The Whitecaps coaches have brought out a shoe game that is unique to the baseball field, with an extensive Jordan collection that features Brewster colors. Photo credit Sadie Parker.
by Eamonn Ryan
When Brewster Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik steps out of the dugout to pull a pitcher, the first thing you notice won’t be the sweatshirt or jersey he’s wearing or if his sunglasses are on at twilight; it’s his shoes.
Unlike other managers, Shevchik isn’t sporting a pair of running shoes, his feet are instead enclosed in a pair of low-top, casual, white shoes with a teal trim, a signature Nike swoosh, a multicolored lining and the original Air Jordan logo made famous by the Chicago Bulls’ shooting guard.
The uniqueness of Shevchik’s—and other members of the Whitecaps staff—shoe collection has been a hot topic of the summer. Shevchik said the early weeks of the Cape League season are often a revolving door, but the level of drip shown by the Whitecaps staff has remained constant.
Shevchik describes himself as someone who has always been into shoes, but when pitching coach Brian Del Rosso joined the Whitecaps this summer, he knew he was going to have to step up his game if he wanted to keep up with the Caps’ new drip king.
“I’m not gonna give [Del Rosso] all the credit, I’ve always had a shoe game. Always,” Shevchik said. “It’s always been there, maybe not as flashy, right? But he turned the lights on.”
Del Rosso, Keystone College’s pitching coach and an assistant under Shevchik at both Keystone and Brewster, has sported both a pair of Air Jordan 1 Barcelonas and white high-top Air Jordans. There are plenty more pairs that haven’t left the closet yet, and on his off days Del Rosso has been spotted at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis looking for more pairs.
“It’s a long season, you gotta keep them guessing,” Del Rosso said. “You gotta let people think you only have a certain amount. And then the rotation is just gonna start emptying out pretty good.”
Now that Del Rosso has joined forces with Shevchik, they often plan out which shoes they’re going to wear and will also send each other pairs that they find fashionable. Even when Shevchik is up in the wee hours of the morning, he’s always thinking about shoes.
“I’ll be up at one o’clock in the morning, I’ll see a pair of shoes, I’ll screenshot them and send them to [Del Rosso]. Sometimes I don’t even get an answer,” Shevchik said.
Del Rosso disagrees, though.
“More times than not I always come back and am like ‘Those are gas. Those are fire,’” he said.
When Shevchik found the prized pair of white and teal Air Jordan Barcelonas with a unique lining, he immediately fired a text over to Del Rosso to gauge interest ahead of this season.
“He found those. And he was like, ‘Dude, we gotta get these shoes.’ He was kind enough to bless me with a pair,” Del Rosso said. “So when I’m wearing them, it’s because Shev here hooked me up.”
Shevchik is proud of the Barcelonas, but his game doesn’t stop there. When figuring out the team uniforms and which pair of shoes he’ll rock on a given gameday, he can choose between a pair of teal Jordan 1 mids, navy blue and black low-tops, custom teal Nike Pegasus and the Barcelonas.
Not only does it extend to Del Rosso, but both the Keystone coaching tree and shoe game go across to opposing dugouts, as Wareham Gatemen manager Ryan Smyth has also gotten into customized shoes. Smyth was part of Shevchik’s staff in Brewster until this past season and is the associate head coach at Keystone.
Smyth doesn’t like to get too into shoes, but when he joined Wareham, he noticed his shoe rack was lacking the maroon and navy colors that represent the Gatemen. His response was to order a pair of custom Nike Pegasus with Wareham colors and an inscription of his initials and the number eight on the back.
“I had to go out and buy a pair,” Smyth said. “I know, they’re drippy over there [in Brewster]. They got their bowling shoes on, some people like them. I’m not a fan of them.”
In the Brewster dugout, assistant coach Scott Grimes feels the same way as Smyth but still can get funky with his choice of footwear. Grimes’ most extravagant pair are the Ken Griffey Jr. Air Max 1s, which look more like a pair of teal and white basketball shoes with a black Nike swoosh and Griffey’s number 24 on the strap.
“Anytime I get the chance to represent Ken Griffey Jr., I’m all for it,” Grimes said.
Grimes knows he can do better and plans to, but for now, he’s focused on getting through his first summer with the team.
“This is my most extensive pair,” Grimes said. “Next year, then that might be a totally different story. First go-around, just going to bring one out of the bag.”