My Game-Day Style: Marcus Stroman

The Toronto Blue Jays Ace Shows B/R Mag How Much Drake Inspires His Style (A Lot!)


All OVO everything. That’s the best way to describe Marcus Stroman's closet. Step inside and you’ll see it is packed with threads from Drake’s clothing line, borne out of his record label by the same name. From the sweatpants on the shelves to the hoodies and jackets on hangers—mostly gifts from Drake, himself—it's apparent the 6 God has a heavy influence on Stroman's style. 

The colors Stroman gravitates toward—black, white and earth tones, with occasional gold accents—for his game-day looks are inspired by Drake too. Stroman appreciates the rapper’s simplicity.

“He doesn’t try to do too much. He stays true to himself,” Stroman says. “He kills it, man. I love the black and gold. Drake is on it. Drake’s figured it out.”

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Bleacher Report

Even Stroman's accessory choices are shaped by the rapper. The Toronto Blue Jays righty regularly rocks a gold chain with a 5.5-carat diamond pendant designed by Drake's jeweler, Mohannad Kilani. The custom piece combines Stroman's initials with Toronto's iconic number six, signifying the city shared by the megastar lyricist and this year's World Baseball Classic MVP. But the number connection between Drake and Stroman doesn’t end there. It extends to 23, as ambassadors for Jordan Brand. 

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“He’s [the only non-athlete on] Team Brand Jordan,” Stroman says of his fellow Jumpman. “He runs the city. He’s the god. I try to carry my weight.” 

Stroman is carrying it on the diamond too. In his fourth season in the league, the 26-year-old is posting a 6-2 record with a 3.28 ERA. His size, a stocky 5'7", 180 pounds, makes him smaller than the average MLB pitcher. That doesn’t hinder his stats, but it does stop him from shopping online. Stroman says he always tries on clothes in stores to ensure the right fit.


Stroman’s penchant for outerwear—he owns bomber jackets and the ubiquitous Gucci hoodie, donned by LeBron James and James Harden during this year’s NBA postseason—works well in a city like Toronto. Hats are his thing too. Stroman is always wearing one, despite getting haircuts with simple designs (usually multiple lines shaved into the side) every week.

“When my hair is cut, I'm always in a better mood, but I always throw a hat right on. It's weird. I'm obviously always in hats when I'm playing and when I'm away from the field,” Stroman says. “Haircuts weekly, but hats 24/7.”

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With a denim collection, ranging from dark to distressed to acid-washed, and 40 pairs of sneakers (he has more than 300 back home in Florida) and hats to match, Stroman carries himself as a trendy athlete in a sport not known for its fashion sensibilities. He started his own trademarked fashion line, Height Doesn’t Measure Heart (HDMH), where he sells shirts, hoodies and bracelets.

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Bleacher Report
Bleacher Report

“It's disconnected—fashion in the MLB clubhouse,” Stroman says. “It's all over the place, man. It's not necessarily a great concern for guys because we are playing every single day. Most guys just want to show up and be comfortable. There are guys who enjoy doing it. I try to reach out to those guys and I communicate with them. I talk to Bryce Harper about fashion, which I respect. Guys like Carlos Correa. The younger wave of guys.”

“Bryce is the homie, man. He loves fashion. He’s reached out to me about fashion and brands before. He’s asked me my opinion about an outfit or a shoe.”

The relationship between Stroman and guys like Harper and Correa is mutually beneficial. They are among a small group of fashion-forward players emerging in baseball clubhouses. They check out what others are wearing on Instagram and swap style advice with each other. 

“Bryce is the homie, man,” Stroman says. “He loves fashion. He’s reached out to me about fashion and brands before. He’s asked me my opinion about an outfit or a shoe. I love it, man.”

The real crown jewel of Stroman’s fashion collection is his wide array of Nike and Jordan sneakers, ranging from the KAWS x Air Jordan IV to the platinum Air Yeezy 2, which Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki gave to him after their victory against the Orioles in the Wild Card Game last year. 

But the sneakerhead gets flustered when asked to rank his favorite Jordans. He has to pause and walk around his sleek Toronto condo before answering. 

“My top three: 1’s, 11’s, 3’s, 4’s. Those KAWS 4’s are sick,” Stroman says. “Then the 12’s, because Drake has the 12’s. His white 12’s and blacks, they’re crazy.” 

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While Stroman keeps his game-day style simple and comfortable, he doesn’t shy away from giving props to athletes with audacious style. 

“I love Russell Westbrook, man. Just everything about that dude,” Stroman says. “I love how daring he is with fashion. He's not scared to step outside the box and try something that most guys wouldn't do. It takes a lot of confidence to pull off some of the outfits that he does, and he rocks it.”

While the Blue Jays have struggled out of the gate, currently 6.5 games behind the first-place New York Yankees, they’ve got themselves a rising star in Stroman. The pitcher shined on the big stage at the World Baseball Classic, when he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the championship game against Puerto Rico. Stroman has followed up his star turn with 56 strikeouts in 68.2 innings pitched and a 1.9 WAR, which places him among the top 20 pitchers in the category.

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“I'm always very critical of myself and I think I could be a lot better,” Stroman says. “I want to be the guy that takes the ball and goes deep into games every single time and the team counts on to be that guy. I've been that in spurts this year and in times, I haven't. I prepare, man. I put a lot into my preparation between starts and I take care of my body like no one other.”

As Stroman develops on the mound, he is embracing his position within a new generation of baseball players shaping baseball culture, on and off the field. Even if he considers his fashion understated.

“Baseball is very stuck in its ways. It has a hard time adapting to the new culture,” Stroman says. “I think some people in baseball think I’m pretty crazy in how I dress, but I try to keep it low-key.”

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Joon Lee is a staff writer for Bleacher Report and B/R Mag.

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