Bryce Harper is making the most of the MLB’s looser regulations on players’ footwear — so much so that the right fielder stepped out for his Philadelphia Phillies debut in a pair of eye-opening cleats paying tribute to the team’s beloved mascot.
Taking to the field on Thursday afternoon for the season opener, Harper drew attention with his neon green shoes that served as a stark contrast to the Phillies’ red and white uniform.
Painted near the heel was an illustration of the furry and flightless Phillie Phanatic — one of the franchise’s most recognizable characters, endearing the newly inducted Harper to the Phillies’ fan base as he took his first at-bat at Citizens Bank Park.
Late last year, the MLB announced that it would amend an agreement regulating the design and color of players’ shoes on the field. (The decision came only months after the NBA changed its own footwear rule, allowing athletes to wear any color sneakers they please.)
In the offseason, the Under Armour-endorsed Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, which soundly defeated the Atlanta Braves 10-4 on Opening Day.
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