Reigning National League MVP and World Series hero Kris Bryant recently shined a light on spinal cord research by having three respected Chicago street artists design three pairs of Adidas baseball cleats for him to wear during “Players Weekend.”
Those three pairs of cleats are being auctioned to support Wings for Life, a non-profit organization, which funds spinal cord research. Each pair was autographed and comes with MLB authentication. Bryant wore one pair per day in the August series against the Phillies. Each celebrated Bryant’s ties to Las Vegas, San Diego and Chicago.
Bryant supports the cause through a friendship with Cory Hahn, a former All-American high school baseball player was paralyzed sliding into 2nd base in 2011 while a freshman at Arizona State University.
Three Chicago street artists designed the cleats with a theme of “Wings” in honor of the Wings for Life Foundation, which is dedicated to raising money for spinal cord research.
The Las Vegas edition cleat was designed by artist Joseph Perez – aka “Sentrock” – using inspiration from Bryant’s hometown of Las Vegas.
“I knew a lot about Kris beforehand, so I mostly researched the Wings for Life Foundation, which he supports and is really doing inspiring work,” said Sentrock.
The San Diego edition cleat was designed by street artist JC Rivera, in honor of Bryant’s University of San Diego days when he became a nationally known prospect.
Worn in Game 2 of the series, the cleats were those Bryant wore when he homered, scored three times and drove in a run in a 17-2 win.
The Chicago edition cleat was designed by artist Max Sansing, who was born in Chicago and has a history with Kris Bryant dating back to Summer 2016 when he collaborated on a mural of the player that is still up in the heart of Chicago’s Wrigleyville.
“I had the idea of waves of blues representing the people of Chicago supporting Kris, layering waves of spray paint and masking out the wings and color rays,” Sansing said. “Keeping the masking tight and knowing when to stop adding color was the challenge. It’s easy to go overboard.”
The auction is underway with $1,000 as the opening bid for each pair. It runs through October 31 and can be found at charitybuzz.com/KBcleats.