Baseball Spikes Add Speed For Base Runners And Fear For Defenders
Ty Cobb Was Recognized As The Fear Maker When He Was On The Bases
The term most commonly used by baseball players in referring to their baseball shoes is "spikes", however, sometimes they are also called baseball "cleats."
Track shoesworn by the fleet foted boys and men of track and field events are also referred to as "spikes" and golf shoes have spikes but football shoes have "cleats." Boys growing up playing both football and baseball have used the terms both "spikes" and "cleats" in reference to either of the foot gear they used.
Talking about baseball spikes or cleats can be confusing but the most controversial piece of baseball equipment is the use of the wood bat or aluminum bats. Why? Seems a little physics dynamic issue enter the fray because of something about the ball exit speed ratio and safety. This wood vs aluminum bat usage thing is a subject matter on another page.
Playing the game of basketball with shoes on the hardwood is "tennis shoes" or "sneakers".
You can call them tennis shoes if you like but if it's Chuck Taylor All-Star then it is my very special favorite and a real true basketball players shoe of choice.
A baseball players most prized baseball-souvenir and common keepsake, of his baseballfarming days baseball uniform items, aside from his cap and glove is his baseball spikes. To learn more about baseball uniforms go to our Baseball Uniforms page.
The most common reference however, which separates and distinguishes baseball shoes as being spikes and football playing shoes as cleats.
It just so happens ball players have made this distinction and it stuck like so many things in sports it just gets started and then that is it.
Modern design and construction of baseball playing shoes are now more commonly a one piece molded rubber or other synthetic material which provides blinding speed traction.
The early day baseball shoes had two separate triangular metal plates attached, one to the heel and one to the toe or front ball part of the shoe. This triangled metal plate had three metal cleats or spikes (each spike/cleat was about 1/2 or 5/8 inches in width and length).
During the course of playing many games these spikes would wear and become flat or dull. Players wanted as much digging or bite into the ground as possible to improve their traction and speed. Many players would sharpen these spikes with the use of a bastard file.
What kind of file is that you said? "Well that is what it was called."
For the tough and hard nosed players who played the game, "to take no prisoners," this act of sharpening the spikes could serve as an ulterior motive other than adding speed. Ty Cobb was known throughout the game of baseball playing world as a no holds barred fierce competitor.
When the "Georgia Peach," Ty Cobb, sharpened his spikes, it appears he intended to leave his calling card of sharp spikes on tattered trouser legs of defending 2nd or 3rd sackers.
My referring to his unabashed toughness and daring style of play attributed to Ty Cobb is chronicled in the history of our baseball game.
Baseball footwear and shoes made by Rawlings, A.G.Spalding Bros., Worth, Wilson and others with the steel spikes are now giving way to Nike, Reebok and Addidas.
The shoes or baseball spikes of todays playing are molded hard rubber bottomed shoes which many teams previews as a fashion statement.
Baseball spikes, in todays playing of the game, is not considered a part of the macho, tough, fierce, fight-em-hard spread fear like in yester-year.
Henry Ford is credited with a profound marketing concept with his Model "T" Ford automobile. He told the automobile buying world, "You can have whatever color you want as long as it is black."
Mr Ford changed his toughness thru the years and Ford answers the fashion worlds' plea for whetever color suits the fancy or the occasion.
Baseball spikes, like the automobile, went from the one color fits all i;e plain basic black into todays whatever color makes the fashion coordination statement.
Baseball sets the pace and has the liberty to call its equipment and styles as it deems fit and proper. For instance, baseball spikes are referred to as shoes, spikes or cleats. Track running shoes are referred to as spikes, while football shoes are referred to as cleats but baseball shoes are spikes or cleats.
Baseballs free wheeling sets the pace and call it what we choose or how we prefer it is a baseball given ritual. The baseball cap even leads the way. When a football player goes to the sidelines he will often put on a baseball cap. Have you ever seen a baseball player go to the dugout and put on a football helmet?
Baseball players spikes are a common item dislayed in our baseball museums honoring the rememberance of legendary players. Those well worn spikes are like a badge of courage and somewhat reminds us of the Medieval Knights armor as they went out to do battle.
The game of baseball and that diamond is a battlefield between two opposing forces being assembled to do combat. The bats are not used as clubs to harm but to do battle with little baseball.
Those baseball spikes are part of the shock effort to place intimidation in the demeanor and fight of the opponent. The enemy on the battlefield trembles to the sight or sound of oncoming tanks. Defenders of second or third base are hesitant to firmly plant their bodies astride a base with oncoming baseball spikes bearing down for an impact.
Now tell me, were spikes put on baseball shoes to enhance speed or to intimidate opponents? This is the stuff which makes the game of baseball overwhelmingly a spectators glory.
Without question human nature controls and dictates for a sport or any contest to be without some form of toughness either in might or sheer grit and determination. Baseball has enough of that bravado and yet remains a sense of pure sporting action with little physical harm.
Baseball spikes are that added measure of there is no place of honor for the weak or timid.
We all know it is quitting time when we hear the phrase, "It is time to hang up the spikes." How do we refer to any other sporting player when it is time to call in the dogs and retire?
Our game of baseball has beaten them all to the punch and, "hanging it up", is universally known to mean the game is over and it is time to quit.
Baseball spikes have within themselves been a point of pure controversy. The Oakland "A"s fielded a team with white baseball shoes without league sanction and boy what an uproar.
Where is the beef? Well! sports fans "Where is the rub?", as so eloquently written by William Shakespeare. On that hill stands a pitcher ready to whiz that little round ball homeward bound at 90 plus miles per hour. When the pitcher makes that high leg raise and that follow thru foot coming around he releases little white baseball.
What does one mortal see as the pitcher heaves off that little white pill?
What does the hitter see, white shoe or white baseball. There was just enough distraction which caused a hew and cry to well up from all corners of the game from players and managers..
Possibly Henry Ford had it right with his basic black, after all is said and done Black is what the kettle called the skillet.
Baseball is a game of immense following, of both players and a fans base, with an alluring appeal with generation after generation loving the game.
A little controversy over baseball spikes as to their purpose or their intent is of no real deal.
Who knows? Maybe the Golden Spike Award might be approved for the fleetest of the fleet footed. After all we do have the Golden Glove Award.
Baseball spikes, baseball cleats or baseball shoes what do you think? "old shoe?"
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