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.”
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.
“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.”