WASHINGTON — Peace in baseball is at hand — well, at feet.
Major League Baseball and the players’ association ended a footwear flap Thursday, agreeing to loosen restrictions on the colors of spikes that may be used.
Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek of the Chicago Cubs wore black spikes in May despite a warning from the commissioner’s office that they were violating a regulation requiring that at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player’s shoes be the club’s designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue.
The majority requirement was eliminated under the new agreement. Players may now wear shoes with black, white, any colors on the team’s uniform and additional colors approved by the team.
“We believe that this agreement strikes the appropriate balance between the shared goal of permitting players to express their individuality while maintaining reasonable restrictions on shoe colors and designs,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
The new rules take effect for next season.
“Players welcome the expanded opportunity to express themselves and engage with fans through innovative design,” union head Tony Clark said.