They’re the only MLB team that does. Dontrelle Willis of the Florida Marlins kicked his leg up higher than Barry Zito and his cleats were always black, even at home at Sun Life Stadium or whatever it was back then. Shoot, everyone wore black cleats besides the Swingin’ A’s.
The Athletics, however, have worn white cleats for home and away games ever since the team played in Kansas City. This is when the blue and white was ditched for green and gold for good, and players were paid $300 if they grew mustaches. Really.
Here’s beloved shortstop Miguel Tejada wearing white cleats during an away game as he awaits a pitch. Likely hit it over the head of the opposing second baseman in the gap before the center fielder could get there. There he goes, taking a generous lead off first base in those brazen white cleats, looking to steal second. What else should he do?
You see, Charles Finley, owner of the A’s back in the KC days, knew they needed something to set themselves apart from the rest of the league since the team wasn’t that inspiring on it’s own. That something was white cleats, which was a joke amongst opposing players, and likely some fans as well. Now, old guys yell at players for flipping, tossing, or hurling their bats after a home run.
No matter, though, because it worked. The new color scheme and distinct monochromatic footwear seemed to have done something to inspire the players, as the Oakland Athletics would win the World Series 3 years in a row in the early 1970s.
They’re beautiful, aren’t they?
While Oakland hasn’t won a World Series since 1989, their iconic color scheme and choice of cleats will always inspire and remind us that we should make things our own. Show the world your personality!