A’s utility man Aledmys Díaz has a new look this season. The most obvious thing is that he’s wearing a new uniform, having left the Astros as a free agent and signed with Oakland. In addition, he’s wearing mismatched batting gloves in non-A’s colors: blue on the left hand and red on the right.
Díaz’s new teammates noticed and initially thought the colors might refer to the flag of his native Cuba, but the story runs deeper than that. Díaz’s six-year-old son, Nathan, is autistic, and the mismatched gloves are meant to send the message that it’s okay to be different.
In an article on the website of Díaz’s batting glove manufacturer, Bruce Bolt, he said, “Using two different batting gloves, it’s a message: We have to accept people the way they are and try to help them to adapt to society.” (Sharp-memoried readers may recall that the Bruce Bolt logo was the subject of a Uni Watch story last year.)
We’ve seen lots of teams across many different sports wear jerseys to promote autism awareness in recent years, but Díaz is the first player I can think of who’s customized his own personal gear for this type of messaging. (Am I overlooking anyone?) He plans to wear the mismatched gloves for the rest of his big league career.
The Bruce Bolt article says that Nationals outfielder Corey Dickerson also plans to wear mismatched gloves for autism this season, but he didn’t do that for the first two games of the season and has now gone on the IL, so we’ll have to wait a bit to see how that plays out. Meanwhile, kudos to Díaz for advocating for his son, and for reminding us all that it’s okay to be a little bit different — a message that I think most Uni Watch readers can probably relate to.
The good: If equipment is a free for all after the horse left the barn, Aledmys Diaz actually has a meaningful and interesting story, which is cool, and then I just happen to like the underlying message of neurodivergence awareness.
The bad: I personally don’t love a mismatched look
The ugly: I really don’t like it when non-team colors creep into spots like these. I hate ubiquitous neon green, I didn’t love Willson Contreras adding yellow to his Cubs gear for Venezuela, and I don’t like red and blue with the Oakland A’s. Aesthetically, I wish he could tell his message through white, gray, green, gold, and or (sigh, why not) even black.
The only thing I can relate to this is IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe who wears a green shoe on the right (green for “Go” on the gas pedal side) and a red boot for the brake pedal on the left. No serious message, just a bit of fun.
I forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder.
I’m thinking of Brandon Marshall’s green cleats a while ago which led to all of the subsequent “My Cause My Cleats” in the NFL.
Almost 10 years ago, now. Damn…
I’m thinking that Julio Rodriguez wearing a Red and Blue fielder’s glove may be a leftover from the WBC?
I dig the message. I’d prefer he went with one gold glove and one green one, but this is cool too…
I get it. Good for him. It reminds me of another awareness campaign.
Most individuals with Down syndrome have three copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of the usual two. On March 21st (3-21), we wear mismatched socks for World Down Syndrome day.
As the father of a son on the Autism spectrum, I love anytime anyone brings attention to it! My views on uniforms, and team colors take a back seat in this instance. I don’t care if the gloves are blue, red, doesn’t matter. I’m not shooting down anyone’s previous comments, in fact in the spirit of honesty: as and Angels’ fan i watched the whole weekend series and without knowing the backstory i didn’t like it. Just saying now that i know the full story I’m with it 100%
Great take on it Pedro!
Olaf Kolzig promoted autism awareness on his goalie masks.
I have seen college basketball players with shoes in 2 different colors this season. Same reason?