KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Royals’ reliever Ryan Madson was in a real jam.
Standing on the mound, he realized he had the wrong glove.
He meant to wear a mitt with son Luke’s name stitched on the thumb. Instead, this one said “Sean”—the boy’s younger brother.
“It threw me,” Madson said. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Then a funny thing happened.
“Luke is stubborn, in an I-can-get-this-done way. I pitch like that,” Madson noted.
“Sean is happy-go-lucky, a loverboy.
“Seeing Sean’s name put me in a different mindset. It relaxed me,” he explained. “I did well, got a couple of strikeouts.”
Now that’s good glovework, right there.
Be it a TV character, Bible verse, or remembrance of a family member, several mitts at this World Series between the N.Y. Mets and Kansas City will carry a message.
Noah Syndergaard has plenty all by himself. The young Mets’ ace has catchy names for all six of his gloves.
He pitched live batting practice yesterday with a brown mitt that had “Thor” embroidered in gold.
At 6’6”, with flowing blond locks and a 100 m.p.h. fastball, Syndergaard is nicknamed for the hammer-swinging Norse god of thunder and lightning.
There’s also his “Tyrion” model from “Games of Thrones,” “Drago” from “Rocky IV,” and “Heisenberg” from “Breaking Bad,” among others.
“Characters I like,” Syndergaard noted.
Kansas City pitcher Chris Young wears a black Rawlings glove with the names of kids Cate, Scott, and Grant monogrammed near the pocket.
“When I think of them, they make me happy,” he reasoned.
Likewise, Mets’ outfielder Juan Lagares has J. Lagares Jr 12 on his good-luck glove. That represents his son and jersey number.
“I look at it every inning when I’m out there,” he noted.
Fellow Mets’ outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis has two gloves—both with inscriptions of Bible verses.
Mets’ veteran Michael Cuddyer has noticed personalized leather becoming more popular over the years.
He said former Minnesota Twins’ teammate Torii Hunter was the first player he saw with one back in the early 2000s.
Cuddyer doesn’t tag his gloves but said “it’s pretty common now.”
Before every game in this World Series, Royals’ third baseman Mike Moustakas will mark his mitt.
His mother, Connie, recently died and Moustakas pays tribute to her each time he takes the field.
“It’s just my mom’s initials, just Sharpie-d in,” he noted.