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Judge's cleats signed by all 217 LLWS players

Yankees slugger to wear shoes during Players' Weekend
@goodforball
August 22, 2019

OAKLAND -- Good thing Aaron Judge wears size 17 cleats. Otherwise, the Yankee outfielder might not have succeeded in creating his Players’ Weekend tribute to youngsters in general and Little Leaguers in particular. The signatures of all 217 Little League World Series participants will be emblazoned onto the shoes that

OAKLAND -- Good thing Aaron Judge wears size 17 cleats. Otherwise, the Yankee outfielder might not have succeeded in creating his Players’ Weekend tribute to youngsters in general and Little Leaguers in particular.

The signatures of all 217 Little League World Series participants will be emblazoned onto the shoes that Judge will wear during the Yankees’ highly anticipated Players’ Weekend matchup against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Judge decided long ago that he wanted kids to be part of his Players’ Weekend tribute.

“Youth is our future,” he said before Thursday night’s series finale against the A’s. “It’s something that’s very important to me.”

Judge initially considered conducting a small competition to settle the shoe-design issue. “I thought about sending [shoes] to a local school in New York and having the kids there draw on them.”

Judge indicated that footwear manufacturer Adidas launched the discussion of featuring the Little Leaguers’ names on the shoes.

“They found a way to kind of squeeze them all in there,” Judge said. “I’m excited about it. It’ll be something cool for the kids to do and when I wear them on TV they can tell their all their friends, ‘Hey, I signed those cleats’ or something like that.”

Injury update
Starter Luis Severino and reliever Dellin Betances appear to be edging toward the conclusion of their respective shoulder injuries.

Betances is scheduled to throw a 20-pitch simulated game on Friday at the Yankees’ training complex in Tampa, Fla. If all goes well, Boone said Betances will repeat the exercise Tuesday. It’s not too difficult to imagine that activation from the injured list would soon follow.

Severino, who hasn’t pitched all season, threw approximately 25 pitches in the equivalent of two innings in a recent simulated game and will enter a theoretical five-day rotation to hasten his re-entry to pitching regularly.

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.