When I was a young kid, I wanted Ken Griffey Jr’s glove for Christmas, and I wanted to leave no margin for error for my mom who I hoped would buy it for me. So I went looking for the exact model information, and I found it, thanks to a glove forum (probably Glove-Works). Even though I found the info after some digging, I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find! I ended up not getting the glove that Christmas, but what I did get was the dream of a place like WPW—so that one day baseball fiends like me could accurately beg their mothers for expensive equipment!
Fast forward about 15 years, and I’m building another Christmas List. If money was no object, what would I want for Christmas going into the 2015 baseball season? If all the “exclusives” were inclusive, who’s swagger would I be jackin’?
Here is my most wanted list, some buy-able, some exclusive.
(Buy-able) Fantasy Bat
As far as THE LOOK and only the look goes, there are some instances when a classic just can’t be touched. Apologies to the new school labels, but like Wrigley’s Ivy or Yankee pinstripes, the caked on pine tar/flame-treated ash look is everlasting.
The Nike Treatment
Maybe its Nike’s experience with larger-than-life mega stars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but there is just nobody better at pampering their athletes with hyper-personalized gear. Its not just the special colorways, or a stylized logo–Nike stands alone in their ability to embed the DNA of a specific athlete in the gear they use.
In the above example, Nike uses Shane Victorino’s H-Web as a canvas, paying homage to his family, his heritage, and his own personality, all the while providing Victorino with a high-performance glove worthy of a Gold Glover.
Not everyone can get a one-of-a-kind custom glove made by Nike’s best designers to your exact specifications. However, there is a company out there now, called Gloveworks, that offers the amateur player a taste of what that’s like.
Gloveworks has a custom tool that allows you more customization than any other similar tool we’ve seen, including the ability to embroider your own image/logo.
Custom glove builders have never before offered this much personalization, and Gloveworks does it for a ridiculously reasonable price. The top of the line European Kip will run you $199, and customizations like the logo you see above only cost $10 extra. Not only that, but the sheer number of options is unbeatable. On the fingers alone you can choose the color of 10 separate panels completely independent of one another. See more of what I’m talking about here.
This decision was extremely difficult. Gut reaction when I first started thinking about this was these Pedroia 4040v2s:
But then I went on a scroll binge on our Instagram and fell back in love with the Guthrie 2KFresh Elephant Print beauties and that’s when things got complicated. And how could I forget Nick Swisher’s Cleveland customs? Or his desert camo 4040s? I could probably come up with 5 or 10 more that I have dreamed about one time or another, so its a tough call.
Between Guthrie’s Elephants and Pedroia’s Camo 4040v2s, which would you choose?
My team colors are black and green with a hint of Columbia blue. These cleats would not match those colors.
I do not care.
Fantasy Batting Gloves
The UA Yard VII isn’t a total fantasy, its available, but unfortunately, Under Armour hasn’t come around to offering anything but the white base leather, nothing like the ones you see above from Kolten Wong, Josh Harrison, and Chris Young respectively.
For my money, there isn’t a better looking glove in the Big Leagues right now. UA provided their contract guys all over the League with an array of colorways that I gradually fell into lust with throughout the year.
Buy-able Batting Gloves
This is an easy decision. Franklin’s new custom builder is awesome. The Emerald Beauties you see above are gettin’ sewn up by Franklin’s finest seamstress as we speak.
My team is called the Tsunami (Roll Tide) and we share Tulane’s colors (below).
I can’t wait to rock these. I will most likely get some shit from my square-ass teammates about it, but if I was them, I’d be a little sour about it too. Check out Franklin’s custom builder here (you can get the Pro Classics too).
(Buy-able) Fantasy Sunglasses
Profiling so many players, I look at a lot of baseball sunglasses. Harper’s Spine-inspired shades are stunners. They’re different than the swarms of Oakley Radar standard issue we’re used to seeing, and they make that very clear. I’m a big fan of the reptilian style and I hope UA expands on these. Imagine a custom builder for these? I think I’d go with black and green with a green-tinted lens. Maybe Christmas 2015.
Fantasy Ice Pack
This thing would be nice. And maybe someone to help me put it on. Would probably be better than that bag of frozen peas I’ve slapped on my poor UCL for 3 seasons.
Tweet at me, let me know if I missed something on my Christmas list.