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Crowe (and his son) build a big shoe collection


This story was excerpted from Justice delos Santos’ Pirates Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Following the first game of the season, I spoke to Wil Crowe in the visiting locker room. We discussed his transition to the bullpen, a topic that has now been discussed ad infinitum. As I stopped my recorder and turned to walk away, I looked down at the ground and spotted a pair of black, white and gray Jordan 1s. 

I commented on the kicks. Crowe said there were more where those came from. Hella more (my words, not his).

This week, I finally had the opportunity to catch up with Crowe and ask him about what he’s got and what he’s rocking.

The collection started last year, beginning with — appropriately enough — a pair of Jordan 1s. When a shoe he liked became available on a shoe app, he scooped it up. Despite being a newcomer to the shoe game, his closet is already running out of space. He currently has about 15 pairs of shoes in Pittsburgh, with about five more pairs on the way and then about 12 more pairs back home.

The “University Blue” 1s and “Pollen” 1s — can you tell he loves that model? — are consistently part of his rotation, the latter being appropriate given that they’re black and yellow. As far as Crowe’s white whales, shoes he would love to get if they ever became available, he’s eyeing the “Georgetown,” “Shattered Backboard” or “Hyper Royal” Jordan 1s, as well as the “Military Black” Jordan 4s. At this rate, Complex might be calling up Crowe soon enough.

For as many pairs that Crowe has, his son, Koa, has even more, around 30 pairs — and growing. With no exaggeration, Koa has six times as many shoes in his rotation than me. 

And, no, unlike Mars Blackmon, I didn’t ask Crowe whether his performance this year was because of the shoes. But it’s got to be the shoes, right?

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