Fashion, but make it baseball.
When Marlins right-hander Pablo López took the mound last Thursday against the Phillies at loanDepot park, something looked off. Turns out López had decided to switch things up, foregoing his trademark stirrup socks to wear his pantlegs down for the first time in the Majors.
"It felt OK," López said. "You can't feel a difference, but when I watch myself in videos, it looked different. Big time."
López received his first pair of stirrup socks at the age of 9 from his father, Danny, who passed away of a heart attack in July 2020. At first, he thought they were interesting because you had to wear two. Once he grew older and saw photos of his dad playing in them, he appreciated the style. During summer league and Rookie ball, however, stirrup socks weren't available. So López donned the next best thing: High socks. It wasn't until Single-A that he was able to wear the stirrup socks regularly.
These days, López alternates between the stirrups and high socks with a Marlins design. Last Thursday, pantlegs down, López allowed just two runs over 6 2/3 innings, bouncing back from a season-worst eight runs in his previous outing. Does that mean the "lewk" will return tonight against the Cubs?
"I'm going to think about it," López said. "I'm going to reconsider it. It is strange. I usually make those decisions right before I go out. I'm like, 'I'll just put it on.'"
Which of these Hall of Famers never played for the Marlins?
A.) Iván "Pudge" Rodríguez
B.) Andre Dawson
C.) Tim Raines
D.) Harold Baines
ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE
This season marks the 25th anniversary of the 1997 World Series championship ballclub. In this latest installment, we catch up with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who joined the Marlins in '95.
MLB.com: What was the appeal of the Marlins?
Rothschild: I felt like I knew where they were headed. They had some good young players and it was a solid organization, and Rick Williams was running the pitching in the Minor Leagues. I knew that with him doing that, these guys were going to know and be taught the right way. Along with that, during the interview process, I met [then-manager] Rene Lachemann and really liked him, and [mental skills coach] Harvey Dorfman was there, whom I had known and who was a really key piece to everything. There were a lot of things in place there that made it a really attractive job.
How exciting was it to see Kevin Brown and Al Leiter sign?
Very much. I had seen Leiter some, but I hadn't seen either one of them a whole lot, being in the National League. I got some tape and was able to catch up. Then when I heard about the stuff and saw the stuff, it was exciting. I think it was a step in the right direction, certainly had a lot to do with us going forward and winning a World Series.
Is there a 1997 performance you're most proud of?
There were so many. Jay Powell at the end was just out of gas and kept going. Dennis Cook in the playoffs and World Series was phenomenal. I think he's a huge reason why we ended up winning the World Series, but there's so many stories like that. I think Leiter in the seventh game with a bad knee. He pitched because it was a World Series, but it would have been perfectly understandable if he didn't, because he was pretty hobbled. To go out and do what he did against the lineup that Cleveland had, and do it and give us the length he gave us, that was a huge, huge, huge performance. There were just a lot of different situations during the year that came about.
Was there a particularly difficult challenge?
I think when Alex [Fernandez] initially got injured, he was such an important part of that staff, and alongside with his ability, he was a good hitter, a great fielder. He just did so many things well and really knew how to pitch. That was a point where you go, "OK, what do we do now?" And then Liván [Hernández] comes up and just pitches incredibly well. That hole got filled, but Alex was the point where you had hoped that we could overcome it, and we were fortunate in having Liván be able to do that coming from Double-A. I think that was one of the turning points.
Is there a certain pitch from that staff that was your favorite to see? Kevin Brown's sinker at 98-99 [mph]. I'll never forget the first time in the bullpen I saw it after he got in shape in Spring Training. It was eye-opening.
What do you remember most from Game 7?
What I remember is we were in the last inning, and Jay Powell was done and our bullpen was done. So there really wasn't anywhere to turn, and [Jim] Leyland was just so good at everything -- but the bullpen he was incredible and really would think outside the box. Most of the conversations we had were before a game or after a game, but not during a game. Jim wasn't a guy who wanted to get stuff during the game. He concentrated on the game, and every pitch was intense with it. During the course of the year, we didn't have a lot of conversations during games.
So he said to me in the last inning after we came off the mound, "What are we going to do next inning?" I looked at him and said, "You're the guy, so you make the decision" jokingly. We were both in a situation where it was actually almost relaxing, just watching the whole thing transpire. There wasn't much you could do, and we both knew what we had to do, and that was Liván was going to have to pitch out of the bullpen after two days. He probably would have pitched well, but we both knew he was just asking because he threw it out there.
I remember that, and then just watching that base hit go through in slow motion, everything just kind of stopped. And for a split second, it was almost disbelief, then the situation exploding. We win the game and everybody's on the field, but for that split second, or that minute, it seemed like it was an hour. Everything was in slow motion. It was pretty amazing.
Natalia Wilson, the inaugural Marlins Jackie Robinson Foundation Legacy scholar, met with general manager Kim Ng on the field before Friday's game at Nationals Park.
Launched in 2020, the Marlins Jackie Robinson Foundation Legacy Scholarship is an annual $20,000 scholarship in perpetuity to a deserving African American student from South Florida who demonstrates Robinson's nine values. The contribution supports the JRF Scholarship program, which is designed not only to address the financial needs of minority students who aspire to attend college, but also to guide them throughout their college careers with a mentoring and internship program.
"It's a tremendous honor, such an important thing the Marlins are doing with their partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation," said Wilson, who is in her second year majoring in political science and pre-law at Howard University. "I feel like as the first one, I get to represent the foundation's legacy, giving back to my community, getting to come to games like this and represent Jackie Robinson. It's such a great honor."
Wilson, who is from Coral Springs, Fla., admitted she wasn't much of a baseball fan until becoming part of the foundation. During Wilson's time with Ng, they discussed her post-graduate goals of attending law school and becoming a U.S. senator.
"Just hearing some inspiration from her to keep going," Wilson said. "I have high aspirations. I want to be in the Supreme Court one day. Of course, she's broken a glass ceiling, but what she said that really stuck out to me was it's sad to hear that she's the first [female GM in North American male sports leagues], and I feel that way as well. It's been so long, and the fact that she's the first is sad but also amazing. Just hearing that aspect because there's a lot of work to do still."
• Griffin Conine (Marlins' No. 24 prospect) and Double-A Pensacola visit Montgomery to begin the Southern League Division Series tonight.
• Arizona Fall League rosters were announced, and seven Marlins prospects will compete for the Mesa Solar Sox: infielder Jose Salas (No. 5), catcher Joe Mack (No. 9), outfielder Victor Mesa Jr. (No. 15), as well as left-handers Justin Fall and Chandler Jozwiak and right-handers Holt Jones and Jorge Mercedes. The season will begin on Oct. 3.
For the latest Marlins top prospect news, follow here.
THIS WEEK IN 1997
Sept. 23: Making history
In the words of broadcaster Joe Angel: "For the first time in baseball history, there will be seafood on the postseason menu."
The Marlins clinched their first playoff berth in a 6-3 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. Moises Alou collected three hits, Jeff Conine knocked a two-run homer and Robb Nen recorded his 35th save.
D.) Harold Baines
Rodríguez infamously signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Marlins and won the World Series. Dawson played his final two seasons of a 21-year career in his hometown, while Raines appeared in 98 games for the 2002 Marlins to close out his 23-year career.
Baines split his 22-year career with five American League teams.
FORWARDED FROM A FRIEND? SUBSCRIBE NOW
To subscribe to Marlins Beat, visit this page and mark "Marlins Beat" from our newsletter list. Make sure you're following the Marlins or that they're checked as your favorite team.