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MLB finally realizes what the youths like, reportedly plans to change footwear policy

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The report comes after a petty crackdown on personalized cleats and sleeves.

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

MLB, rightly, took a lot of flak recently for chastising players for wearing unique or creative cleats (or sleeves) that were technically outside the bounds of the league’s footwear and uniform policy. It was petty, pointless, and bound to make them look bad. After all, the players were marketing themselves without any heavy lifting required from the league and doing a pretty good job of it.

Now, it looks like they’ve come to their senses and are working with the Players Association to expand the footwear policy and “modernize the types of shoes available in-game to players,” according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

This is great news, not just for the players but for the league’s future as well. It shouldn’t have been this tough a hurdle for the powers that be to realize players having more fun and showing more of their personalities on the field is actually good for baseball as a whole, but at least we got there.

Yahoo’s report details that the league “fears that brands could abuse a blank-slate policy and turn cleats into guerrilla marketing vehicles” but “it also understands that in its attempts to reach younger fans, shoe culture is a powerful force and a market in which baseball has no stake.” Which is exactly the type of “we don’t understand this market at all but we now understand enough to know that we should get on board at least marginally” decision making that MLB tends to opt for these days.

With the incredibly fun Players Weekend expected to return this year let’s hope this agreement comes to fruition and those few days aren’t the only time during the season that we get to see players add some individuality to their on-field appearance.