Move over Lady Gaga - there are new fashion icons in town. The two World Series catchers, Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals, have been showcasing their style on the baseball diamond. Posey has chosen nail art as his fashion statement, while Perez is sporting a signature scent.
Buster Posey has been wearing fluorescent yellow fingernails each game throughout the season and the playoffs. Posey is considered one of the best game callers in baseball and these colorful pieces of art only help Giant pitchers pick up Posey’s signs.
Salvador Perez is making his fashion mark in another way. Late in the 2013 season, his teammate, shortstop Alcides Escobar jokingly sprayed Victoria’s Secret perfume on Perez. That night Perez collected four hits and has worn fragrances ever since.
Although he switched brands this season to 212 Men by Caroline Herrera, the 24 year old catcher has smelt like a winner ever since. Escobar buys the fragrance for Perez and has gone through three bottles this year. Adding to his fashion résumé, Perez has also been spotted wearing nail art but not as often as last season.
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Posey has worn the colorful nail stickers made by California based Game Signs. Reading signs that catchers flash has always been a difficult job for pitchers, but thanks to Game Signs, it has become a lot easier. Game Signs are fluorescent stickers that catchers place on their fingernails to make the signs they put down before each pitch clearer for their battery mate. Made in the U.S., each package comes with 100 stickers and costs about $13. There are currently four colors available, Optic Yellow, Orange, White, and Pink. Both starting catchers in the World Series, Posey and Perez have worn them.
Not just at the World Series
Before Game Signs became prominent among catchers, many signal callers would often go to a salon and have their nails painted, or they would wear tape around their fingers or they would paint their nails and fingers with Wite-Out.
Some catchers created alternate hand and arm gestures. These stickers save catchers time and money. Instead of having to go back to the salon when the nails start to chip, or reapply tape in between innings, catchers can simply take off the stickers at the end of the day and put on a new set the next day, or when they wear out. Over 50+ catchers in the majors wear these stickers, including St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, Miami Marlins’ Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Russell Martin, among many others.
The catchers who wear these stickers each swear by it. Jonathan Lucroy, a 2014 All-Star, of the Milwaukee Brewers says:
“No more tape, no more nail polish, and no more alternate signs that are easy to steal. I like the convenience and ease of the product and my teammates don’t have any issues seeing my signals anymore… The last thing you want is to give up a run in a big situation or something like that by a crossed up pitch. I’m doing everything I can avoid that kind of situation.”
Other catchers like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, starting catcher for the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox says it allows him more prep time with his pitchers.
Things like this are why more and more catchers are using the stickers. At least one catcher on every MLB team has used Game Signs. It is a simple technology but it has made a big impact on the game.
Perez's scent has also hit a big mark with his teammates and opponents. Many opposing players, like Detroit Tigers catcher Victor Martinez and first baseman Miguel Cabrera have noticed Perez’s smell, and umpires as well.
Cabrera has even jokingly asked where he could get some. Perez’s teammate outfielder Raul Ibañez commented how the weirdness of Perez and the Royals makes the entire team play better:
“The weirder the team the better the team… We’ve got a lot of weird stuff that goes on here,” Ibañez laughed."
Long time umpire Jerry Meals has even complimented Perez’s fresh smell, contrasting the catcher’s aroma to the horrible odor of the umpire’s equipment.
Despite hitting the right mark fashion-wise, neither catcher has hit on the field. So far both catchers have struggled in the World Series- Perez was hitting a measly .200 before collecting three hits in Game 4 Saturday night, skyrocketing his average to .357 while Posey is hitting a paltry .188 at the plate, heading into Game 5 Sunday night. But their presence behind the plate has been hard to ignore.
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