PHOENIX — Yasiel Puig might have struck out in a key moment in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ defeat Sunday to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but his shoes at least conveyed the proper sentiment.
“Win for Vin,” said one of Puig’s Nike spikes, along with a superimposed image of Vin Scully’s face. On the other shoe: a reference to the iconic broadcaster’s treasured opening line before games.
Scully’s line of, “It’s time for Dodger baseball,” was reduced to “#ITFDB,” while that shoe also had a superimposed vintage microphone.
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It is the third pair of specialty shoes that Puig has worn this season, all designed by Los Angeles-based artist Vincent Vazquez.
On the Fourth of July, Puig had American flag-themed shoes, and a week later, he had shoes that represented the flag of his native Cuba.
“I’m using a different pair of shoes every (time) and the guy who designs them surprises me with something different,” Puig said through a translator. “Today, he surprised me with these. I think it’s good that we should try to ‘Win for Vin’ during his last year.”
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When Puig’s translator said that Scully was in his 65th season, Puig instantly corrected him in English: “67!” Scully, whose career goes back to the team’s time in Brooklyn, has announced that 2016 will be his last season.
Puig did not know of Scully when he arrived in Los Angeles four years ago, but Puig knows all about the broadcaster now.
“I play baseball and I like the way he narrates,” Puig said. “And 67 years of work, he deserves his respect. If it’s not ‘Win for Vin,’ it’s win for the city of Los Angeles and for ourselves.”
So will there be any more specialty shoes in the future?
“Wait for back home,” Puig said.