NEW YORK >> When it comes to their socks, Curtis Granderson and the New York Mets have scrapped their stirrups in favor of stripes and skylines.
On some nights, that is.
New York’s skyscraper look is still under construction.
“Just a little too much going on,” Granderson said.
Make no mistake, though — for Granderson and his fellow big leaguers, these new stockings are a step in the right direction. This season, baseball has put footwear at the forefront, working with a new provider to create custom socks for almost all its teams, as well as special occasion designs for events like Mother’s Day and the upcoming All-Star Game.
Working with Stance, Major League Baseball’s new sock supplier, some clubs decided to update an old aesthetic — the St. Louis Cardinals added an “STL” logo to their classic red, white and blue bars, and the Houston Astros included an homage to their bursting orange rainbow jerseys from the 1970s and ’80s with a few bright stripes around the ankle.
The Chicago Cubs kept things subtle with a sublimated team logo, while the Rays have created three socks, including options with the team’s “TB” logo and its newer sunburst. The Baltimore Orioles might have the flashiest style when they rock Maryland’s heraldic state flag.
For fans raised watching Brooks Robinson in sanitary socks and stirrups, it may be a shock. A few players — including Indians youngster Francisco Lindor — are keeping that look alive, but most now avoid that throwback.
“I feel like the stirrup thing has kind of been something that a lot of players have moved from for a while now, just for comfort,” Granderson said. “Having an additional piece that possibly moves around or stretches out, that’s the reason why I moved away from it.”
Same goes for Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen, who likes to roll up his pant legs but also thought the stirrup style didn’t quite fit his vibe. He put the Pirates a step ahead with a fresh design — black socks, big yellow stripes — a few years ago, and now Pirates players wear them throughout the minors and majors.
“I just wanted to have a little bit of my personality on the ball field,” McCutchen said. “I always say, ‘You look good, you play good.’”
Now more players want a little say in their hosiery. The Mets were presented with their new socks right around opening day, and while they’re excited with the direction, they’ve also come at the stockings with a critical eye. Granderson and teammates have asked for a redesign of the socks, which currently include two orange stripes, an orange Mets logo and a gray New York skyline on a blue background.
Some Mets are still wearing them on the road, but when paired with their white pinstripe home jerseys, it gets a little too busy for Granderson’s liking.
“We got the gray, we got a horizontal stripe with our pinstripe with the skyline with the logo,” Granderson said. “Just feel like there’s a lot going on.”
Don’t expect an update too soon, though. Granderson was told it could take up to 16 months to finalize the fresh model.
Frustrations with the timeline aside, Granderson is excited to see how baseball’s footwear fashion will evolve over the next couple seasons — with a little bit of help.
“It just would have been very interesting to see the process beforehand and had a little bit of input going into it since we’re going to be the ones wearing it,” he said. “But we adjust and go. Guys definitely like them.”