Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly considers his prescription eyewear like any other fashion piece, whether on or off the pitch. âI like to change it up a bit,â he told SI.com. âMuch like outfits, you have to have a trendy pair of glasses. If you have to wear glasses, show it.
Known for his glasses since graduating from college, Kelly likes it. Instead of sticking to one particular brand and just one pair of frames, Kelly has teamed up with California-based SportRX to âkeep it freshâ and build his image as a trendy eyewear launcher.
âEveryone goes for one brand, but what I’ve found with SportRX is that you don’t have to stick to one model,â he says. âYou can go online and choose different models, you don’t have to be with just one brand. I like having the luxury and the ability to choose what looks good on me and not be limited. “
Of course, Kelly admits that his wife is responsible for about 70% of all decisions about glasses. âIt’s always like that with my clothes,â he says. “She has more time to look online and see what’s trending and find out what’s hot and what’s not.” Of course, Kelly will trump his choice of style if he feels superstition should reign supreme. âBaseball players, we’re so superstitious,â he says. “If I lose I will try to wear a different frame or a different color, but if I continue on a winning streak I continue as long as I can.”
Most recently, Kelly has shot between the same Oakley Fast Jacket XL frame, but in different colors, although black is her go-to look. He uses clear lenses when he shoots, but he has others with different colored lenses for daily field activities, night time play and more, like a pair of red frames with iridium orange lenses. .
âJoe is not limited,â SportRX vice president Rob Tavakoli told SI.com. âHe’s able to get any frame and any combination of lenses from any brand. It is not tied to a single brand, technology or style.
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Tavakoli says the SportRX optical team is working with athletes, from pros to amateurs, to create specific frame and lens configurations for prescriptions and detailed athletic conditions so that they can “help people see everything better. doing what they love â.
For Kelly, the need to eliminate vision as a barrier to performance has become not only a fashion statement, but also part of his game. Guys ask him what he thinks of them all the time. and he always encourages it. âI tell them that once you get used to it, it’s something that you don’t even notice on your face,â he says. And while many in the game wear contact lenses or have had Lasik surgery, Kelly is a self-proclaimed “baby” who is afraid of Lasik. âLiving in California, you never know when an earthquake is going to strike and what if in those 30 seconds (during the procedure) that earthquake hits and I go blind? ” he asks. But he doesn’t hesitate to recommend glasses as an accessory.
As Kelly rocks his California flair on the court, he says his partnership with SportRX is expanding as well, with Ray-Bans, mirrored lenses and more.
Tavakoli says glasses are a permanent part of Kelly’s wardrobe. âHis glasses are a big part of his image and identity and we love that about him,â Tavakoli said. âHe even has cool hair to go with it. It changes styles, but you can usually find it in hipster frames like the Smith Quinlan.
For Kelly, changing frames and glasses is something he loves, just like other athletes love to choose hats or sneakers. âThey are an accessory and are part of you and your style,â he says. âYou can look professional, have a pair that looks like what you just got back from the beach. It’s funny. I like being with a company that gives me the privilege of being able to rub shoulders with everyday life and professional sport.
Tim Newcomb covers athletic aesthetics (from stadiums to sneakers) and training for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.