Drey's sneaker passion shines through cleats

July 1st, 2023

This story was excerpted from Steve Gilbert’s D-backs Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox. MLB.com's Jesús Cano is filling in for this story.

PHOENIX -- If D-backs pitcher is on the mound, his shoes might distract you from the action.

Earlier this season, Jameson caught the attention of fans on social media, who were buzzing after seeing the Scooby Doo, Mystery Machine pattern painted on his shoes. If you were impressed by that, you’d be even more amazed by the stack of custom-designed cleats at his locker. 

You’ll find SpongeBob SquarePants, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Rick and Morty among the pile. The shoes are designed by the popular Lucia Footwear Co. brand, which has collaborated with plenty of MLB players, including Aaron Judge, Julio Rodríguez and Pete Alonso.

The vibrant designs give you a glimpse into who Jameson is off the mound, and fans have noticed. The 25-year-old said he hopes to bridge a connection between him and the fans through his shoes.

“When I'm sitting in the bullpen, every day someone [says] ‘Drey, your cleats are sick,’’’ Jameson said. “I do it because I love the shoe part of it. I love the creativity.

“I just think it shows the type of player you are. I also think it helps the fanbase understand who you are as a player. We play this game to win and to represent the D-backs, but we wouldn’t be here if there weren’t fans in the stands. It comes down to a point where the people who watch you will know what kind of person you are.”

That’s just a sample of Jameson’s sneaker collection. His collection at home is so big that he can't give an exact number, but he said he “can wear a pair for each day of the year.” One of his favorite pairs from his collection is the Air Max 97 MSCHF x INRI Jesus Shoes. The air bubble at the bottom has holy water from the Jordan River in Jerusalem, which a priest blessed. His favorites are his Travis Scott Nike Sneakers.

He has two pairs of “dream shoes” on his list: the LeBron MVP 10s, which resell for up to $6,000, and the Dior x Air Jordan 1 low, which have a resell value of up to $10,000.

“That's why I'm grinding and maybe get those,” Jameson said.

Jameson’s sneaker passion started when he was in seventh grade. While he was back-to-school shopping, one pair of pink, blue, gray, low-top versions of the Nike LeBron IX caught his eye. His mother bought him the shoes, and Jameson became a sneakerhead in the process. He still has that pair today.

Jameson was browsing for more shoes to add to his collection when he realized he could buy and resell them for a profit. He learned this when he sold his LeBron IXs. However, Jameson eventually bought the exact pair right before heading to college because of the meaning behind them, even if they are now “trashed.” In college, his side hustle flourished.

“I think when you tell people you can buy, sell and trade shoes, they're like, ‘What?’” Jameson said. “I don't think people really understand the value in shoes.

“Through college, it made me money to where I could do what I wanted. I didn't struggle in college and paid bills because I bought and sold shoes.”

Jameson’s days of reselling are over -- being an MLB pitcher makes your schedule busy -- but he continues to add more to his collection. Jameson wants to have an octagon-style closet like artist DJ Khaled.

Until then, he’s going to continue to add to his baseball cleats collection. Jameson said Tom and Jerry, Phineas and Ferb and Jimmy Neutron are designs joining his collection in the future.

“It brings back memories from childhood,” Jameson said. “I’m playing a game that is technically for kids. Kids play this game and we’re grown men playing, so we might as well bring the kid out.”