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What Pros Wear: Travis d’Arnaud (#6, MLB Prospect Countdown, Catcher’s Gear)

Source: overthewhitestone.org

Source: overthewhitestone.org

Travis d’Arnaud arrives in Flushing with high expectations, having been the major piece in an offseason deal that landed Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey in Toronto.  And that’s not d’Arnaud’s first time being traded for a Cy Young winner.  In 2009, d’Arnaud was sent from Philly to the Jays for Roy Halladay (another Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee, went to Seattle in that trade).  Just a quick look at those names and you know that there is star potential here.

The 24 year old d’Arnaud is known to be a great receiver, and he wears all Under Armour gear behind the dish.  He wears the UACP-AP chest protector along with the UALG2-AP leg guards with knee savers (available separately).  These are both available online, but not in the Mets colors like d’Arnaud is sporting in spring.

d’Arnaud wears the old school mask/backwards helmet combo like Joe Mauer.  The brand of mask is Under Armour, the UAFM-ALW, just as you see in the feature.  This is available in d’Arnaud’s royal blue.

Source: NY Daily News

Source: NY Daily News

As for his helmet, d’Arnaud uses the standard issue All Star brand ABS catcher’s helmet, available online in royal blue as you see in the feature and in the above photo.

As for the leather, d’Arnaud wears the 33.5 inch All Star CM3000-SBT just as you see in the feature and below.  This glove is also available online.

Source: CBS Sports

Source: CBS Sports

d’Arnaud is also the proud owner of a Glove Guardian by TOI (below), which we are GIVING AWAY this week, along with a signed bat from Mets All Star catcher John Buck.

darnaud glove guardian

ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES FOR ONE OF YOUR OWN BELOW AND GAIN MORE ENTRIES BY SHARING!

Here are the links:

Under Armour UACP-AP Chest Protector

Under Armour UALG2-AP Leg Guards

Under Armour Knee Supports

Under Armour Face Mask

All Star CM3000-SBT Catchers Mitt

Twitter – @whatproswear

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The Week in WPW: “I figured if that glove was going down in the clubhouse, I was going down with it.”

EXCITING UPDATE TO THE JOHN BUCK/GLOVE GUARDIAN CONTEST:

Buck himself has upped the ante… If the contest reaches 600 entries (we’re at 383 right now), he is going to throw in a SIGNED BAT to the lucky winner.  SHARE WITH FRIENDS LIKE MOM TAUGHT YOU.

Also, we have confirmation that the winner will be able to choose between the black and camo styles of Glove Guardian.  Here is what camo looks like:

products

And now, for the stories:

A good story about ballplayers and their gloves, including an awesome excerpt from the A’s Mike Gallego about the Loma Prieta earthquake that shook Candlestick Park during the ’89 World Series.

A little tutorial on breaking in a glove from Javier Bracamante, the Astros bullpen catcher:

That makeshift mallet was the real deal.

A brief debate on whether or not its OK for grown men to wear a glove in the stands.  A lot of tough guys disagree, but I don’t judge a man wearing a glove.  I know that if I was sitting above the dugout with a girlfriend/child, I would feel better prepared to protect her face from a smoked foul ball if I had a glove than if I didn’t.  Just sayin’.

In an article about Mike Lowell mentoring Will Middlebrooks at third base, Middlebrooks said this:

“Just working on my angles at third.  You have to play it at like 45-degree angles, and a lot of times I get too flat and you get a lot of in-between hops and you don’t get to as many balls, so I’m just working on my angles and staying down on the ball.”

I love when you get this type of in-depth educational stuff.  I wish  there was a little more, but I think what Middlebrooks is saying relates to balls hit to his right or left.  He’s saying that you’ve got to be decisive at third, either attacking the ball by closing the angle and getting that short hop while moving towards first (on balls hit glove-side), or retreating back towards the shortstop/left field to get the long hop.  He’s saying that he wants to avoid moving completely laterally (perpendicular to the third base line) because it limits your range and can lead to tough hops.

Here’s the first ever Nike 3-D printed shoe:

Image courtesy of Nike

Image courtesy of Nike

Nike released this in lieu of the NFL Combine with the aim to “master the 40.”  This is what Nike had to say about it: “The SLS process allows for the engineering and creation of shapes not possible with traditional manufacturing processes, as well as the ability to make design updates within hours instead of months to truly accelerate the innovation process to never seen speeds.”

In 1948, players bought their own gloves:

Source: George Silk—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Source: George Silk—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Click that source for more pictures from the Dodgers 1948 Spring Training.

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What Pros Wear: Mets All-Star Catcher John Buck Talks Gear with WPW + GIVEAWAY!

Source: John Munson/The Star-Ledger

Source: John Munson/The Star-Ledger

I’m very excited to bring you our first interview with a Big Leaguer, an All-Star at that, Mets catcher John Buck.  We gearheads know Buck as the man behind the artful airbrushed masks with the Marlins, but Buck isn’t making his money on flare alone.

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Buck has earned his league-wide reputation as a “game-caller,” a term reserved for a catcher who makes a pitching staff better because of his expert knowledge of both his pitchers and opposing batters.  All pitchers know how important a catcher like that can be to your success.  Chemistry is critical to finding your flow—and Buck builds that chemistry by studying tendencies, calling the right pitch at the right time, picking up mechanical flaws, getting that extra inch off the plate or beneath the zone, and the other intangibles that Big League managers look for in an everyday catcher.

Buck has made a living as one of the best receivers in the game, and he treats his equipment accordingly.  So much so, that he actually INVENTED a way to protect his most valuable asset, his mitt.  The Glove Guardian, a one-of-a-kind protective glove case, prevents your prized leather from losing its shape and saves it from the heat, dirt, seeds, rain, Gatorade, and any other undesirables at the bottom of your bag (which is absolutely gross, lets be honest).

gloveguardian

 

Buck took a break from the Spring grind to talk to us a little bit about the Glove Guardian, his masks, and the Mets staff.  Here’s what he had to say:

WPW: Loved your Miami-inspired mask art last year.  Best-looking masks we’ve seen.  Who did those paint-jobs for you and what was your inspiration?  Can we get a sneak peek at this year’s mask now that you’re with the Mets?  

BUCK: Gerald with VooDoo Air is the one who does my masks.  He does most of the masks for the NHL goalies as well.  I met him up in Toronto when I played there.  My inspiration for my masks I take from the cities, like the Miami South Beach skyline.  One of my Miami masks actually had a picture of my jeep going down the street in Miami.  I have sketches of my mask this year but they are just rough drafts.  In the next week or two I should finalize it.  I’ll give you a hint of what they might involve.  I’m thinking Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.

WPW: Awesome.  Can’t wait to see the final product.  We read in WSJ that you love your “baby” as much as we do.  What is your glove of choice and how long have you been with her?  Any other “babies” that we should know about (childhood favorite, different brands you’ve tried)?  We promise we won’t tell Mrs. Wilson. 

BUCK: Mrs. Wilson has always been my favorite glove.  The model is M1.  It’s in-between their models 1791 and 1790.  It’s not too big and it’s not too little.  It’s just right.

WPW: She sounds like a gem.  As much as we love our glove, we think the Glove Guardian is a great idea and a long time coming.  Take us through your epiphany.  Did you have any help?

BUCK: This is the story behind the Glove Guardian.  One day in Spring of 2011 my group of catchers were running from field 3 to the 10 pack to catch our daily bullpens.  As we were pulling our gloves out of our bags we were complaining of dirt and seeds, and some of the guys’ gloves were mis-formed already.  So all the catchers and our catching coordinator, Tim Cussins, began discussing ways to prevent our gloves from losing shape and keeping clean.  Ideas that were thrown out were a box to keep our glove in, a separate bag inside our bag, and other ideas.  We kept discussing through the bullpens and into lunch.  As I was pulling my sunglasses out of my Oakley case I thought that a material like that would be perfect to keep your glove safe.  Something needed to keep the gloves shape on the inside as well.  A lot of guys use softballs so my father-in-law who I took the Oakley case idea to came up with the softball-like adjustable post.  He is in the packaging industry and had lots of contacts as far as getting the idea into production.  Once I had one made for myself, my teammates wanted one as well.  They helped me change my original idea and tweak it a bit.  Such as adding a double for guys who played multiple positions and would travel with extra gloves.  

WPW: Is it just for catchers?  Any pros using the Glove Guardian?

BUCK: No.  Definitely not.  The Glove Guardian is for anyone and everyone who wants to keep their glove in prime condition.  Gold Glove pitcher Mark Buehrle uses one and helped me come up with the camo “redneck” style.  Utility man Greg Dobbs was the one who inspired the double because he travels with four different position gloves.  He can fit all four in the double Glove Guardian.  Outfielders Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton (oops, guess it’s Giancarlo Stanton now) gave me the idea for the adjustable post since they like the post to sit in different areas of their glove. Outfielders need longer posts since they generally use a longer glove and infielders a shorter post since their glove is smaller.  

WPW: I have a feeling Buehrle’s camo “redneck” style is going to be a hit.  Any plans to offer different designs on your website or in stores?

BUCK: Currently in stock we have black, camo, and navy.  We have plans to add more.  Special requests are always welcome.

WPW: Where can we get it?

BUCK: Our website is www.toigear.com and is the best place to order.  We also attend tournaments and camps so if people are interested in having us, visit our website and fill out a contact form.

WPW: On an unrelated note, is Zach Wheeler as filthy as he looks? 

BUCK: More!  He is very deceptive along with his good stuff.  I hit live off of him early in Spring and was blown away by his smooth easy delivery.  He throws so smooth that you don’t think it will be that hard and then the ball explodes.  Very excited to see how Zach will progress.

Not only was John generous with his time, he also suggested we give a Glove Guardian away to a WPW fan!  So, if you want to protect your baby like Buck, Giancarlo, Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Logan Morrison, Travis D’Arnaud, and others, enter below.

IMPORTANT: THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO EARN ENTRIES TO BETTER YOUR CHANCES TO WIN (I.E. TWEETING, SHARING, PINNING, ETC.).  THE MORE YOU SHARE, THE BETTER CHANCE YOU HAVE TO WIN!

 

Twitter – @whatproswear

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What Pros Wear: Fresh Looks for Spring (D. Wright, Darvish, Prince Fielder)

Shane Victorino’s new Nike Road Machine sunglasses:

Source: J. Meric/Getty Images North America

Source: J. Meric/Getty Images North America

Not a fan.  They are available, however, in Victorino’s red/black.

David Wright swinging a bat we haven’t seen much of, a Louisville Slugger B9 C243:

Source: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America

Source: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America

The B stands for Beechwood.  These bats are rare and unavailable online.  Also notice the Nike N1 Fuse batting gloves, available online in different colors.

Its cool to see the different style webs that the Asian players have brought to America.  Here is Yu Darvish‘s new one for 2013:

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

That odd-looking shape is actually the outline of Hokkaido, the home of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish’s first professional team.

Koji Uehara’s own design:

Source: J. Meric/Getty Images North America

Source: J. Meric/Getty Images North America

Prince Fielder does not seem to have an issue filling out a t-shirt:

Source:

Source: Julio Cortez / AP

I read that he found this in a shop in Michigan—couldn’t find it online.

Here’s Prince with his Hoosier bat:

Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

The model, as you can see, is the 235.  This model is available in Ash and Birch wood, and my guess is that “YB” stands for yellow birch, a wood that is used by some bat companies as an alternative to maple.  Here is a link to more info than would ever be necessary on this topic.  The model is available and looks like it can be made custom.

Here’s Jayson Werth’s Kaenon Hard Kore sunglasses in Matte Red:

Source: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America

Source: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America

That picture is from last year, but he’s wearing them in Spring, too.  Available here.

Here’s Pedro Martinez, now coaching with the Sox, wearing a Gucci G-Timeless Dive watch.  The watch is available online for the low, low price of $950.00.

Alex Gordon wearing the KC blue Evoshield leg guard:

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Colors aside from black are now available online, including Gordon’s Royal Blue.

Here‘s Giancarlo Stanton wearing an ugly custom Rawlings Pro Preferred H Web.

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Breaking Down @UnderArmour’s Newest Bryce Harper Spot, WPW-Style

My teammate Cam sent me this video tonight and after watching it, I came to a crossroads—my first option was to do 1000 pushups and then run through a brick wall—my second option was to watch the video 1000 times and show you guys where to get all the gear that I could find in it.

Lucky for you, there were no brick walls in plain sight, so I just figured I’d stick to what I know.  To the gear we go.

bryce-harper-spot-cleats

The Under Armour Spine Highlight cleat in the commercial is the same cleat Bryce wore in the 2012 All Star Game.  You can’t find them in Bryce’s gold, but these are available online here.

bryce-harper-spot-batting-gloves

Also the same as Bryce’s All-Star apparel, we finally have the name for these batting gloves.  They are the UA Epic style, and they are available, but only in the white/white you see above.  Get them here.

bryce-harper-spot-shorts

When Bryce is in the weight room he’s wearing these Under Armour Micro Shorts in Snorkel Black print.  Get them here.

bryce-commercial-trainers

The trainers that Bryce was wearing in the weight room were the UA Cam Highlight Trainer you see above.  These are also available online here.

under-armour-armour39

Last item of note was the Under Armour Armour39 “performance monitoring system.”  Bryce wore the watch and the monitoring device across his chest in the commercial.  You’ll have to check out UA’s website for more info on this as it won’t be out until Spring of this year.

Any of the other items in the commercial were nowhere to be found online.

I hope you enjoyed the commercial and this post as much as I did.  Bryce is really shaping up to be the signature athlete of the new generation, and I am excited to see where he takes the game in the next two decades.

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Feeling Pretty Official…

El Gocho throwin’ WPW a bone…

johan retweet

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First Look at Johan Santana’s 2013 New Balance Exclusive Cleats

Here is another set of New Balance exclusive cleats, straight from the source.  These are the New Balance 3000 model, available online in a variety of colors.  For Johan’s full profile, click here.

new balance cleats, new balance 3000, johan santana johan-santana-cleats-2 johan-santana-cleats-3

johan-santana-cleats-4

JASA stands for Santana’s full initials (Johan Alexander Santana Araque).

johan-santana-cleats-5

New Balance 3000 Cleats

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