May 27, 2007

5-Toed Socks

New York Times:
[A] sock is the team symbol again, only this time it is a five-toed version popularized by their two new Japanese pitchers – Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

The socks, which fit like a glove with each toe individually encased, were met with curiosity in Boston's clubhouse during spring training. Before long, Matsuzaka began offering pairs to anyone who expressed an interest. And a number of players did, including Mike Lowell, Alex Cora and Doug Mirabelli, who are now playing in them regularly. ...

The socks that Matsuzaka wears are covered with tiny rubbery beads on the sole for better traction. As for Okajima, he said the individual toe slot helps with his balance because he can firmly grip each toe. ... "They give me a better feel and perception of the ground, a sensitivity similar to bare feet," Matsuzaka said.

Matsuzaka has been wearing the five-toed socks since he signed his first professional contract in 1999, with the Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League. The socks are popular among professional baseball players in Japan and versions of them are also common among the general public in Japan.


Jere said...

ON the game last night, they interviewed KySny about these, and they were saying how he had two relatives who are long-distance runners or something, and he got the idea from them. Honestly, we didn't have the sound all the way up, but I was under the impression he introduced them to the team. But I guess if Dice was wearing them eight years ago, the Snyder family doesn't get credit.

redsock said...

This is exactly the kind of story Rob Bradford (now at the Herald) would get. Maybe he did, and I missed it.

Hell, I missed this in the Times -- I saw it in the Toronto Star on Friday.

L-girl said...

Doesn't anybody but me remember toe socks from the 70s? Girls wore them with different colour toes. They were a novelty thing, like pet rocks.

I never expected a pro sports team to adopt them!

I think (although I'm not positive) in that Tina interview last night, Snyder said Dice-K introduced the team to the socks, and now Snyder's relatives who are runners are wearing them, not the other way around.