Bailey Ober Gifted Custom Kobe Sneakers Turned Cleats

Bailey Ober, Minnesota Twins
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins starting pitching staff has been something of a strong suit the past two seasons. Bailey Ober is squarely in the middle of that, or above it when considering his 6’9” stature, but now he’ll have some additional firepower on the mound with some new cleat heat for his feet.

This season, Ober has posted a 4.33 ERA through 10 starts, but that’s with a couple of caveats. He was lit up by the Kansas City Royals during the first series of the year, and they have traditionally had his number.

He also owns a 3.67 FIP, which is the second lowest tally of his career. In layman’s terms, FIP is supposed to be a more fair representation of a pitcher’s ERA. Ober is just 28-years-old. To say Bailey’s future is promising would be putting it lightly.

Bailey Ober Isn’t Rocking Dad Shoes

And now, thanks to Winona, MN based sneakerhead Charley McClay, the Twins pitcher has some truly special cleats to unveil on Wednesday evening when he takes the mound at Target Field against the Kansas City Royals.

McClay partnered with Custom Cleats to convert size 15 Nike Kobe VI Protro “Reverse Grinch” sneakers into cleats. The final product was absolute fire and now Ober will take the mound tonight with an elevated cleat game that’s on par with the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Mookie Betts.

If there’s something that has been well documented about Bailey Ober outside of his unusual stature among baseball players, it’s that he and wife Montana have a large family.

With four kids, including a pair of twins, Ober is often driving a van around when he is not pitching. While he may be ok rolling around like a generic dad outside the diamond, he’ll no longer be walking around the bump with generic Nike Air Monarchs any longer.

Winona Kicks Took a Chance on Bailey Ober

In the instagram video above, McClay shared how this all came about. Essentially Ober’s very unassuming Air Monarchs, following a recent strong start. At that moment, he reached out to see if Bailey to see if he’d be interested in something new for his locker. Ober replied to the direct message with a, “let’s do it” and they were off and running.

Brainstorming through a few different basketball models, Ober let McClay know he had previously worn Kobe VI’s and found the fit to be good. Looking for a Twins colorway to match Minnesota’s threads, the “Reverse Grinch” felt like a natural fit. The partnership wound up being a perfect fit, too, between two people looking to push the boundaries of their profession.

McClay isn’t a custom sneaker artist in the sense of painting shoes like we have seen across multiple sports. He does run a wildly popular Instagram page that should be the source for upcoming sneakers though, and future cleat collaborations with Ober and others could certainly be on the horizon.

Related: Did You See How Hard Joe Ryan is Throwing Now?

The sneaker culture has definitely made its way into Major League Baseball, at a level that probably couldn’t have been imagined not that long ago. While the NFL allows customization only in limited scenarios, MLB has taken much more of an NBA stance recently and it’s allowed players to show off their personalities.

Carlos Correa and Willi Castro can routinely be seen rocking Air Jordan Retro 1 cleats, while Royce Lewis keeps the powder blue colorway alive with his alternate Adidas.

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