AP

LSU ace Aaron Nola’s blacked out Wilson Two-Piece. Source: Bill Feig/AP

Down in the Baton Rouge Super Regional, the Bayou Bengals will host the Sooners of Oklahoma. Regulars in Omaha, LSU will once again try to punch their ticket behind a dynamic offense and a gutsy group of pitchers. In the SEC Championship two weeks ago, LSU was able knock off the Commodores of Vanderbilt to take the most respected conference championship in the nation. If you like pitching, you will be glued to ESPN watching these two teams chuck. LSU’s Aaron Nola (very appropriate) and Ryan Eades will counter OU’s Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton. All are expected to toe the rubber in The Show sooner than later.

Down in Tallahassee, there is a strong chance of Tomahawk Chop when the Seminoles (check out WPW’s FSU feature here) take the field vs. the upstart Hoosiers of Indiana. While IU’s basketball team fell flat in the basketball tournament, the Bloomington Nine just might make it to Omaha. Of course, they will have to get by the Noles—one of the first schools to wear vest jerseys, and surely trendsetters when it comes to gold and Seminole Red pinstripes, this team is always a pleasure to watch come June.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, the Cavaliers will host Mississippi State. Coach Brian O’Connor is one of the best coaches in the nation and will undoubtedly have the Cavs ready to execute in this series. UVA’s opponent from Mississippi won’t have alumnus Will Clark to lean on, but they do have standout Hunter Renfroe. The outfielder is known for hitting absolute missiles all over the yard. This weekend should be no exception.

Tony Kemp swinging a Demarini Voodoo. Source: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Kemp swinging a Demarini Voodoo. Source: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It could easily be argued that the Vanderbilt Commodores are the best team in the nation. Their pitching staff lead by Kevin Ziomek is rock solid, and their lineup is downright scary. The ‘Dores 9 hole is hitting well over .300 and up and down the order there is great talent. Tony Kemp, who hit over .400 on the season, is perhaps the most exciting player in the college game today. What’s more, Vandy is not afraid to rock a wide array of jerseys. From throwback whites straight out of Ebbets Field to gold pullovers, you never know what type of Nike jersey’s VU will break out next.

Opposing Vandy in their regional will be the Louisville Cardinals (check out their WPW feature here). The Cards will try to do like their hoop team and bring home a National Title, but first, they will need to get past the SEC regular season champion ‘dores.

 ucla fullerton gloves

Meanwhile, out west, the UCLA Bruins will travel to Orange County to face the Cal State Fullerton Titans. The all-stirrup Titans trots out two phenom Freshman pitchers in Justin Garza and Thomas Eshelman. Both are young, both pound the pearl and fill up the strike zone like savvy vets. Just as Mark Kotsay used to do way back when, Titan Michael Lorenzen runs in from Center Field to close games for Fullerton.

UCLA will counter Fullerton with an array of arms themselves. Highlighted by Adam Plutko, the Bruins will be a bear to get runs against.

OSU CF Max Gordon blasts off in his old school Nike Air Zoom Coop V's. Source: Timothy J. Gonzalez / Statesman Journal via The As

OSU CF Max Gordon blasts off in his old school Nike Air Zoom Coop V’s. Source: Timothy J. Gonzalez / Statesman Journal via The As

Finally, up in Corvallis Oregon, the Beavers will do battle with Kansas State. Often passed over because of their rain soaked location in the Northwest, the Beavers can swing it, and pick it, and run the bases, and whatever else great baseball teams do. They still have the same coach (Pat Casey) from five years ago when OSU won back to back Natty’s, and this year they have the firepower to do even more damage if and when they punch a ticket to Nebraska.

K State comes out of the always tough Big 12, and although they figure to be the underdog in this series, no one would bat an eye if they give the Beavers more than they can handle.

So tune into the ESPN family of networks this weekend and soak in some old fashion college hardball. With a trip to Omaha on the line, you won’t find a more passionate brand of baseball anywhere. Excessive eye black, rally caps, vicious chest bumps, emphatic strike calls, emotional dogpiles, this weekend has it all. The road to Omaha is winding down and only eight teams will be let through the pearly gates.

C. Buestad