28 July 2009

the decline of western civilization (if western civilization were stirrups)

blame george hendrick. i do. when i played little league, we would stretch our stirrups so you would only see the skinny part. by the time i was playing in high school, it was cool to show some of the stirrup top, or even as little of the skinny part as possible. the point is, we wore stirrups and we showed them off. today, few players show anything above the cleat.

let's review the demise of the stirrup.

here's jackie robinson on his 2008 topps stadium club card, showing a lot of stirrup. pants stop at the upper calf, with minimal stirrup and a lot of full width material. classic.

fast forward about 20 years, and we find a lee lacy 1973 topps card. lee has his stirrups stretched a bit, but you can still see some of the full material below the pant leg, which looks to be hitting at mid calf.

10 years hence, we find ron roenicke on his 1983 fleer card.the pants look a tad bit longer than lacy's, and there is no full width material to be seen. only the skinny part.

4 years later or so, we see the collision of generations on steve garvey's 1987 fleer limited edition card.garvey wears them like lacy did in 1973, but john kruk's stirrups look like an extension of the padres pinstripes. plus, his pants are reaching the lower end of the calf.

a year later, on his 1988 topps card, george hendrick dares to wear the full length pant.

you can actually see a tiny bit of the stirrup at the ankle where the shoe is lower, but for all intents and purposes, hendrick could have been wearing argyles. when i first saw this, i was horrified.

20 years later (i am skipping the derek bell years), we find blake dewitt on his 2008 upper deck first edition card.

this just looks sloppy. these look like the unwashed shrink-to-fit 501's i used to buy. this is progress?

a special note goes out to juan pierre and others who maintain the full stirrup look, either in tribute to the negro leagues or just because it looks right.

it is very much appreciated. maybe there's hope for civilization yet.


MattR said...

Baseball players look like hell now. I'm surprised they don't trip over their pant legs.

Carl Crawford Cards said...

Oh yes. the great stirrup debate.

My father-in-law told me that in high school he and his friend actually cut the stirrup at the bottom and sewed on a piece of elastic so you could stretch them even further.

I'm a fan of the Juan Pierre/mike Remlinger school, but have to admit the Manny school makes does work better for some guys.

shanediaz82 said...

Great post!

Captain Canuck said...

yeah, you forgot Manny, the worst of the pajama wearing lot.
Next post, hat wearing. How damn hard is it to wear a hat properly?

gcrl said...

manny adds the baggy element as well. i was just so intrigued by the dewitt pants i had to post it instead of manny.

RWH said...

Watching the Cardinals/Dodgers game yesterday, I loved the stirrups on the shortstop for the Cards. He had full stirrups showing and they were of the multi-stripe variety.

night owl said...

Yeah, that was Brendan Ryan. He also had a goofy mustache and 4 hits. I was cursing out him, his stirrups and his mustache by the end of the night.

Tony said...

I hate the long pants look as well. I blame Barry Bonds