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Giants Prospect Goes S&S: Stirrups ’n’ Shorts

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When I was looking through Photo Day pics as part of my research for Monday’s post, I was struck by these two shots of Giants prospect Vaun Brown, who was sporting a fairly radical pants/hosiery combination. (One of those photos also appeared in Sunday’s Ticker.) I wanted to know more, so I’ve done a bit of digging on Mr. Brown, who’s still a minor leaguer for now but has the potential to have the most distinctive below-the-waist stylings in big league history.

It turns out that the story of Brown’s look — which I’m calling “S&S,” short for “stirrups ’n’ shorts” — was spelled out in an article that appeared in The Athletic last summer. Here’s the key passage:

When [Brown] reported in April to the Giants’ Low-A club in San Jose to begin his first full professional season, he couldn’t find a pair of [pants] that looked good on him. Some players try to hide a paunch or they report a few pounds overweight. That was not Brown’s issue. A twice-a-day, seven-days-a-week devotee in the gym, his 6-foot-2 physique is all chiseled muscle. He has the bulging quads of a Tour de France cyclist who just ascended the Pyrenees.

That Low-A team was the San Jose Giants. Here are some shots of how Brown looked while playing for them:


As you can see, Brown had a variety of looks in San Jose, not all of them involving shorts (and some of them involving Nike-branded sanitary socks, ewww). But he soon earned a promotion to the High-A Eugene Emeralds, where he really appears to have leaned into the S&S combo:

One thing that’s clear from those photos: Contrary to what was stated by The Athletic, Brown isn’t pulling his stirrups over his knee. The stirrups just go over his calf, but he also wears black tights that fill in the gap between the bottom of the shorts and the top of the stirrup.

Want to see how that combo looks in action? Here are some video highlights of Brown’s time in Eugene:

Brown was then promoted to the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, but he played only one game there and I wasn’t able to find a photo of that.

I was curious to see how Brown handled his uniform while playing at Florida Southern College. Looks like he was already a stirrups devotee but hadn’t yet gone to the shorts:

Brown had a breakout season last year, so he was invited to the Giants’ big league spring training camp this year, and he’s sticking to his signature style:

If Brown keeps performing like he did last year, it’s entirely possible he could bring S&S to the bigs in the next year or two. It’s not my preferred look, but I do enjoy the eccentricity of it.

Meanwhile: If you look closely at the pics I’ve included in this piece, you’ll see that Brown usually has some sort of band or anklet around his right ankle. He even wore it for Photo Day:

Not sure what that’s about, but I’ll try to find out.

Finally: As The Athletic pointed out, Brown wouldn’t be the Giants’ first shorts-clad player — that distinction is held by Hunter Pence. But it’s also worth noting that outfielder Heliot Ramos, who made his big league debut last season, is yet another Giant who cuffs his pants above the knee, although not as high as Brown or Pence:

If this keeps up, the Giants will have to do a shorts-giveaway promotion soon, right?



Substack Reminder

In case you missed it on Thursday: What you see above is the cover page from a lengthy PowerPoint file that the Mets are using this season to pitch themselves to brands that might want to advertise on the team’s game broadcasts and/or in their ballpark. It covers everything from the green-screen ads behind the plate to ads on the outfield walls, and a lot more. It’s a fascinating document that gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at how such deals are sold.

For this week’s Uni Watch Premium article on Substack, I went through the document, page by page, with longtime Uni Watch reader and ad industry professional Ben Thoma, who had lots of really good insights. The resulting article is a doozy — over 5,000 words — and I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen anything like it.

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the whole thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack, which I hope you’ll consider doing. Thanks!



Can of the Day

It used to be common for shucked oysters to be sold in large-ish cans, or even buckets, many of which featured spectacularly good designs. I really like this one — from the 1950s, think — whose awesomeness pretty much speaks for itself.

For reasons that aren’t clear to me, the oyster cans tend to be prohibitively expensive. This one, for example, has a starting bid of $250.

Comments (47)

    This is the most ridiculous looking getup I have ever seen. Hunter Pence was bad enough…. Now this?!?! Baseball uniforms are trending downwards.. Ads, shorts, cutout side panels, Nike, Mesh Caps, City-connect uniforms.. what is happening?

    Hear hear!

    To make things worse, he has the Nike skid mark on HIS SANITARIES! Those people have to vandalize every damn thing they touch.

    Amen. That look is beyond ridiculous. God, why is it so hard for MLBers to wear proper, fitted uniforms? Yet another reason the 1970’s were far better.

    I like the S&S style, it does have a look of energy and speed (which is in step with what professional baseball wants to be these days: a more energetic and speedy game). Whereas the currently prevalent pyjama look pants (which I really do not like) signifies just that: a sleepy yawnfest with bored players.
    That oyster bucket can is really good but 250 dollars is a bit steep indeed.

    That is a coincidence: I google Stork Brand Oysters and an old post from 2017 turns up for a Dutch restaurant named Stork that serves oysters. Totally unrelated to this brand, ofcourse.

    I hope the Giants’ organization can make proper arrangements to get him proper-size pants for his quads. I really don’t like S&S. Getting quite tired of baseball players and football players trying to turn their pants into shorts.

    There is no circumstance or range of distance a baseball player must run that will be in any way hampered by the length of his pants.



    His feelings, though no doubt very interesting to himself, are irrelevant. Such feelings, if indulged, amount to a license to ignore ANY uniform rules–right down to wearing a wholly different set of clothes if the player feels he performs better in them.

    I’m with you. Shorts don’t belong in baseball. Even softball teams have gotten away from shorts.
    I have a hard time believing this guy’s quads are that much of an issue. He still has basic human form, and I would think that an entity like the Giants – a multi-billion dollar business – can find a way to get one of their valued employees an appropriate pair of pants instead of looking foolish.

    The S&S look is a ridiculous look, no way around it. Same way with football.

    I’m calling rubbish on the “I can’t find pants that look good on me” nonsense. If players can get custom fitted jerseys, as profiled in the past here on UniWatch, they ca sure get this kid a pair of pants that fit him and look correctly.

    And yes, it is just a look “at me” thing.

    The NFL, and now MLB, players are using this ridiculous look to “up their brands”.

    Not surprising that this shorts look is happening in baseball, since it’s becoming more popular in football. College football it’s even more striking with players going bare legged. Not a fan, but I think I like it slightly better than the pajama look.

    As someone with gigantic calves, I find myself turning to shorts often as I have a similar issue with pants fitting tight in that area and loose up top. I like the look on Vaun Brown, but I don’t want to see it spread throughout the league, though I wouldn’t notice outside of Uni Watch posts as I won’t support my local team, the Pirates, in any way, shape or form, so I miss out on watching a lot of baseball.

    I can live with this S&S look, I guess. But if the shorts were even an inch shorter, it would look ridiculous. I still think the best marriage of function and fashion in baseball was the late 70s and early 80s with pullover tops, snug pants, and usually visible stirrups. Let’s go back to that.

    I don’t like the S&S look but at least in this case it doesn’t appear to be a “look at me” thing.

    The photo evidence doesn’t support the notion that Vaun Brown can’t find pants that fit properly all the way below the knee. In the pics with traditional pants, he looks just fine to me. Though maybe his quads are getting bigger.

    I mean, I know it’s a different sport, but if they could make it work for Robert Newhouse….

    I’ll bet my next mortgage payment that there is a tailor somewhere in the Bay Area that has the skill to make this man a suitable pair of baseball pants. Hell, someone notify Wafflebored, see if he wants the challenge.

    I think it’s cute he believes his quads are too big for regular baseball pants when that is clearly not the case from any picture presented. This stinks of a “look at me!” thing. Giants would be better off not promoting him to the club.

    Too often equipment and clubhouse managers are lauded as the unsung heroes of the athletic world. I choose to recognize they are in actuality the purveyors of utter nonsense.

    In this case, it was not the player that cut, trimmed or otherwise altered his pants in such a ridiculous manner, it was a clubhouse manager that offered to him shorts!


    Shorts should be illegal in pro baseball. Or at least, if one player wears them, all players must wear them. Simple.
    The clubhouse manager should have instead a way for young Mr. Brown to wear pants and be comfortable at the same time.

    I for one will shake my weary head at the player, but also I will let my inner anger seethe at the clubhouse manager, the true disciple of poor taste in this instance.


    As a humongous lifelong Giants fan, I’m ecstatic to see a Paul Lukas/Uni Watch article on Vaun Brown’s uniform choices. I hope he breaks out on the big league level soon. Great work as always, Paul.

    This is the biggest line of crap I’ve heard. This self-centered ego machine talks as if he has superhuman quads. We’re not blind… we can see your quads. We wouldn’t notice they were anything more than average size if you didn’t intentionally try to draw attention to yourself, and I’m still not sure they deviate from the norm beyond average.

    This moron just wants to wear shorts so when people ask him why he looks like an idiot can say “Look at me, I go to the gym twice-a-day seven-days-a-week. Ooof. Ooof! Grunt! Yeah!”

    And with all the alterations that MLB team tailors do to uniforms every year, if he was concerned that the rest of his pants looked baggy they could just have them altered like everyone else.

    The only thing oversized on this guy is his ego.

    Hey jack*ss…you look f*cking stupid…the same way Hunter Pence looked f*cking stupid… the same way everyone else who wears their pants above the knees looks f*cking stupid. And your moronic backstory makes you look like an even bigger jerk.

    Respect the game. Respect the uniform.

    What a coincidence, I just so happen to have a shirt that says “Large quads don’t prevent you from covering your calves, period”.


    IMHO a post like this shouldn’t be allowed on the site. The only “self-centered ego machine” I see is a commenter who’s willing to get this angry and hateful to protect his opinions about pants and socks. This is exactly the kind of attitude that the uni-watching hobby (or any other hobby, for that matter) doesn’t need.

    Such bile and acrimony! It reminds me of my dear, departed father watching basketballers slam-dunking and saying, “They ought to be banned, thrown out of the league”. The trouser stylings of Vaun Brown are not my cup of meat, but at least they signal an evolution from the pajama pants. The sport is not standing still, and I can definitely get behind that.

    I don’t mind this, it looks more put together than the baggy pyjama style.

    Somehow the whole thing looks dumber with white shoes. Hate white shoes on teams that don’t traditionally wear them.

    Could (almost) understand the S&S look if he was trying to prevent low strikes getting called on him. Other than that, blecch.

    I watch College Soft ball from time to time and I am always impressed with the way they wear their uniforms. Very old school and classy as compared to baseball

    Young women mature faster than young men. And women in general have more fashion sense than men. Women generally wouldn’t let their teammates go out in public looking like an embarrassment, where dudes rarely care. This tracks.

    I missed posting when there was the review of MSL kits, but is anyone aware of an Apple logo appearing on any sports’ uniform previously?

    The way things are going players will be wearing Speedos in another 20 years.

    I’ve never understood the hate for shorts in baseball – they’re playing an outdoor sport in warm weather so surely it’s the obvious attire?

    Considering Brown’s griping because of his quads, it’s amazing — nay, miraculous — that Rickey Henderson, Bo Jackson, and Greg Luzinski were ever able to function on the diamond.

    How, oh how did they do it?


Comments are closed.