The first thing to know about Dodgers star pitcher Julio Urias is that he’s an amazing pitcher. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 baseball season, his record includes 3 wins, no losses, and a 3.27 earned run average over 55 total innings. Among his postseason highlights, Urias closed out the Dodgers 2020 NLCS game against the Atlanta Braves by pitching three perfect innings, retired 7 batters and got the save in the Dodger’s World Series Championship win in Game 6. But what’s the story behind Julio Urias’ White Glasses? What kind are they? Why does he need them…and why white?
Julio Urias’ Eye Troubles
If you look at Urias closely, you’ll notice that his left eye seems partially closed. That’s the result of a recurring “periorbital benign mass” that has been removed four times so far, most recently in May 2015. This kind of growth is not harmful, but in Urias’ case, it causes the eyelid to droop. This pre-surgery photo from Urias’ own (mostly unused) Twitter Profile shows how his eyelid looked before surgery.
About the eye condition, Urias was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying (in Spanish), “That’s how God works…He gave me a bad left eye but a good left arm.”
Dodgers and Oakley Refer Julio Urias’ to Dr. Barry Leonard
Urias had already been wearing white Oakley frames when playing baseball, but wasn’t happy with how he was seeing his target from the mound. Pitchers not only need to be able to see the plate when facing forward, but they also need to view the plate from the side, which is how a pitcher usually stands at the beginning of a pitch.
So the Dodgers asked Oakley to refer them to the best eye doctor in Los Angeles for complicated vision cases, and Oakley recommended Dr. Barry Leonard, who has a reputation for handling complex vision issues, including Myopia, Keratoconus, and other Corneal Dystrophies. After receiving calls from both Oakley and the Dodgers trainer, an appointment was made for Urias to come in for an eye exam.
Dr. Leonard tells the story of when Urias showed up in his office. “He wasn’t wearing his white baseball glasses or uniform, so I didn’t recognize him when he walked in. He was like any other 22 year old, except more mature and very humble.”
After a comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Leonard determined the proper prescription for each of Urias’ eyes which required very different prescriptions, customized to fit into Julio Urias’ favorite white frames.
“We ordered new frames and custom lenses from Oakley, and Urias has been pitching great ever since,” says Dr. Leonard.
Julio Urias’ White Glasses
Kids and adults around the country like to emulate their sports idols, and wearing Julio Urias’ white glasses is one way to do that for his fans. So what are they? Gianny Cardenas, senior optician at Dr. Leonard’s office, says that the glasses are “Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL frames, which Oakley makes custom for Urias in all white, but anyone can order the same model with just a hint of gray on the temple.”
Dr. Leonard says that, “These frames have lenses that curve around the face, giving Urias the ability to see better when looking at the batter.” The lens prescriptions were designed and customized for Urias’ prescription and to optimize seeing the batter and are Oakley Digital Lenses with anti-reflective coating, ideal for stadium lighting.
So why does Julio Urias wear white glasses? He wears Oakley because they make some of the best sports glasses in the world. Why white? Well, it’s harder to say, but maybe it’s because being known for those white glasses allows him to walk around town with other kinds of frames and remain relatively anonymous. The moment Julio puts on those white glasses he becomes very recognizable.
The Right Sports Glasses For Your Sport
You don’t have to wear Julio Urias’ white glasses to play great baseball, but the right glasses can help with any sport. “This is just another case where the right sports glasses can make all the difference in performance,” says Dr. Leonard. “No matter what sport you play — team sports like Baseball, Basketball, Football & Soccer or individual sports like Cycling, Golf, Tennis, Running — all require great vision, and the vision and eye protection requirements for each sport or activity are different.”
Oakley, The Dodgers and Julio Urias all know that, as do millions of other professional athletes, weekend warriors and child athletes. Finding the right sports glasses for your favorite sport or activity can help you perform better and keep your eyes protected and healthy.