- The moments in and around the game that are bigger than the game itself.
- The speeches to teammates and fans that are larger even than the game itself.
- The moments when sports is used as a platform for bigger social conversations.
- The thrilling moments from your childhood that you never forget.
- The tender moments among teammates.
It’s why we watch. It’s why we play. It’s the stuff that rises up out of sports and settles down into us.
Today’s Heart of Sports moment comes from the world of MLB, where this weekend is “Player’s Weekend.” This year’s all white and all black uniforms have drawn some fan (and player) criticism, but Player’s Weekend was started in 2017 to give MLB players the chance to express themselves a bit more. They can use nicknames on the backs of their jerseys and use custom colored cleats, bats, and gear.
But the coolest part of Player’s Weekend this year have got to be Aaron Judge’s cleats. They are signed by all 217 of the players at this year’s Little League World Series:
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— Play Ball (@PlayBall) August 22, 2019
“Youth is our future,” said the Yankee right fielder, when asked about the cleats. “It’s something that’s very important to me.” Judge indicated that footwear manufacturer, Adidas, initiated the discussion of featuring the Little Leaguers’ names on the shoes: “They found a way to kind of squeeze them all in there,” Judge said. “I’m excited about it. It’ll be something cool for the kids to do and when I wear them on TV they can tell their all their friends, ‘Hey, I signed those cleats’ or something like that.”
Other MLB players are also reaching out to their Little League counterparts. Like Houston Astros third baseman (and former LSU star), Alex Bregman, sending this personalized video to Reece Roussel and East Bank, Louisiana Little League:
— Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) August 23, 2019
Photo Credit: Twitter/PlayBall