words_Nick Engvall

It happened to Michael Jordan when he wore the Air Jordan I. Now Major League Baseball is taking the same path as the NBA did back in 1985, with fines.

San Francisco Giants closer was one of the lucky few Nike sponsored athletes at the 2010 MLB All Star game that received the MLB Boom Pack from Nike Training, but the gift just became costly.

Brian Wilson of the SF Giants is fined for orange Nike cleats.Wilson must have taken a liking to the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite, because he decided to give them another wear Tuesday night against the Florida Marlins. Apparently, despite being made up of nearly entirely orange which is one of the Giants colors, Major League Baseball doesn’t show the same affection for the bright baseball cleats.

According to the Associated Press, Wilson has already taken it upon himself to handle the issue…with a black marker.

Sneaker lovers may cringe, but remember Penny Hardaway had to do the same with the Foamposite One back when it originally released. Most of us hate the idea of having to deface an iconic shoe like the Foamposite One, but it seems that like it probably is for Brian Wilson and Nike, the defacing of a shoe may be costly, but worth every dime. The publicity is truly priceless.

One question I have though as a sneakerhead, what really is the pain of seeing the black marker covering the original colorway of the shoe?

MLB All Star Boom Pack - Nike Air Max Diamond EliteIn my mind, there is no dollar amount that could be applied to one of Penny’s game-worn and hand colored Foamposites. The same goes for Brian Wilson’s Air Max Diamond Elite’s for me as a Giants fan.

It seems the NBA has disregarded most of the rules from twenty-five years ago regarding the color of shoes. Major League Baseball has to take a slightly different look at this type of thing, specifically because Wilson is a pitcher. Major League Baseball will inevitably have to find a way to deal with this situation and others that will likely follow because just like the NBA, baseball players of the future are those that grew up with the sneaker culture. As for the difference between basketball and baseball, in the MLB, managers and players of the opposing team could argue that the shoes are a distraction, much like they would if the opposing pitcher was wearing a white under shirt. That is something that the NBA didn’t have in their rulebook.

With all of that said, the cleats are a definitely a distraction, and a beautiful one at that, in my opinion.