Last Friday I asked about unusual instances of athletes wearing sunglasses. The very next day — the very next day! — the sunglass gods dumped something into my lap: Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa took the mound wearing shades. According to this article (generously brought to my attention by reader Tessa Trego), Igawa isn’t used to pitching in daylight because he played almost exclusively in domed stadiums in Japan. The sun’s glare had caused problems for him during his previous spring training start, so he opted for the sunglasses this time around.
Igawa isn’t the first pitcher to wear dark glasses, but he’s definitely the first I’ve seen wearing super-dark contemporary shades, which makes for an odd sight, sort of like there’s a blind man pitching. Interestingly, as Jeremy Brahm notes, Igawa’s countryman Daisuke Matsuzaka has been wearing those tinted contact lenses that cut down on UV glare, so maybe he’s having similar problems making the adjustment to daylight baseball.
Incidentally, big thanks for the excellent sunglasses-related factoids that many of you have sent in over the past few days — you people rock and all that. I’ll be incorporating many of your contributions into my next ESPN column (which would normally run this Thursday, but it’s been bumped to next Monday or Tuesday because of all the NCAA tourney coverage), which will feature an in-depth look at the intersection of sunglasses and athletics.
Uni Watch News Ticker: It’s nice that the Phillies held a memorial service for John Vukovich on Friday. But it seems a little odd that they put a black armband on his jersey — it’s like he’s saluting himself. … Good catch by Bryan Redemske, who notes that Louisville’s Terrence Williams had “Money Time” written on his sneaker Friday night. … Fawning article here about N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe’s suits. … Barry Bonds wore a DC United jersey while warming up on Saturday. … Latest member of the do-rag club: Nook Logan. … Phony pit stain; real pit stain. … Two oddities from Saturday’s Klitschko/Austin heavyweight tilt: (1) The canvas was white, and (2) the ropes included ads for Klitschko’s web site, which made the proceedings seem kinda biased. … Good rundown of Minnesota high school hockey tournament jerseys here. … The Manitoba Moose had Military Tribute Night on Saturday. Note the camouflage tape on the shins — an impressive touch. Lots of additional pics at the bottom of this page. … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: Good view here of the Hofstra lacrosse team’s memorial patch for Nick Colleluori. … Sure, this is fine, but I liked it better when he did this. … The Delaware State Lady Hornets have some pretty wild uniforms (with thanks to Matthew Wolfram). … Heartwarming sight yesterday, as Jose Cruz Jr. was wearing perfect — I mean perfect — stirrups. … And speaking of stirrups, Jeff Ash notes that Wisconsin girls hoops state champs Milwaukee Vincent has been wearing faux stirrup socks.