Something I’ve noticed about the baseball scene in recent seasons is that players wearing glasses are making sort of a comeback.
In the old days players wore glasses all the time,this was of course before contact lenses were mainstream and LASIK hadn’t even been invented yet. You had guys like Dick Allen, Chris Sabo,Darrell Porter,and the most legendary player to have not two,but four eyes, Reggie Jackson!
As technology has advanced with corrective lenses,fewer ball players were hiding behind their glasses on the field and using either contact lenses or getting LASIK surgery altogether. There were players still wearing glasses,but they were mainly pitchers like Eric Gagne,Kevin Gregg,and Kyle Farnsworth. It got to the point where if you wanted to see glasses on the baseball field,you pretty much had the managers,in particular Joe Maddon.
Maddon’s eyewear was once so popular that the team he used to manage for,the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now the Rays), held a night where the giveaways of mock pairs to fans.
Now glasses have come back on the players’ faces. From Freddie Freeman of the Braves to Tyler Clippard of the Mets to Eric Sogard of the Athletics. Sogard’s glasses are unique because they aren’t a special sports pair,but a pair you would get at your own optometrist and have been popular with fans,giving birth to the hashtag #NerdPower on Twitter.
“I’m probably one of the last players to wear them, but they work for me,” said Sogard, “I’ve tried contacts, but I just don’t see as well with them. I’ve been wearing them since high school and I’ve never had a problem with them. I’ve always seen better with glasses than contacts so I’ve just stuck with them.”
Add another player to the four eyes club,Kelby Tomlinson of the San Francisco Giants. Tomlinson is the newest Giant having just been called up from AAA Sacramento this past week with Joe Panik on the disabled list. He’s even already earned the nickname of Clark Kent during his brief stint in the majors.
Though at 20/30 he has only a minor correction, Tomlinson says he has gotten used to the eyewear and that they are helpful in night games. He did try contacts while in Low-A ball,but didn’t like them.
While the list of four-eyed ballplayers is small, it may be growing in the years to come thanks to this trend that may be,just may be,trending upward. And for this bespectacled sports fan, that’s not a bad thing.