Soles Up or Down?

Seattle's Rally Shoe Fits Well

A superstitious trend captures the anxiety of playoff baseball and this city's fashion idiosyncrasies.

By Benjamin Cassidy October 11, 2022

Would a single Dr. Marten or Blundstone have been more apropos? Perhaps. But the viral Birkenstock atop a fan's hat was a pretty perfect representation of Seattle's baseball anxiety and nonchalant fashion sense.

For those who were larch-hunting: During a truly historic comeback by the Mariners on Saturday afternoon against the Blue Jays in Toronto, fans at a T-Mobile Park watch party in Seattle started placing shoes on their noggins as a twist on the age-old rally cap. The superstition began gaining traction after the Jumbotron showed a die-hard sporting a single German sandal on his backward M's fitted.

The "Rally Shoe" took off on social media, and the Mariners quickly moved to enshrine it. The team says it will house the Birkenstock in its Hall of Fame.

To his credit, Ben Cox isn't claiming he invented the superstition of the season. During an interview with KING 5, the Mariners fan said he saw someone else don a rally shoe before a Mariners comeback and thought it might work again. Other fans have noted that they've spotted the trend around T-Mobile Park this year, too.

But seeing legions of supporters with shoes on their heads at the stadium was a different sight altogether. Some followed Cox's lead and went soles-down on their hats, germaphobes be damned; others balanced their footwear with the treads facing the sky.

The rest of the baseball world has definitely taken notice. You can bet the broadcast crew will bring it up ad nauseam during the team's series against the vaunted Astros.

Houston fans, or anyone else, can't really judge; absurd superstitions are as common to baseball playoff runs as ace starting pitchers. It's nice to see Seattle didn't take too long, after a 21-year wait, to get in on the fun.

And if they do drag it, well, our city's style is to shrug, anyway.

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