Following the buzz on social media and television that the Mariners’ Dee Strange-Gordon received when he recently wore a pair of custom-designed white cleats with the bright red and yellow logo of In-N-Out Burger on them, the preeminent local burger chain in the area — Dick’s Drive-In — wasn’t about to be left out in this party.
Dick’s Drive-In put out a “cleat challenge” to the Mariners on Twitter on Thursday, with a picture of the franchise’s bright orange logo imposed onto a pair of navy and white cleats. The tweet read:
@Mariners We don’t want to name names, but it came to our attention that a player wore a rival burger stands logo — we wanted to reach out with a compromise — some local cleats and $1,000 gift certificate pledge to the first M’s player that reps the #HometownBurger — any takers?!
Not surprisingly Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop, who went to the University of Washington and had more than his fair share of Dick’s burgers in his college days, accepted the challenge with a certain condition — that the $1,000 gift certificate be used to feed the hardworking Washington firefighters battling the state’s many wildfires.
Bishop, from his account @BradenBishop7 quote-tweeted his answer to Dick’s, which read:
“I will wear them! But on one condition, the $1000 goes to feeding the firefighters fighting fires around the state. Do we have a deal?”
After Friday’s intrasquad game at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma was canceled due to unhealthy air quality due to the smoke from the forest fires in the region, Bishop talked to the media via video conference about the cleat challenge.
“We’ve been talking actually,” Bishop said. “I think they are trying to find an artist and I will send them some cleats up there.”
Strange-Gordon’s cleats were custom made by Marcus Rivero, a renowned shoe artist out of Florida who goes by the handle of Soles by Sir. Rivero has designed hundreds of shoes for athletes in all levels of sports.
There is also local shoe artist and current UW student Andrew Urrutia, who has done shoe designs for Felix Hernandez and other Mariners players under his company TrainKicks.
Dick’s agreed to use the gift certificate toward the firefighters. The two parties are working out the details to best get the food to firefighters.
“That was what was agreed to, so I’m really happy about that,” Bishop said.
Born and raised in California, Bishop grew up eating In-N-Out burgers, but when he attended University of Washington he would hit up the original Dick’s Drive-In located in Wallingford.
“Usually a couple cheeseburgers, a couple of orders of fries and a milkshake,” Bishop said of his usual order at Dick’s. “It is a little different than In-N-Out, so it took some getting used to, but I got used to it.”
For Huskies and Mariners fans, it isn’t surprising to see Bishop volunteer for the situation. He’s always been active when it comes to charity and raising awareness and funding for causes. He started his 4Mom foundation while at Washington to help raise money and awareness for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease after his mom was diagnosed with it in 2014. She died Oct. 5, 2019.