Why do the C's wear white spikes?

The C's explain one of baseball's signature styles

Why do the C's wear white spikes?

By Rob Fai / Vancouver Canadians | March 29, 2010 1:12 PM

(Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, BC) - There is a simple answer to this and a far more complex answer. Simply? The Canadians wear the same coloured baseball spikes as their parent club, the Oakland Athletics.

But why do the A's and their affiliates opt to wear those piercing white cleats? We'll... Let's take a walk in those spikes back to 1967.

The Athletics were owned by American Businessman Charles Finley who purchased the A's while they were still located in Kansas City back in the mid 60's.

Finley, known in baseball circles as "Charlie O" never met a marketing idea he didn't like.

Whether it was changing the Athletics uniforms from a traditional blue and white to a shocking green and gold or changing their spikes from black to white - Finley was always looking for a way to put a signature on his team.

The moves Finley made weren't always well received.

Yankee legend Mickey Mantle said just minutes after seeing the bright white spikes for the first time that "they should have come out of the dugout on tippy-toes, holding hands and singing", according to Baseball Digest.

Simply put, the Athletics new look was a little off the beaten path.

But the fashion deviation was the least of the A's problems at the time as Finley would continue to try and find ways to add to the team's woeful attendance.

Among the gimmicks that Finley would try and implement?

How about $300 dollars to any player that would sport a moustache? There was the effort to change baseballs from white to orange, a mechanical rabbit that would deliver balls to the umpires upon request and Finley became an advocate for night games during the World Series to help create more fan interest (not ALL of Finley's ideas were a bust).

Finley was rewarded on the field with a wealth of talent that came together in the mid 70's to win three straight World Series Championships. Those teams included Reggie Jackson, Bert Campaneris, Jim 'Catfish' Hunter, Vida Blue and the legendary Rollie Fingers.

Each and every one of them trotted out onto the field wearing those white cleats that to this day remain an Oakland A's signature.

So why the white spikes well after former owner Charles Finley sold the ball club nearly 20 years ago (1981)?

Those spikes represent a chapter in the deep history of the Oakland A's. A team that has been on the re-location block nearly every single year in its existence.

There have been attempts to move the club to New Orleans, to Denver, to Fremont and most recently San Jose.

The history and legacy of the "Swingin' A's" lives on and whether it is the A's themselves or their affiliates in Sacramento, Midland, Stockton, Kane County or Vancouver - the tradition of the white cleats is simply a staple for all players who find their way into the Athletics organization.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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