Have you ever heard of Phiten necklaces, EvoShield, or seen grown men wear pink wristbands? If you watch a Major League Baseball game I guarantee you will see 2 out those 3 items, and all of them if you happen to be watching on Mother’s Day or at a game sponsoring Breast Cancer Awareness. Jewelry and matching accessories may sound like a woman’s hobby, but you show me a baseball team and I’ll show you at least one guy who spent more time getting ready for a game than his girlfriend does getting ready for a date.
Baseball is perhaps one of the flashiest sports in terms of how the athletes look while they are playing. The players don’t wear pads like in football and don’t have as much body contact during a game as basketball does. This leaves baseball players with the ability to show off their style (swag nowadays) and still be able to play the sport at a competitive level. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular items that players wear and find out what makes the ultimate stylish baseball player:
- Phiten necklaces – perhaps the most well-known and most common accessory for today’s ballplayers is the Phiten necklace. Phiten has every color scheme for every team and has different color combinations and designs for any situation. The original necklace design has one cord with a snap connection and two rubber Phiten logos at each connector. The “Twisted” styles have two cords intertwined. There are official MLB team necklaces, as well as official styles for NBA teams, NHL teams, and other random colors and styles. If you see someone wearing one of these, they are probably a baseball player.
- EvoShield – These have become very popular in the last few years. Quickly becoming the personal protection of choice for most players, EvoShield makes guards for elbows, ankles, wrists, and forearms. Some are designed to be worn only while batting, but the wrist guard is typically worn the entire game and is commonly worn as a fashion statement just as much as actual protection.
- Mother’s Day/Father’s Day accessories – For the last few seasons, Major League Baseball has had players wear pink accessories on Mother’s Day and light blue accessories on Father’s Day, with the pink also being worn for Breast Cancer Awareness. Players are not required to wear the certain colors, but many choose to do so as it shows support for causes. Players may wear special shoes, shoestrings, wristbands, batting gloves, and even use colored bats. It is becoming a staple that also encourages families to come to the ballpark on these holidays.
- Sunglasses – Baseball is perhaps the sport where it is most essential to at least own a pair of sunglasses. Not every player needs them depending on the location of the sun, but baseball players have been known to wear their sunglasses even at night (on top of their hats, not covering their eyes). My favorite style is the flip shades that allow you to flip the glass up when you don’t need them and then quickly flip them down once the sun becomes an issue. Oakley is by far the most common and well-known brand used by players, but Nike and Oakley also produce sunglasses that players wear on a daily basis. Like Phiten, Oakley produces officially licensed product styles for all the MLB teams, with official colors and logos etched into the lenses.
- Other random baseball accessories include: eye black, wrist tape, batting gloves, pine tar. All of these have functional purposes relevant to helping a player on the field, but they are also status symbols and can reflect a player’s personality and style.
Even the uniforms themselves have become a way for players to reflect their personality, as pants have evolved from the tweener hip-huggers of the 70s and 80s to baggy sweatpants like. You could hide Jose Altuve inside the pants of Prince Fielder! Hats have also migrated from being snug with curved brims to oversized with flat bills.
While the NBA has become infamous for highlighting players’ attire entering an arena and at a post-game press conference, baseball players are still renowned for what they wear on the field as opposed to off it. The one accessory that MLB is trying to crack down is physical body enhancers. While baseball was basically a strongman competition and bodybuilding contest in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, players are starting to look like normal human beings again, with a few exceptions. Baseball players are definitely some of the most decorated athletes in terms of how they look. No matter who wins or loses, every player tries to look good doing it. Baseball accessories are a reoccurring fad that aren’t going away.