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.