"It's Gotta Be the Shoes!" Brian Wilson has made these Nike "creamsicle" cleats famous, but he wasn't the first one to wear the orange conversation pieces at this year's All-Star Game.
I never got the story out at the time. Feeling the need to get as much details as possible, I sent an email to Nike in an attempt to get specs and media approved images of them. It was a great sports biz buzz, and one that got away from me.
The place was the All-Star Game. Sitting on press row, the Mets’ David Wright took the field in what I later termed, “A pair of Nike creamsicle cleats” (although I used something a tad more colorful at the time) Down a few seats from me, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick asked me, “What’s up with the shoes?” I shrugged. “I couldn’t tell you, Jerry. Ugly, just like you’d expect Nike to do,” the reference being the University of Oregon’s football uniforms which, due to their obnoxious nature, has garnered incredible press coverage; a marketing stroke of genius.
That was July 13. Thinking the shoes were simply part of a great bit of advertisement at the All-Star Game for Nike, I didn’t expect them to make news again.
How wrong I was.
Wilson broke out the orange cleats during last night’s game against the Marlins, something that got the attention of Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. From the Palm Beach Post:
“A little bit too bright, too flashy,” said Rodriguez, who complained to umpires at the start of the ninth inning.
“We asked if there was any rule about that. He said the rule is more intended for the sleeves and there’s no real for the shoes.”
Rodriguez said Major League Baseball should institute a rule for shoes — because he said the ones Wilson wore were too distracting.
“There’s rules for jewelry and all kinds of things. Shoes like that are a little bit too much,” he said.
“I think there should be a rule. They should be consistent. There’s a rule for the uniform and there should be a rule for the shoes.”
Well, MLB didn’t fine him, but the National League, has. According to San Francisco Chronicle, Wilson was docked $1,000 for wearing shoes that were “non-conforming” to league standards. The reason he wore them in the first place? The old cleats wore down and the orange ones were the only new ones that fit.
You can bet David Wright won’t be breaking out the creamsicle shoes anytime soon.