words // Nick Engvall

With the 2011 Major League Baseball just a few days away, it seemed only appropriate that this week’s Eastbay Memory Lane be baseball-inspired. So, today we have a look at some of the memorable baseball cleats and turf-ready training shoes that were available for the beginning of the 1996 baseball season.

1996 was highlighted by two Juniors who were in the midst of their prime years on the baseball field. Although only Ken Griffey Jr. was remembered by his suffix, Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas also had the “Jr.” following his name. The Kid’s Nike Air Max Griffey line had become one of the most popular signature lines for sneakerheads, and the Big Hurt launched his first signature model with Reebok.

Back then, both players were amidst the best years of their storied careers. Thomas was in the midst of five years straight as an All-Star and looking to grab the MVP Award that he had won in 1993 and 1994. While up in Seattle, Griffey was in the middle of 11 straight years as an All-Star and 10 straight as a Gold Glove winner. Griffey’s young teammate, Alex Rodriguez, led the league in hitting in 1996, and another youngster named Derek Jeter won Rookie of the Year and later went on to help inspire the Jordan baseball cleat line.

What will we remember 15 years from now from this season?


Eastbay Memory Lane: 1996 Baseball Nike Diamond Fury, Griffey Max, Diamond TurfEastbay Memory Lane: 1996 Baseball Nike Diamond Fury, Griffey Max, Diamond TurfEastbay Memory Lane: 1996 Baseball Reebok Instapump Big Hurt - Frank ThomasEastbay Memory Lane: 1996 Baseball Reebok Big Hurt - Frank Thomas