The Alpha Huarache Flag Man Turf 2 Heritage Collection pays homage to the three original colorways made available to Major League Baseball Players when Nike first entered the professional baseball market in 1980; Pro Blue, Pro Red, and Pro Black. Two of the three colors have not been available since the early 1990’s (Pro Blue and Pro Red). Early players to wear the shoe include Rick Sutcliffe and Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Carlton Fisk. The Heritage Collection will be the second collaborative release between Baseballism and Nike, the two industry leaders in their respective categories.
Nike x Baseballism Design: Alpha Huarache Flag Man Turf 2 Heritage Collection
The shoe’s construction features stained top grain leather as well as Baseballism’s trademark glove leather on the tongue tab and heel tab. An embossed Baseballism Flag Man sits front and center on the glove leather tongue tab and is flanked by white lateral Nike Swooshes. Laying on the footbed of the shoe is an embossed leather sole featuring additional Baseballism branding. The premium leather materiality of the shoe brings the Alpha Huarache Flag Man Turf 2 Heritage Collection into the lifestyle category.
Nike Senior Footwear Design Director Tracy Teague elaborates on Nike’s first entry into the professional baseball market.
Here is a brief history straight from the original Nike Baseball Sports Marketing Director, Bill Frishette. Bill was from LA and was a popcorn vendor at Dodger Stadium in the 70’s. He got to know several of the players and stadium staff and became Nike’s original contact when the decision was made to start making baseball products. Nike needed to expand beyond running and wanted to get into basketball, football, and baseball. Here is what Bill says about first getting Nike spikes on MLB players… “I showed up with a full-grain leather cleat, the Clipper, that didn’t go over too well with most position players who were used to the lightweight Brooks. I gave a pair to a player named Benny Ayala of the Orioles, my first stop ever in my 1980 spring training circuit. He wore them in batting practice and took them off after running to third base. He sat right down on the base during BP and he told me they were killing his feet. Right then I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. On the other hand, a player like Alan Ashby of the Astros signed our contract saying any company that could make a shoe like the Waffle Racer was for him. In reality, once players broke in the Clipper it was great. Pitchers especially loved it. We also rallied to create the Cooperstown with a mesh upper very quickly to satisfy the players looking for something lightweight. It should be noted we seeded the Big Leagues in ’79 by making the Astro Grabber turf shoe in team colors and giving them out to everyone. It was my introduction into the clubhouses and consequently, I knew many players and cubbies when we started for real in ’80.”
– Tracy Teague, Nike Senior Footwear Design Director
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