A distraction – I sure as hell need one today. I can’t go down the pandemic wormhole every day. There are no sporting events to argue over or to celebrate. We need to do it ourselves. We’ll tentatively call in Dailies. Don’t care how goofy the topic, and I’m asking our readers to join the conversation. We’re going to do our best to post a fun topic every day or so. We’ll see how all of this goes.
Possible topics to include (readers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up on the socials to add your suggestions or request from the current list)
- Your process for selecting the perfect baseball glove
- Sport you wished you hadn’t quit (or had quit earlier)
- Sport you never played but think you could’ve been pretty good at
- Greatest game you ever played in
- Greatest spectating memories
- Ever been ejected? Do tell.
- Worst mistake you ever made in competition
- Analyzing TOB’s LL stats from Tahoe (altitude)
- Best youth field you ever played on
- Best youth althlete you ever competed against/with (not how they turned out,but at the time)
- Cal – how do we make them not suck?
- Why Augustana should not go D1…but if they do can I claim D1 status (asking for a friend)?
Topic 1: Baseball Cleats
It’s spring, and TOB recently took his son, JOB, to get his first pair of real cleats. I loved buying cleats (correction: I loved choosing the cleats my mom and dad would purchase). Each year, I was making a statement of what kind of baseball personality I was projecting. While I’d leave myself open to the possibility of some flourishes, I was an all-black guy. I’d watched by brother, Matt, straight up spray paint his high-top Tanel 360s in the work room. It was all about that shine, baby.
Closest thing I could find to the real ones. Tanel is OOB.
I messed with the high-tops in Little League – sure – but grew out of the fad. And I may have had a puma phase in college (everyone experiments in college). I never grew tired of that shiny black low top cleat, which is funny because, as a catcher, my cleats were dirty by warmups.
My all-time favorites: The Pony Golds
Shit…put a little polish on those and I’d run out there with those right now. So comy. The leather was supple, so much so that these bad boys would’ve torn apart within a month if I hadn’t loaded up the toes with shoe goo and/or a double-helping of pitcher’s toe.
I always thought these classic Nike looked good with most any uni.
What did these tell me about the player? Not as much as they told me that his/her dad just mandated the cleat selection. Conservative, no frills, which – if I’m being honest – is usually the right call on cleats. I’m guessing these were an Al Pflepson staple up at Waite Park.
Also, I’m positive my oldest brother, Tony, rocked off-white cleats in high school. Not his fault, I guess. Not only was he the oldest, but also he was a private school boy from kindergarten through college.
What did you sport, TOB? Marin Rowe – I know you have some thoughts on this subject. Kevin Wiesnner – damn right I’m calling you out for those disgusting red moon boots you and that Excelsior team wore (let’s leave the jersey shorts for another day, shall we?). You can make a take look pretty, but not in those cleats, my super tall lefty. – PAL
TOB: As I recalI was strictly a Nike guy. Like Phil, I rocked black cleats, but the ones I had in majors had some grey accents, as you can see in this photo of me about to slap the tag on a guy who thought he could take an extra base on the Giants. Psh.
Or this one of me after I hammered a pitch with my little league doubles power.
But I lived in a small town (South Lake Tahoe), and there were not a lot of stores to choose from, so there weren’t a lot of cleat options. By the time I found the Eastbay catalog, I had already (stupidly, idiotically) given up baseball. But whether it was soccer, baseball, or football, I usually got them at the Foot Locker near the casinos, or a local sporting goods store called The Outdoorsman. Maybe we stopped at Champs in Reno or Sacramento.
Phil and San Rafael Forreal Rowe: now that I’m coaching baseball, what’s your stance on cleats for coaches. Never? Only when coaching a certain age?
PAL: Oh wow…and we have tomorrow’s topic tee’d up.
Readers – Share your topics…and this story with your friends.