Death, taxes, and summer going too fast. Those are the three guarantees in life. With some delays, we ended up launching our new site in May, and while it was necessary, it took a lot of energy away from what we do best. Swag. I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a few weeks, and I finally got a chance to go back and review the 2019 MLB season through the WPW lens. Here are the ballplayers, gear, and themes that have stood out to us so far, with more to come!
Fernando Tatis, Jr. and 100% Stunner Shades
The thing about “swag” is it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you can’t play. If Tatis was wearing these 100% S2 (available for $175 at Baseball Express) stunner shades and hitting .180, they’re not cool. When he’s hitting in the .310s, playing a jaw-dropping shortstop, and homering once every 15 ABs, they become the coolest sunglasses on the planet.
100% has been the most asked about brand in baseball this year. They’re loud, and the reflection is legitimately mesmerizing. Shop 100% stunners at Baseball Express.
Its the total package, though. The blonde dreads are from the future. Only other guy doing it is Vlad, Jr. and there isn’t much you can do to stop them.
Tatis, Jr. even has little swaggy tassles in ’em. Attention to detail is always appreciated here. Oh and don’t sleep on that diamond necklace.
SSK Stock Rising
SSK gloves are as relevant as ever, worn by some of the most exciting up-and-coming stars:
(Tatis, Jr.) SSK has a product page dedicated to Tatis, Jr though it doesn’t include the white/navy piece.
(Ronald Acuna) SSK has a product page dedicated to Acuna.
SSK also picked up WPW Hall of Famer Robby Cano, and this white/royal/orange is one of my favorites of the year. SSK offers Cano’s orange/blue glove only.
Francisco Lindor = The Prototype
Francisco Lindor flipping down the Tiger Eye super-duper 90s throwback flip-downs as he went back on a ball is sauce in its purest form.
Lindor does everything right. He’s wearing his family on his shoes, for goodness sake. This is a pinnacle of swag that humans had never reached until Lindor. (Has there ever been another player in another sport to put a family portrait on their shoes? Please comment with proof!)
The stirrup look on his Cypher 12 cleats, too! Guy is just lifting the bar for us all.
While most guys run from the spotlight, Lindor owns it. He literally grabbed the mic out of this poor guy’s hands on live television. Its Frankie’s world and we’re just livin’ in it.
The Year of the Polar Bear
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 11, 2019
Pete Alonso aka The Polar Bear aka the New King of Queens has that soft-spoken giant swag.
Alonso’s first word was “ball.” Guy eats, sleeps, and dreams it. Its so innocent and authentic. You can feel his burning love for the game in this goofy :13 second clip before the season even started:
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 27, 2019
It was already hard not to love the guy… and then he dropped these cleats on us for the All-Star Game.
Done up by the artist formerly known as KD Custom Kicks (now @stadiumcustomkicks), these Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 mids are likely a 1-seed for Best of WPW 2019 in the cleat category.
In any other era of baseball, rookies like Tatis and Alonso would be shamed for their flamboyant gear and outward confidence. Luckily, we’ve finally entered the “Let The Kids Play” era (shirt $20), and the negativity is slowly losing its place in the game.
Clint Frazier Makes the Hypebeasts Go Wild
Back before it was the Mike Tauchman show in The Bronx, Clint Frazier put baseball into the mainstream sneaker culture for a brief moment, strutting out to left field in rare shoes with Custom Cleats on them.
At the peak of the hype, Clint did this sit-down with Complex where the guy pretended to care about baseball for a few minutes:
Some defensive woes and the absurd breakout of Mike Tauchman has kept Clint in AAA despite his impressive Big League numbers, and now the hypebeasts are back to talking about the 4,000th limited release of whatever Travis Scott was wearing.
Jordan Batting Gloves
The standout Jordan swag this year, for me at least, was the batting gloves!
Manny got his own logo pattern on his. They were so sick he left the 4th of July shipment on the bench!
These are just backups.
Dexter Fowler showing us that a red/yellow combo can be deadly.
They look even better on the low-five after a 3-run bomb.
Mookie’s murder gloves are less flashy but plenty effective. Unfortunately, Jordan only does batting gloves for pros… and only a few of them.
Part II coming soon…