On a day when every major leaguer wore the same uniform number, Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to create a unique look for himself while paying tribute to Jackie Robinson.
Crawford wore special edition Jackie Robinson No. 42 cleats, produced by Nike via its Air Jordan Jumpman line, only he couldn't decide which pair — blue or white — he liked more. So he wore one of each. White on the left, blue on the right:
Carl Crawford is wearing one blue shoe and one white shoe. They're special Jackie Robinson editions and he wanted to show them both off.
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) April 16, 2013
Update: Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies faced a similar dilemma with the same shoes in his game against the Reds. His solution? He wore blue cleats for seven innings and switched to white for the last two. Rollins went 0 for 4 in a 4-2 loss.
Crawford came in batting .372 and started 3 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI against the San Diego Padres, prompting this from Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully:
"With a blue shoe and a white shoe, Carl Crawford is 3-for-3. We might see him wearing that combination for quite a while." - Vin Scully — Josh Keener (@CoachKeener23) April 16, 2013
It's funny, but this combination — even though blue and white are team colors — seems like something MLB's fashion police might frown on. It's even something umpires might make the player change on the spot, especially if, for example, Kirk Gibson were managing the other team and complained. You know NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was pretending to fine Crawford from his living room.
Apparently it was no big deal. Or The Man looked the other way for once, because it was Jackie Robinson Day. But was it a good look? I'm not sure. Jackie Robinson himself probably would wonder why black shoes — which was all they had 60 years ago — weren't good enough for the kids today.
Still, there's something about Crawford breaking a color barrier with his shoes that seems appropriate for the day.