Major League Baseball’s “Players Weekend” will allow for members of all 30 teams to show some unique individuality, but Cubs All-Star Kris Bryant is choosing to use that opportunity to make it about something much bigger than himself.
Starting this Friday and going through Sunday, all 30 MLB teams will be celebrating “Players Weekend,” a three-day event that, gasp, gives players a little freedom to express themselves in a fun, creative way.
For starters, all uniforms will be remarkably different — yes, even the sacred New York Yankees, Jerry! — and each player will be permitted to wear a nickname on the back of their jersey along with a patch on their sleeve to pay homage to someone (or something) that helped them make it to The Show.
Kris Bryant, however, is takin’ things up a notch in a truly awesome way.
Per Wings For Life, a non-profit spinal cord research foundation, Bryant was friends with Cory Hahn, a former All-American at Arizona State who was paralyzed in 2011 after sliding into second base.
So in honor of his buddy, Bryant will be wearing three customized versions of his Adidas Energy Boost Icon 3’s over the weekend with the intention to bring awareness to both SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) research as well as acknowledge the cities that essentially “gave him his wings.”
Those three cities will be Bryant’s hometown of Las Vegas, San Diego (where he went to college) and of course Chicago, that place where he helped the Cubs bring home its first World Series in roughly 273 years.
Here’s a look at the set, all of which were designed by three Chicago street artists.
Judging by the background, it’s pretty clear these are the Vegas cleats.
The San Diego versions, designed by JC Rivera, are both adorable and terrifying, as those bears are clearly not screwing around.
Put these beauties up for auction after the game and then promptly donate what I would expect to be a huge chunk of change to Wings For Life.
See? It’s all very circular in all the right ways.
Most notable about this set is the pronounced Chicago star that Sansing included to serve as a badge of honor for Bryant’s work both on and off the field in the city.
Several more exceptional photos of the cleats can be found at www.win.gs/KBcleats.
If you’re interested in your own Players Weekend gear, the machine that is FansEdge has you covered.
Oh, and as for Bryant’s customized jersey, he’ll be going with a simple “KB” on the back.
If it were up to me, I would’ve gone with “MVP” but I’m not the MVP so I was appropriately left out of the decision-making process.