August 01, 2011
It doesn't take long for a traded player to obtain and wear his new jersey, but it can sometimes take awhile for the rest of his equipment to catch up. Case in point: Hunter Pence(notes) didn't have any red cleats to wear over the weekend after being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies from the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The Phillies' initial solution was to lend Pence an extra pair from another player after he arrived for Saturday's game. There were, however, two big problems with that plan: The shoes were a half-size too small for Pence's feet and they were Nikes.
Pence has an equipment deal with Reebok (and has big feet), so he looked for another solution after wearing the rival brand for one game. And once he figured out an alternate plan, it took a little longer to execute than Nike-icon Michael Jordan simply draping an American flag over his Reebok-logoed jacket at the 1992 Olympics.
Before Sunday's game, assistant trainer Mark Andersen spent nearly 45 minutes spray-painting [Pence's] black Reebok spikes red, putting tape over the Reebok emblem as to not ruin it.
"It took forever," Pence said. "It was a good project. There was grass sticking to them and everything, but it was so much more comfortable [to wear my own]."
Pence expects Reebok to have a red pair of spikes sent to him in time for Tuesday's game.
The 700 Level has a few more shots of Andersen's handiwork. Judging from our photo, it looks like he got more red paint on the sole of the shoe than the sides, but it's not a bad effort given the time frame or situation.
Since we're on this topic, I will say that one of the weirdest things to see in a major league clubhouse is the arrival of a just traded-for player. Nine times out of 10 he'll be hauling an equipment bag with the colors and logo of his old team and it's strange to see another team's scheme land in a room that's awash in totally different colors.