While seated in the visitors dugout and holding court with the media, the Orioles uniform-adorned manager Buck Showalter is asked if he liked wearing those duds.

"No," the Orioles manager replies wryly. "Have you seen me in a uniform?"

Despite his self-deprecating humor, the 59-year-old skipper presents a more graceful look than other older or more rotund managers. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda still sported a uniform at 68, and so did 69-year-old Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

"You have Jack McKeon at age 80 dressed up like a jockey," says John Thorn, Major League Baseball's official historian.

Decked out in the same MLB uniforms as their players, these figures make for a peculiar -- and unique -- sight.

In the other major sports, the coaches wear suits or sport coats (basketball and hockey) or a team logoed top and pants (football).

"We're glad we're different," Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter says. "It's a niche that baseball has."

That niche actually has a historical precedent.

During the origins of the game, the business manager -- who made travel arrangements, handled the books and ensured players received appropriate compensation -- was called the "manager." He wore street clothes.

The “captain," who typically was a uniformed player, determined the batting order, made player substitutions and pitching changes, etc. He was basically what would be later known as a player/manager.

Around 1900, according to Thorn, the term "manager" stopped referring to the business manager and began referring to the person making strategic moves, player substitutions, etc.

The original "manager" would evolve into the modern-day general manager, and the player/manager would eventually fall out of vogue. (Only six -- Hank Bauer, El Tappe, Frank Robinson, Joe Torre, Don Kessinger and Pete Rose -- have occupied the latter role since 1960.)

By the 1940s managers Connie Mack of the Philadelphia A's and Burt Shotton of the Brooklyn Dodgers wore street clothes long after their playing days had expired, but they were the exceptions.

Presently, MLB’s only official rule regarding the matter is 1.11 (a) (1) and states: "All players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim and style, and all players’ uniforms shall include minimal six-inch numbers on the back."

Note that managers are never specifically referenced.

When asked about the discrepancy, MLB released this statement: "The tradition of managers and coaches wearing uniforms has long been an accepted practice and well understood, even without formal rules being in place."

MLB managers seem agreeable toward the understood rule regarding uniforms.

"It’s better than wearing a suit," White Sox manager Robin Ventura says.

But it’s also a bit perplexing, considering the clubs’ trainers wear short-sleeve polo shirts and khaki pants, and their job of working on players’ injured joints seems as physically taxing -- if not more so -- as any manager's.

"It’s a lot of work to put on the whole uniform," says Orioles All-Star closer Zach Britton, "especially for the manager when there's no need for you to go sliding or diving."


When eccentric Braves owner Ted Turner made the brazen move to manage his team for one game on May 11, 1977, he crammed a chunk of chaw in his cheek and sported jersey No. 27.

"He had never been a player, never been a coach, never worn a uniform, but for the day that he was manager, he was outfitted with a uniform," Thorn says. "That tells you something about the strength of the tradition."

Some managers dress like their players -- down to the very last detail. Showalter wears stirrups. Bobby Cox wore a cup and spikes for every game.

"You never see a manager wearing actual cleats … It was hilarious," says Adam LaRoche who played for Cox while with the Braves from 2004-2006. "It's just his style. He went from playing right into coaching and managing and never took his cleats off."

Cox, who has the most ejections in managerial history with 158, explained part of the rationale behind his shoes to Sports Illustrated: "Could you imagine going out there in shiny dress shoes?" he said. "How would you kick dirt on the umpire?"

There are other reasons why it does make sense -- as silly as it might look -- for managers to wear uniforms.

One is the weather. Baseball is the only major sport played outside in the dog days of summer when the heat can be oppressive.

"George Costanza had it right," Showalter joked, in reference to the Seinfeld episode in which he starred and Costanza lobbied the Yankees to play in cooler, more breathable cotton uniforms.

MLB players still play in polyester -- Costanza’s cotton idea backfired as the uniforms shrunk -- but that is much more comfortable on a stifling summer day than a dressy suit.

On cold days -- especially in the postseason of October -- managers often wear hooded sweatshirts. MLB allows this as long as they wear them over their jerseys, an edict that is not strictly enforced.

"How are they going to know if there's a uniform on?" Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy says.

Unlike other leagues, particularly the NFL, which fined running back Frank Gore $10,500 for wearing his socks too low during the 2013 NFC championship game, MLB seems to take a more lax stance on attire.

"Major League Baseball does not police all of its rules equally," Thorn says.

Regardless of the league office’s rigidity (or lack thereof), MLB managers also wear a baseball uniform because of where they operate.

When they venture out to replace a pitcher or for an in-game meeting, it often takes place near a grimy mound. Mack, who wore dress clothes during his entire 50-year A’s managerial career, didn’t typically venture onto the infield and used his scorecard to signal his players where to move.

The manager’s workspace is a gross setting littered with sunflower seeds, gum and tobacco juice and not conducive for formal attire.

“It’s too dirty in the dugout," White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija says. "Let's just wear clothes that we can clean."

Those easily laundered baseball uniforms aren't worn over pads (like football or hockey). They also provide adequate coverage. (Imagine basketball coach Gregg Popovich donning the same sleeveless jersey and shorts of his Spurs players.)

"A basketball coach wearing a basketball uniform or a football coach wearing a football uniform would look a little weird,” said Samardzija who started at wide receiver for Notre Dame. "Of all the sports, the baseball uniform is about as close to normal clothes as possible. That’s probably why they can get away with it."


Baseball uniforms weren't always so … uniform. In the late 1800s, clubs outfitted their players in different ways.

That specifically applies to franchises in Baltimore and Chicago.

Baltimore's silk yellow shirts were so bright that they became known as the Canaries.

Each position player on the 1876 White Stockings wore a different fez-like hat to denote where they played. The Chicago Daily Tribune wrote they looked like "a Dutch bed of tulips."

In 1882 players wore different colored silk jerseys to signify their specific positions. (For example, second basemen had orange and black vertical stripes while shortstops had maroon tops.)

A player revolt against the ridiculousness of the garments (and the oppressive warmth of the silk) ended that experiment shortly thereafter.

Baseball introduced its first uniform rule in 1885 when the American Association stated that each club "shall be required to adopt a neat and attractive uniform for its players, and shall at all times be required to present the same upon the field in a clean and attractive condition."

Fabrics, colors and striping have changed since then, but for more than 60 years, all Major League Baseball managers have worn the exact same uniform as their players.

With history and tradition more tied to the National Pastime than any other sport, don’t look for managers’ sartorial choices to be altered now or forever.

"We don't like change," Hunter says. "So I say keep it as is."

Adidas has taken a unique approach with its latest line of soccer boots. Based on its research, soccer players fall into two categories: Those whose game is centered around steadiness, and those who have a flair for unleashing unpredictable moves. Or to put in Get Smart terms, control (the Ace) and chaos (the X). Here's a look at the engineering at both:

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Travel to the intersection of sports and fashion, and you'll find Von Miller. Plenty of athletes pay close attention to how they present themselves through their fashion, and the ESPY Awards serve as a showcase not only for sports, but also the fashion sensibilities of their stars. Miller invited ThePostGame into his hotel room for a glance at the fashion and preparation behind his awards night look.

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Jeremy Guthrie followed the directions. The Royals pitcher saw the insoles of his Justin Timberlake Legend of Summer Air Jordan 2's say the shoes can be paired with a suit and tie. So Guthrie hit the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles rocking a blue suit, a red tie and the Jordans. It worked spectacularly. Check out Guthrie's snazzy look along with the other notable footwear fashions, thanks to the latest innovation from ThePostGame: The Shoe Cam.

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Steelers star Antonio Brown says part of the inspiration for his hairstyle for the ESPY Awards was Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z. Here's a look at Super Saiyan:

Let's see how close Brown was able to come:

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With arguably the best conference in the country under scrutiny at SEC Media Day on Tuesday, you'd figure that football would be the main subject of discussion.

Except a certain Mississippi State coach and his shoes stole the spotlight. Dan Mullen got "swagged up" with a pair of the new Adidas Yeezy sneakers, made famous by Kanye West, or Yeezus if you will.

Once word got out about Mullen's swag, questions starting flying his way about the new kicks. Mississippi State is, after all, an Adidas school. It only makes sense that he'd show off the newest Adidas product.

Even quarterback Dak Prescott had to comment on his coach's shoes. You know you're doing something right, as a college football coach, when your players are envious of your wardrobe.

It's safe to say that if Mississippi State doesn't win the SEC this year, at least Mullen will look good in the process. So far, there's been no comment from West himself and whether he'll be rooting for the Bulldogs this season.

For most of us, the thought of putting on shoes is second nature. There is no anxiety or permission needed. We simply grab a pair, slip our feet in, tie the laces and go on our way. As simple and as common as that sounds, that is not the case for everyone.

In 2012, a 16-year-old named Matthew Walzer, who was born with cerebral palsy, wrote what became known as the #NikeLetter. It asked CEO Mark Parker if Nike could create a show that he could put on and tie himself:

My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes every day. I've worn Nike basketball shoes all my life. I can only wear this type of shoe, because I need ankle support to walk. At 16 years old, I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes. As a teenager who is striving to become totally self-sufficient, I find this extremely frustrating and, at times, embarrassing.

The letter went viral. Parker reached out to designer Tobie Hatfield to create a shoe not just for Matthew but anyone that struggles with putting on and tying their shoes.

In the spirit of the mission statement set forth by co-founder Bill Bowerman -- "If you have a body, you are an athlete" -- the company has introduced the Nike LeBron 8 Flyease. The updated version of the popular basketball sneaker features a wrap-around zipper system at the heel that assist people without the full use of their hands slide into their shoes instead of tying them.

Designed by Hatfield, the system was already in development for Jeff Johnson, the very first Nike employee who suffered a stroke which limited his mobility on his right side, when Walzer sent his letter. Walzer says he never expected to receive a response from Nike, let alone Parker.

"I was honestly expecting a customer service response saying, 'Thank you for your inquiry, but at the time the shoes you want aren't available,'" Walzer tells ThePostGame.

Soon after the letter went viral, Walzer and Hatfield started the process of creating something unique for those who suffered similar issues. Early prototypes focused more on keeping the shoe locked down, but after a few Skype sessions, Hatfield learned that the challenges also extended to putting on the shoe as well.

Hatfield says the process for designing the Flyease was identical to the ones used with athletes during his 25 years at Nike. "You just have to get in the game," he says. "It's not going to be perfect, but we will learn a lot from it and continue to make improvements."

Fast-forward three years and Nike is prepared to bring the first official product to market. Keeping Walzer's love for LeBron James and sneakers in mind, the first shoe to release with the technology is the Nike LeBron Soldier 8. Walzer received his official pair of the shoes a few weeks back and -- met LeBron.

"Matthew inspired us at Nike to be able to bring something special that will not only be for himself but also for the masses," LeBron says in a Nike release. "The shoe and the inspiration he gave us is going to go way beyond Nike, Matthew and myself. I am very honored and blessed that my shoe is part of the whole process. This is an unbelievable story, and Nike has done a great job of being able to create something that's so incredible and will last a lifetime."

Although it created the Flyease for Walzer, Nike know it can serve a broader audience. The system will allow thousands of individuals that face challenges putting on their shoes to do something that may have thought would never happen.

Remember Walzer's concern about college? He is now attending Florida Gulf Coast University, and as any college student will tell you, putting on and tying your shoes is probably the last thing you want to worry about. In most cases, you don't even have to think about it.

Nike is sending the Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease to two U.S. basketball teams participating in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles (July 25 to August 2).

The LeBron Soldier 8 Flyease will be available July 16 in limited quantities on Nike.com.

Under Armour's hot streak continues with some of the women it is sponsoring.

Misty Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre last week. Under Armour signed Copeland to an endorsement deal last year as part of its campaign to reach more female consumers.

To celebrate Copeland's historic achievement, Under Armour and some of its athletes, such as Packers running back Eddie Lacy, sent flowers. Lots of flowers.

In a news story about Misty's promotion, Pia Catton of the Wall Street Journal wrote: "Ms. Copeland, 32 years old, has had a career-defining season at the Metropolitan Opera House this spring. In June, she made her New York debut as the lead in Swan Lake and a career debut in Romeo and Juliet. In both, she exhibited clear artistic choices and compelling dramatic presence."

Under Armour also had a small presence at the Women's World Cup, which the United States won Sunday with a 5-2 win against Japan. Lauren Holiday and Kelley O'Hara of the U.S. are Under Armour athletes.

Nike has been dominant in this field as a sponsor for U.S. Soccer since 1995, and it has personal endorsement deals with leading U.S. women's players, including Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe. Adidas, with a long history of putting an emphasis on soccer, has deals with Becky Sauerbrunn, Christie Rampone and Heather O'Reilly.

Under Armour has been more effective in its ability to identify players on the verge of breaking out rather than playing the volume game, although its ranks are growing. The company got major boost this year with Stephen Curry (NBA champion and MVP) and Jordan Spieth (Masters and U.S. Open winner). One of its established stars, Tom Brady, walked away with the Super Bowl MVP.

A runner's footwear has a tremendous impact on their performance. Choosing the type of shoe you wear, then, is an important part of the process: you need a shoe that serves both your physical needs in terms of support, as well as the type of running you're doing. Nike's line of running shoes may not look that different at first glance, but the subtle differences have huge implications.

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The NBA draft is always a big day for fashion -- not necessarily in the trend-setting way, but in terms of seeing how players choose to present themselves.

Without fail, players choose outfits that reflect their personalities -- and, in some ways, their playing styles as well. Guys who stand out, who bring a swagger to their game -- for better or for worse -- often want to start standing out right from the get-go.

One of the pre-draft process's best source of one-line quotes is Kelly Oubre, who played college ball at Kansas. He showed up at the NBA draft with what may be a first: Smoking slippers detailed with shiny spikes.

Several players wore eye-catching smoking slippers to the draft, each of them taking a distinct approach to presentation:

D'Angelo Russell went for something a little more understated. Along with a scarlet red suit that served as an homage to Ohio State, where he rose to stardom, Russell accessorized with some custom trinkets:

Perhaps the best instance of self-adoring fashion, though, dangles from the neck of Willie Cauley-Stein, the former Kentucky star-turned No. 6 pick of the Sacramento Kings.

For draft night, Cauley-Stein had a custom medallion made that features an emblem using his initials -- one he hopes will catch on as a part of his brand, we can only presume.

Reviews so far are mixed, with some liking the medallion and others criticizing it as way too much branding consideration before he's proven anything on the court.

All in all, a good effort by the class of 2015.

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