Oakland Third Baseman Brett Lawrie Talks New Era Snapbacks and the Only Pair of Sneakers He Needs

Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie is known mainly for his exploits on the field, having hit 18 doubles and nine home runs so far this year, but the Canadian baseball phenom has brought a style and swagger all his own to an A’s ball club rebuilding around young talent.

Take, for instance, his love of New Era snapbacks. The hat beast is killing the game right now, dropping everything from historic packs to new floral designs, and baseball players know that better than anyone considering what their uniform entails.

Lawrie’s sneaker choice is also unique. Yes, everyone loves the Air Jordan XI. It’s probably, universally, the most popular Michael Jordan shoe ever. But Lawrie goes next level with it. Check out his Instagram–it’s basically the only sneaker he wears. (And he has enough different colorways to last him a month or two.)

From his kicks to his caps to his signature tattoo sleeves to his diverse taste in music, it’s clear that Lawrie isn’t your average MLB superstar. His incredible passion for the game is clear every time he puts on his cleats, but his demeanor off the field might not be what a lot of fans expect.

Last weekend, Brett came into a Champs Sports store in Hayward, California, to sign autographs for his fans. Before the session began, he took the time to answer some questions about coming to Champs Sports, his favorite New Era cap, his unique style preferences, and more.

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When you hit up places like Champs Sports, do people recognize you? Does it ever get crazy?
Coming from Canada, it’s been a little easier for me. When I was in Toronto, me being Canadian, it was a little different. Since coming to the United States I’ve been able to go undercover a little bit.

What do you look for first: footwear or apparel?
I’m a sneaker guy; I like Jordans.

I’m on a bit of a quest…always on the hunt for new things.

How long have you been rocking New Era caps?
I’ve been wearing New Era ever since I was a teenager, playing baseball in Canada from 14 all the way until now. New Era is pretty much the only hat that’s out there.

How do you fit them into your everyday style? I see you’re going with the no-hat look today.
Yeah, I got a fresh cut when I was in L.A. so I figured I’d just go with that. I’m a snapback guy. I don’t like doing my hair and wearing gel. I usually just try and coordinate them–just match it with my shoes or whatever I’ve got going on that day.

How do you wear them? Backwards? Do you keep the brim straight?
I wear snapbacks backwards. I like to flip up the bill just a bit with a little curve at the end of it. But so many different hats fit so differently. You could grab like 10 of the same hats, and they could all be the same snapback, but they could all fit differently. It’s just weird the way that works, and that goes for fitted hats as well. You’ve kind of got to just pick and choose what fits.

What are your favorite items right now from New Era?
Man…I’m a snapback guy. Fitted hats are tough because you have to wear them a lot and sweat in them a little bit to make them fit. But that snapback–once you get it on, it’s more of a chill kind of feel.

In the big leagues, do players ever wear hats that aren’t of their own team?
You don’t really wear other teams; you represent your team. But I try to wear something a little different since I wear baseball hats every day.

Do you think having hats are an essential for any guy’s wardrobe?
Yeah, no doubt. There are days when you wake up and look in the mirror and you know that hairdo ain’t going to do it for today. You can always just toss a snapback on, or anything else you have, and get through it.

So…how many hats do you have total?
Oh god. (Laughs) It’s not a crazy amount, but it’s got to be at least over 50. I’ve got a lot of hats, man…too many to pick from. I could wear a different one every day if I had to.

Explain your style before a game, and after. What is essential for pregame warm-up and postgame style, outside of the hats?
Going onto the field, I’m always wearing a hat. I go into the [A’s] store and just try to pick and choose what I like. I try everything on and try and see what I don’t have already. When I go out at nighttime, I’m nice and easy, pretty generic: sweats and a snapback, jeans and a snapback–just chillin’ man, nothing too crazy.

Any athletes or celebrities you think have a great sense of style?
Umm…it’s hard because everybody’s so different, but a lot of guys in baseball are kind of like me. They just want to be comfortable. I can’t necessarily name one person. I kind of just rep my own thing. I like being comfy: snapbacks, sweats, and Jordans–that’s just me, man.

There’s no one who really stands out?
A lot of guys really like suits and stuff and that sort of thing. But I’m not like that, man. I’m chilling. You wouldn’t even think I was a baseball player. You’d probably just think I work at J.Crew or something.

Air Jordan 11

When you’re picking out your outfit for the day, where do you start?
Oh god. (Laughs) Depends on how tired I am in the morning. When I go out to the field, I’m really just getting in my car, getting to the field, getting to my locker, and then getting changed. Literally, I probably have my clothes on for a total of 35 minutes. And then I go home and just take them off and get ready for bed. During the offseason, I think I probably put a lot more into it when I go out.

I don’t have my whole wardrobe here because I have my house in Arizona, but I brought as much as I could without being too crazy. I just get up, try to put on something comfy, try and be easy for the day. When you go on the road that means you have to dress up a little more.

How would you describe your everyday style when you are off the field?
Offseason…man, Arizona’s sunny everyday so I’ve always got T-shirts on, always got snapbacks, sunglasses, shorts, sandals, always got Nikes on. Big Roshe One guy, Jordan XIs. I don’t really like any other Jordan, really. The XI, that’s my shoe.

What artists are currently in your headphones?
I’m pretty diverse. I got a lot of stuff. I like listening to Drake a lot. I got a lot of Drake. I like Wiz Khalifa. I like Swedish House Mafia. I like Hardwell. House music.

For me, it’s just what type of mood I want to be in. Sometimes I’m just chillin’, sitting in the hot tub or whatever, just relaxing, and I like to put on some rap. When I’m in the weight room, I like to put on House music, get the beat going a little bit, get me sweating a little bit.

What’s your take on the whole Drake-Meek Mill thing?
Yeah, I’m on Drake’s side. Meek Mill’s definitely on his girl’s tour, no doubt.

What are some songs on your pregame playlist? Do you have a song that absolutely has to be on it?
That new song that Drake that just came out with, “Back to Back,” that’s on there. That song’s hot. Swedish House Mafia’s always on there. Hardwell’s always on there. “Space Man,” that song just makes me want to fly through the roof.

Are you into seeing those guys live?
Yeah, I think that would be cool. I know Wiz Khalifa has great concerts. I just don’t know how well it would sound. That would be the only thing for me…I’ve been to some live concerts…I like country music too, but when I go to country concerts they sound exactly the same. For me, when I go to a concert, I expect it to be good. Like, he’s not just going through the motions out there. He’s actually getting it out.

What’s your walk-up song right now? What’s the best one you’ve ever had?
My walk-up right now is [Fetty Wap’s] “Trap Queen” but I would say…god, I’ve had some good ones. But that’s the thing…I really wish when they played my walk-out, I wish the people upstairs played it the way I want it to be played. They don’t play it too loud. For me, when I play my music, I want to feel it, I want to get into that feeling, and I want to have that feeling inside that says, “C’mon, let’s go.”

How did you get ready for this season? Is it the same every offseason?
This year, I took kind of a different route, and this next year, I’m going to take it a little bit further. I branched out and found a facility close to my house in Arizona. I was coming off an oblique injury from the season before and I needed to get back to where I could workout and be pain-free. Rehab took me into September and October…I kept getting a little bit better.

Brett Lawrie

This offseason I’m going to go to EXOS, formerly known as Athletes’ Performance, which is the best of the best in Arizona. I’m excited to go there and really learn about my body. As you get older, it gets harder, so you have to work harder and have that mentality of staying out on the field.

How do you juggle staying in shape and knowing when you need a break?
That’s the biggest thing, man. We do this every single day, and they’re long games. You get the odd off day, but you’re there from 2:00 o’clock all the way till 10:30/11:00 o’clock at night.

That can grind on you after a while, so you’ve got to pick and choose. Off days, I’m not going to go play golf, I’m not going to go do something else. I’m just going to relax, take it for what it is. You get to that off day and you’re just like…ahhh, I don’t have to do anything today. I really just like to chill out and let my body rest.

Any specific things you like to do to chill out?
Kind of just lay in bed and relax. Hang out with my girlfriend, take my dog out for a little bit.

Anything else you do to keep yourself fresh and injury-free?
It’s just noticing what your body’s like. This year I’ve been really working hard on knowing when my body’s off and knowing how to take care of it.

For me, I’ve been doing a lot of acupuncture. It’s been one of the biggest things that’s allowed me to stay on the field this year–hitting the spots in my body that are tight. It’s the little things that make the big things go round, so if I can hit those little things, it opens up everything and allows me to heal and recover a little better.

Do you have a list of things you want to accomplish going into every season? If so, what are some things on the list this year?
Always. But the first and foremost goal is to compete as a group and win a World Series title. That’s number one. After that, I set my sights on myself. I have goals, and I want to reach those goals, but only if the team’s doing well and you’re competing for something as a whole.

The biggest one for me this year was just the ability to stay on the field. I’ve run into some injuries in the past, playing on turf, and just being hurt. The big thing was just working on my body and playing every game I can to help myself, my teammates and the organization.