The one thing I have always loved about MiLB at least in the last three years or so when I started noticing that MiLB teams has been incorporating unique jerseys into theme days. It’s just cool to me, to see something different from the everyday jersey that teams generally wear. MLB occasionally does this, when they pay homage to the Negro Leagues, and some teams (like the Brewers) have a day where they pay homage to the Hispanic culture in baseball.
I’m not from the old school baseball thought. I like advanced stats, Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame, and unique jerseys make the game even better than it already it is. One of those cool jerseys I stumbled upon is this:
This is the Lexington Legends’ Shriners Hospital Create-A-Jersey. Now, that is cool. Being a child and in the hospital sucks, so what better way to help then have them create a jersey design, vote on it, wear them and then auction it off for the very same hospital. The Legends wore this jersey on August 28, 2015 when they faced off against the Rome Braves. There was even a cool story behind the jersey, which I got from the Legends facebook page:
When Jack Koenig was about 5 years old he often complained of pain in his feet. This pain became especially acute when he started to get involved in soccer and basketball. His parents took him to his pediatrician, Dr. James Mack, and then to Lexington Orthopedic Associates.
After several attempts with various shoe inserts, Jack was still experiencing pain. The doctors at Lexington Orthopedic Associates referred Jack to Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington and to Dr. Janet Walker. It was determined that Jack’s tibia bones in his lower legs were twisted and his ankles twist out as a result. Dr. Walker prescribed a corrective brace to align his feet. Jack wore the brace for about one month. He participates in physical therapy at Shriners Hospital on a weekly basis.
In addition, the Shriners Hospital Orthotics Department developed special inserts for Jack’s shoes to help with arch support. Jack says that the inserts really help his walking.
Jack continues working with physical therapist, Ms. Kasey Kasak, at Shriners Hospital to improve his strength, stability, and alignment when he walks.
He is now able to resume normal play with his brothers and friends at school and has recently started playing golf.
Jack is also very musically-inclined and plays the trombone at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. An avid reader, Jack loves comic books, Harry Potter and all science fiction.
Now 10 years old and about to enter 5th grade, Jack was at Shriners Hospital for one of his weekly therapy appointments when he saw the Legends Jersey Contest Flyer. His brothers had already designed jerseys of their own and Jack wanted to do one as well. Little did Jack know at the time, but his jersey drawing was selected as the winning entrant and he is thrilled.
Now if that isn’t a feel good story, I don’t know what is, and I found some of the jerseys are still for sale, I might just have to pick one up myself.
The Lexington Legends are a Class-A Affiliate for the Royals in the South Atlantic League. Part of why this jersey is so cool is it features a mustache and ironically enough their mascot is a mustachioed baseball player.
The Legends came into existence in 2001 when the Kissimmee Cobras moved out of the Florida State League to Lexington, thus becoming the Lexington Legends, an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Their inaugural year is the only year in which the Legends have one League and Division titles. However, the Legends are known for some other high profile events. The first being when Roger Clemens came out of retirement and signed with the Astros, and then making his return to baseball pitching for the Legends throwing 62 pitches, allowing only 1 run and striking out 6. The other high profile event was an on-field tirade in 2006 by then manager of the Asheville Tourists Joe Mikulik, when the Tourists were playing the Legends. The tirade went on to receive national exposure.
The legends are also the subject of a pretty good documentary entitled: Legendary: When Baseball Came to the Bluegrass.