Indians Pitcher Leaves Game at Standstill as He Waits in Socks for New Shoes
“Shoeless Joe” Jackson may have had the nickname first, but Cleveland Indians pitcher Óliver Pérez was the one sans footwear Monday in a bizarre incident at Fenway Park.
The veteran pitcher, 37, found himself standing on the mound in just his socks during a game against the Boston Red Sox after a mishap involving his cleats.
Pérez came out of the bullpen as a reliever for the Indians in the fifth inning, and threw several warm-up pitches before he noticed something was amiss.
The left-hander called timeout, and the game was delayed as he took off his shoes and sent an Indians staffer to go grab another pair.
Pérez said after the game that one of the spikes on his cleats had broken as he was cleaning the mound with his foot.
“That [hasn’t] ever happened to me before, it’s kind of funny,” he told MLB.com. “It’s part of the game … This is one of those funny stories. We were just making jokes.”
Video from the game shows Pérez standing in the dirt in just his socks as “Footloose” blares over the Fenway loudspeakers.
The Indians staff member eventually returned with a fresh pair of kicks, which Pérez quickly laced up, allowing the game to continue.
He went on to give up an RBI double and a three-run home run to the Red Sox, who won the game 12-5.