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A Deeeeep Dive on Buck Showalter’s Windbreakers

Britt Ghiroli, who writes about MLB for The Athletic, has just produced a spectacular piece of reporting on Mets manager Buck Showalter’s windbreaker habit. This is award-caliber stuff, so you should definitely read the whole thing, but here are a few highlights:

  • “Showalter does technically wear MLB-issued stuff, but none of it is new. He instead wears previously OK’ed items from years ago, a loophole he thinks drives the league nuts and one they’ll probably try to close when he’s done managing.”
  • The article quotes former Mets pitcher Trevor Williams as saying that Mets equipment manager Kevin Kierst would scour thrift shops, eBay, and Craigslist in search of “old Mets stuff and try to get a cool one-of-a-kind windbreaker” for Showalter.
  • Showalter has “heavier and lighter jackets, the latter of which have the lining removed to keep them even cooler during the summer months.”
  • I’ve written a lot about MLB managers wearing front pants pockets back in the day. According to the article, Showalter has had this same pocket in his pants throughout his managerial career, but it’s apparently not visible because it’s usually covered up by his windbreaker.

And there’s more — a lot more. Read the whole article here. First-rate uni coverage!

The only downer comes at the very end, when Showalter says he can’t understand why he’s being asked about his wardrobe. “Who is going to read this story?” he says. “Must be a slow news day.” Oh, Buck — we all know you’re one of us, we all know you Get It™, so don’t apologize for it. Maybe one day you’ll be able to say it loud and proud.

Comments (24)

    Not paying for the Athletic to read about what Buck wears as interesting as it is.

    Nothing wrong with deciding not to purchase something, of course — it’s your money, and how you do or don’t spend it is totally up to you. But I’ll never understand the need to *announce* that you’re not purchasing something.

    Motion carries – imagine if you owned a hardware store and I decided I wanted to just have a new drill for free instead of paying for it. Good journalism isn’t free.

    Stupid me – clicking the link thinking it was a free read when in fact I hit a pay wall. So consider it a complaint. That’s the announcement.

    So your “complaint” is that The Athletic isn’t properly honoring your sense of entitlement about deserving to get something for nothing. Duly noted.

    Without being able to read the original article, did he seriously wonder why he’s being asked about his wardrobe when he has equipment staff scour thrift shops for interesting wardrobe choices?

    I really hope he geeks out on the finds in private at least.

    I love how Buck says “They don’t make these uniforms for 67 year olds,” yet when he was 37 with the Yankees he dressed the exact same way.

    Until the Scooter (and the Scooter’s wife Cora) hounded him into dressing properly and wearing the jersey.

    I’m honestly just glad I’m not nuts. I’ve seen him interviewed a few times thinking, “Am I blind or are those the short sleeved windbreakers that Majestic used to make like 8 years ago?”

    “Oh, Buck — we all know you’re one of us, we all know you Get It™, so don’t apologize for it. Maybe one day you’ll be able to say it loud and proud.”

    Maybe the Mets will hold a Uniform Pride Night.

    It makes no sense to me that the baseball manager and coaches wear uniforms. Not saying it bothers me, I kind of like it, but it just makes no sense. Can you imagine football or basketball coaches wearing uniforms. Do college baseball and softball coaches wear a uniform?

    As I explained in a recent Substack piece:

    Part of the answer lies in baseball’s early days, when many managers were also active players, so of course they wore uniforms. But there’s been only a handful of player-managers since 1960, and none since Pete Rose in 1986 — a drought that is probably permanent, given the demands of the skipper’s job nowadays — so the player-manager rationale for managers’ uniforms doesn’t mean much in the modern era.

    A more compelling explanation is that MLB skippers and coaches, unlike their peers in other sports, routinely go onto the field of play. Think about it: The batting team always has coaches at first and third base; pitching coaches come out to talk with their hurlers; managers come out to make pitching changes and argue with umpires. By contrast, coaches in the other sports can’t go onto the field (or court, or ice, as the case might be) and in many cases are even penalized if they try to do so. So it makes a kind of intuitive sense that if you’re going to be out on the field, you wear the uniform.

    Buck loves to act like he doesn’t care about uniforms or aesthetics, yet if I remember correctly he helped designed the Diamondbacks original uni, and wished he could get a script B cap during his time with the O’s. He is a reluctant Uniwatcher.

    I don’t think he’s even reluctant. He’s totally into it! But he’s a little embarrassed by how he thinks it will play with the masses, so he undercuts his own enthusiasm. Which is kinda sad. Be unapologetic, Buck — you have nothing to be ashamed of!

    It’s also in terms of caps where Buck has made his preferences clear, at least in spring training.  During at least one spring with the Yankees, he outfitted the himself and the coaching staff in the white-crowned cap, in the manner of the 1970s A’s.  With Texas he wore a red cap while the players wore a blue cap. And with the Mets this past spring he wore the regular cap instead of the spring training cap.

    Buck loves to be different in the way he looks but is from a baseball generation that did not really condone special sartorial behaviour. That is why his reaction is semi-grumpy. I hope he really opens up about his uniform preferences once he finally retires, should be very interesting. And I think he is very proud of the new Orioles CC B hat, he lobbied for it years ago I understand.

    Reading that article made me remember the time as manager for the Orioles, he had worn a jacket that was modified into a short sleeved windbreaker and presumably also had the lining removed. He wore it for a couple years after that jacket design had been phased out by Majestic.

    Found a few photos of Buck’s front pants pocket:

    Yankees (from The Athletic article) – link

    Diamondbacks – link

    Rangers (in use!) – link

    Orioles – link

    Mets – link

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