Big shoes to fill
By Samantha Carr
Growing up, my older brother and sister used to tease me about having wide feet and stubby toes. In fact, they nicknamed me Franklin Stubbs after the 1980s Dodgers first baseman and outfielder. I can look back and laugh at it now, but I can’t imagine how much teasing CC Sabathia took growing up.
This week, Sabathia handed over his cleats from Opening Day at Yankee Stadium to Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson — and in the process, broke a new record in Cooperstown.
Mary Bellew, assistant registrar at the Hall of Fame, assures me that at size 15, Sabathia’s shoes are the largest ever in our collection, breaking Ryan Minor’s mark of 13 ½. Minor donated the cleats he wore Sept. 20, 1998, when he took over for Cal Ripken Jr. at third base after Ripken decided to end his record-breaking streak of consecutive games played at 2,632.
We also have shoes from 6-foot-10 and five-time Cy Young-winner Randy Johnson, but he is only a size 13.
Jeff also brought back the bat Grady Sizemore used to hit the first grand slam in the new park and a game-used commemorative Opening Day baseball signed by winning pitcher Cliff Lee. They will be on display, along with Sabathia’s cleats, in the Today’s Game exhibit this summer.
Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.