Since Shohei Ohtani officially signed with New Balance, we were anticipating a new glove for the best ballplayer on Earth, but we didn’t expect this. Shohei is wearing a New Balance (?!?) glove at Spring Training 2023.
The wrinkle here, though, is that it looks a lot like a modified Wilson A2K B2 (available at Dick’s for $399) with New Balance labels. The B2 is Wilson’s classic pitcher’s glove with a solid web and a little more understated compared to his Asics gloves of the past. Shohei’s glove seems to have Wilson Superskin on the wrist, too, another tell-tale sign that this is an “imposter.”
UPDATE: ANGELS POSTED SOME PHOTOS.
In this photo above you can see a modification to the wrist opening, which opens up like a traditional open back, but narrows around his pointer finger. Here’s a screenshot of a video that the Angels posted:
Also some more from @shoheisaveus on Twitter:
It looks like the old Greg Maddux dial glove, but without the dial or the finger hood.
Shohei must have signed a monster deal with New Balance that required him to wear NB labels head-to-toe. The likely scenario is that New Balance contracted Wilson to make the glove and put the NB logos on it. In other words, you shouldn’t expect to see a New Balance glove line anytime soon.
On the flipside though, a new cleat will be dropping Friday “in celebration” of the Shohei-NB union: the New Balance Fresh Foam X 574.
These are a classic New Balance silhouette that will retail at $135 at NewBalance.com, also available in gray. Shohei hasn’t appeared wearing them yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
I’m interested in the cleats he’s wearing in the spring training pix. Are they based off an existing NB cleat model or are they fully custom? Cleats can be seen here:
Cool to see the 574 cleats, but I’m hoping they make him a signature model soon. Would be cool to have a sneaker/turf version too. New Balance has been making quality stuff for a while now, a Made in USA pair would be incredible.
Big problem with New Balance Baseball Shoes. The biggest width they make is 2E. I thought New Balance made their name on wide widths for bigger athletes. I guess that aspect isn’t important to them anymore. I guess I’ve bought my last pair of New Balance Athletic shoes. Too bad, I really loved wearing New Balance.