Baseball equipment and accessorizing has come a long way over the last two decades. Any baseball fan of the early to mid 2000’s surely has a memory of seeing Barry Bonds take a solid 10 seconds just to get all of his armor off his body after drawing a walk and the gear game has only since evo-lved since the introduction of EvoShield (see what I did there).
Since then, I have been semi-obsessed with gear. I think this obsession replaced my former obsession with Royals batting stances. Either way, I put a decent amount of thought into this subject. Among my favorites are Yadier Molina (sorry), with all of his navy gear to go with the Cardinals red. I love that combination.
I also loved old Alex Rodriguez, specifically with how he wore a navy arm band over a black arm sleeve on his off arm. But you could basically get me to love any Yankee gear that incorporates navy and not just black. And you could basically get me to love anybody who wears an arm sleeve with an arm band on top. Count me as a Tulo fan in this sense.
The Royals have a history of innovating the gear game, whether it be Gordon or Eric Hosmer apparently introducing lizard skin bat grips to the major leagues. Today, I’m going to walk through the five best accessorized Royals. Let’s begin.
Honorable Mention: Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain
I know that most of you probably don’t care all that much about accessories, but I’m sure even with that being true, you are shocked that Hosmer didn’t make my list. And to an extent, your angst is warranted. His 11th inning tank against the Angels in game two of the 2014 ALDS made the cover of Sports Illustrated, but also made waves because of the bright yellow grip tape that was on his bat.
He has also donned some pretty sweet silver gear in last year’s All-Star game, which obviously helped him win the MVP. Look good, feel good, play good, right?
However, he has one major flaw, a flaw that he shares with Lorenzo Cain and a flaw that a non-objective source like me cannot overlook.
He wears Under Armor.
I do not like Under Armour baseball gear. Eric Hosmer makes their batting gloves look good because he often wears them solid blue, but when he doesn’t? Gross. He also wore some spikes in the 2015 postseason that were a really nice concept (and one that we’ll see done well later) but were overall underwhelming.
As for Lorenzo, he is only on here so that I could say how much I miss his Adidas days. Under Armor corrupted him.
5. Jorge Bonifacio
Jorge’s gear game yesterday is what actually inspired me to write this think piece.
I have a writing slot tomorrow morning and I might just scratch my plans and write about Royals gear instead— Ryan Heffernon (@RyanHeffernon) September 22, 2017
I have liked Bonifacio’s gear all season. I am a fan of traditional looks incorporating a modern twist and Bonifacio, at times, has hit the nail on the head. He often wears blue franklin batting gloves with the neon yellow lining, as well as wearing an all-blue EvoShield, which is a great look. He is also wearing some sweet Adidas spikes with gold accent in the picture from the link.
However, yesterday was my favorite look, as explained in my tweet. I love sleeves on the non-dominant arm, as I discussed in my A-Rod analysis. And the all-blue franklin gloves with the chrome logo (a look shared by Melky Cabrera) is also very nice.
His affinity for high socks is also a plus. Look for Bonifacio to move up this board in the future.
4. Salvador Perez
Outside of Hosmer, Perez probably has the largest arsenal of gear.
Despite this, he has stayed pretty consistent over the last several years, with the standard double taped wrists, batting gloves with neon yellow trim, and a blue EvoShield shin guard and elbow guard.
To tell you the truth, I love Sal’s gear, but I desperately miss his All-Star catchers gear. I put two pictures of it in the photo gallery. He switched to Rawlings, I assume because he gets the gold plated logo, which makes it worth it (I think).
I still miss the All-Star gear. His powder blue gear was the best in the business.
3. Whit Merrifield
This guy just keeps surprising us.
Really, though, him being on this list isn’t a surprise. He’s a gamer and he dresses like one. And even before he was a really good baseballer, he had the look of a guy that dressed the part but didn’t play the part. Luckily, that wasn’t the case.
I love everything about Whit’s look, but I want to focus on the spikes. I am a sucker for cleats, and I went crazy last season when Javy Baez unleashed these Jordans in the postseason. Whit’s all-blue or all-white Nike’s are arguably the best spikes on the Royals. He also wears the Nike batting gloves, which I am a proponent of.
He is also a notorious arm sleeve guy, which is one of my favorite looks. He also often wears a white arm sleeve in contrast with his otherwise blue gear, which is nice. The only thing that made me question him was the weird elbow guard he wears, but I’ll let it slide.
2. Alcides Escobar
Esky gets a lot of crap these days, but the man knows how to look like a gamer on the field.
For starters, he wears the classic glove side arm band with his number on it like all shortstops should. Secondly, his spikes are amazing. Always have been. You get the feeling that he is the snearkerhead of the group with how many combinations he has tried over the years.
I am also a fan of him bringing back the old school elbow guards and, as is true with all Nike wearers, his batting gloves never disappoint.
His 2015 postseason batting gloves, with the neon yellow Nike emblem, were especially pretty.
1. Alex Gordon
Gotta stick with the classics.
Here’s the deal. Everybody loves flashy. Everybody freaked out when the Seahawks released their new uniforms or when Oregon posts their weekly uniform combination.
But the blue bloods always prevail. The Packers and Chiefs of the uniform business will always have the edge over their flashier competition.
Alex may be having his worst season as a major leaguer, but his look is a classic. He has ran with the double wrist tape look after his 2011 EvoShield experiment, with the occasional exception when he wears a shooters sleeve. So what makes his double wrist tape look better than the others on this list? Come on, I thought you were better than this, readers.
It’s his forearms. Obviously.
Argbuably his best look (for more reasons than one) is from the now legendary picture of him rounding first base after tying game one of the World Series. He had the double wrist tape, alongside some really nice Louisville Slugger batting gloves. I also love his use of the white-base EvoShield shin guard and his white Nike with the powder blue accent is simply stunning.
Alex is a classic, ladies and gentlemen. But you already knew that.