By Jay McEvoy
Christmas came early when the founder of What Pros Wear, Mike, sent me pictures from his on-field photography session for the Royals-Angels game. “Pick a few that stand out and write about them,” he said. Wait a minute…You want me to scan through hundreds of raw, unlabeled glove images, pick out a handful, and then tell thousands of people on the internet about what I liked? Little old me?
Like I said, Christmas!
There was a lot to choose from for each team. Andrelton Simmons’s Mizuno Pro Limited GMP400. Kole Calhoun’s Rawlings PRO442. The twin gray Nike shaggers for KC pitchers Mike Minor and rookie Eric Skoglund. But a couple of them really stood out from the crowd for being different than what you’d expect. Whether classy when you expected flashy, tan when you thought black, or Wilson instead of Rawlings, here’s a look at a few gloves that caught my eye in this installment of Gloves From Last Night.
Alcides Escobar, Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS200-6KRT
Alcides Escobar is known for having a little flash in his glove game. He proudly sports the gold labels earned from his 2015 infield campaign, and built his Pro Preferred PROPL217KB around it, outfitting his black, half-mesh 11 3/4” I-web with gold stitching, binding, and welting.
But in pre-game warmups, WPW was able to catch a glimpse of Escobar using something very different: A PROS200-6KRT.
Unlike some players that warm up with the same model with different specs like mesh, web or color, Escobar has chosen a different path for all four. The PRO200 is wider than his current PRO217, with a more square shape and a deeper pocket. Escobar also chose to go with a no-mesh back, H-web, and a gorgeous rich tan color which pairs perfectly with his choice of royal blue embroidery on the index finger and thumb. The gold labels remain, but if you won a Gold Glove, you’d probably keep them on your leather, too. Despite being a sharp deviation compared to what you will see him use in games, this glove’s elegant composition and versatile pattern cannot be ignored, and must be talked about immediately at water coolers everywhere.
Pick up your own Escobar pre-game Pro Preferred in 11 ¾” here.
Matt Strahm, Wilson A2000 D33
It would be disrespectful not to acknowledge a pitcher in this article, and if you’ve seen Royals lefty Matt Strahm on the bump, you must be asking yourself, “What glove is that?” followed by “Whatever it is, it matches the uniform pretty well!” Team color coordination is fairly common for players, and Strahm isn’t afraid to be bold with his leather options.
Since being chosen by Kansas City at number 643 in the 21st round of the 2012 draft, Strahm has had a quick rise (then fall, then rise) to the majors after coming off Tommy John surgery in 2013 (sadly, since this writing, he’s torn his patellar tendon! boo.). He took the hill at the end of last year in a royal blue Rawlings Heart of the Hide with Columbia blue lacing and gray binding, ending the season out of the bullpen with a 2-2 record and a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings pitched. This season, Matt continues to pay homage to the team that drafted him by going with a Wilson A2000 D33 in royal blue Super Skin and royal blue Pro Stock leather. Strahm told WPW that the difference in this model versus a retail D33 is that it is 1/2″ longer (which makes it 12 1/4”), as he prefers a larger, deeper glove for his TIP grip. Can’t blame him there; more leather on his hand is more leather we get to look at.
You can get your own normal-sized 11 3/4″ version of Strahm’s Wilson A2000 D33 here.
Mike Moustakas, Rawlings Pro Preferred PRO1000-2KRT
If you’re watching Moose hold down the hot corner, the chances are about 100% that he is using a black Rawlings Pro Preferred PRO1000. Over the years, a few things have changed: an I-web, a camel single post web, a mesh back, even a full suede back. But Ol’ Reliable for Moustakas has been his trusty, black PRO1000. That is until this one showed up on the scene during batting practice:
The materials and specifics of the glove aren’t unlike what we’ve seen before from Mike: It’s a monstrous 12 1/2” made of kip leather with an I-web and a mesh back. The PRO1000 pattern he prefers is very well suited for third basemen, with a wide heel and considerable pocket depth for swallowing up ground balls. Apparently, it can also swallow gloves as well, evidenced above devouring his 9 1/2” Rawlings GG95T Gold Glove trainer. But. Look. At. This. Color! It’s a serenade in rich tan, complemented with a brown half-mesh back with rich tan binding and welting. Add in that darker patina from conditioning and light use, subdued brown stitching, and tone-on-tone embroidery, and you have yourself a beast that is also a beauty.
If you’re used to black Pro Preferreds and decided you need a switch, give it a shot by purchasing a Moose-like 11 3/4″ PROS205-2 here.
Editor’s Note: As you can see, Jay is the most legit glove guy we’ve ever had, so if you have any gloves you’d like Jay to cover, please DM him @picklethebeast.