Call them resident World Series cleat artists. Chad Cantcolor and David Maldonado will travel alongside the World Series teams to custom-design Adidas cleats for Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros.
Each artist comes from the city of their team, with Cantcolor known for his specialty of freehand painting in Southern California. He has spent years creating artwork in the action sports and fashion worlds and has designed everything from hand-painted apparel, accessories and equipment to major murals. Maldonado, a Houston-based artist, uses various mediums for his visual art. His artwork features elements drawn from Mexican folk art and murals blended in a contemporary style.
Each artist will travel throughout the World Series so that whether a walk-off homerun, 100-mph fastball strikeout or double play that seals a win or loss, the artists can narrate the World Series through cleat design. The artists will work together in studios in each community.
To kick off the World Series Game 1 in Los Angeles, Maldonado designed Correa a cleat paying homage to the city of Houston and his hometown in Puerto Rico. The design represents Correa's desire to support the two areas special to him and both recently hit with devastation.
The Cantcolor design for Tuner for the inaugural game of the 2017 series ties to Game 1 of the 1988 World Series when Kirk Gibson of the Dodgers hit a game-winning home run. The cleats feature a tribute to Vin Scully's call of the game from that moment: "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened."
Expect new designs from the artists for each game of the World Series.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twiter at @tdnewcomb.