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The Sunglasses of the MLB

  • Najib Benouar

Willie Mays

We’ve imparted a few thoughts on baseball in the past—particularly listening to it on the radio—but here’s one more often-overlooked detail: Baseball is one of the few sports you can play while wearing sunglasses.

So far, most ballplayers haven’t seized the opportunity to gain style points. In fact, the results have ranged from the inspired to the regrettable…but that’s not to say they’re not interesting.

We’re starting, naturally, with the flips. Something about the cool, 90’s Dwayne Wayne-ness appeals to us, as well as watching the act of a fielder track a fly ball, step back onto the warning track, gaze upward just as he flips down the shades over his eyes to watch it fall into his mitt. Ken Griffey Jr wore them well, but Mr. Willie Mays (above) made them stylish.

Reggie Jackson

Next: the Aviators. Basically the only guy who could pull them off, did. Mr. October. You can wear them all you want, but nobody's going to top Reggie Jackson. He even wore them while batting. And naturally, he gets extra points for the 'stache.


And at the bottom of the list (where they belong), the wraparounds. They’re the UV protection of choice nowadays, thanks to the hi-tech lenses. It makes perfect sense, but some of these just look plain foolish. (Check out Kenny Powers if you don’t believe us.) Unless you go with the understated monochromatic route that Ichiro’s sporting here, you’re in serious trouble.

For the record, if it were us out there in center field, we’d opt for a pair of flip-ups.