MLB says Zobrist's black cleats violate the league's uniform policy.
Ben Zobrist is calling out Major League Baseball after it threatened to fine him over his cleats.
The utility player posted on Instagram that the he received a letter from the Office of the Commissioner stating that he cannot wear black cleats.
"For the last two years, I have worn black spikes exclusively at Wrigley Field for day games to pay homage to the history of our great game, and now I am being told that I will be fined and disciplined if I continue to wear them."
Zobrist went on to explain that he was inspired by the uniforms and black cleats of "greats" like Ernie Banks and Stan Musial growing up, which is why he wears them now.
Dear @mlb, I still like you but this is rediculous. For the last two years, I have worn black spikes exclusively at Wrigley Field for Day games to pay homage to the history of our great game, and now I am being told I will be fined and disciplined if I continue to wear them. When I was a kid, I was inspired by highlights of the greats such as Ernie Banks and Stan Musial in the 1950s-60s and was captured by the old uniforms and all black cleats with flaps. @newbalancebaseball made a kid’s dream come true by making some all black spikes with the special tongue as well as the “Benny the Jet” @pf_flyers cleats. I am curious as to why @mlb is spending time and money enforcing this now when they haven’t done it previously in the last year and beyond. I have heard nothing but compliments from fans that enjoy the “old school” look. Maybe there is some kid out there that will be inspired to look more into the history of the game by the “flexibility” that I prefer in the color of my shoes. Sincerely, Ben Zobrist
The letter was sent as a warning to inform Zobrist that "at least 51% of the exterior of each player's shoes be the Club's designated primary shoe color." For the Cubs, that color is blue.
It also said that the shoe requirement is included in the uniform policy bargained by the Players Association. If Zobrist does not change his shoes, he "will be subject to further discipline, including assessment of a fine."