There are few things in life more enjoyable than a great Stro Show. Though he has certainly had his ups and downs this season, Marcus Stroman never fails to light up the pitcher’s mound with genuine energy and enthusiasm. Let’s take a minute to check out just six reasons Toronto just can’t help but love Marcus Stroman:
1) He doesn’t accept defeat. Mr. Stroman came out of the 2015 postseason on a high. He was back from injury, and pitching with newfound mastery and control. Up against high expectations at the start of the 2016 season, he began strong, but his pitching performance veered off track after a few months into the season. Stroman could have spiraled into disaster. He could have psyched himself out. He could have let disappointment take over. But Stroman doesn’t know how to do those things. They aren’t in his DNA. Instead, he took a breath, asked for help, and internalized different techniques in both windup and release point. Now, as the season draws to a close (though hopefully not before October!), Stroman has inspirationally regained his confident precision on the mound.
2) Stroman is a team player. Whether taking Aaron Sanchez under his wing in the off season or tweeting post game Blue Jay pride and motivation, Stroman always supports his teammates. In a 2015 interview with CBC news, Stroman’s father, Earl, told reporter,s “Ever since (Marcus) was a little kid, he liked being the guy. The go-to guy.” Stroman, through all his ups and downs, has certainly proven to be an emotional, “go-to guy” backbone for the Toronto Blue Jays. Playing or not, his excitement in the dugout is contagious. He keeps spirits high, even when fellow players are struggling, and he is always one to celebrate when his teammates accomplish greatness.
3) Ummm serious style points. Check out @mstrooo6 on Insta. The shoes and outfits are always on point, and don’t even get me started on that glorious hair. #winning #waytoocoolforgoddamschool
4) But speaking of school, let’s not forget Mr. Stroman’s scholarly accomplishments. There aren’t a lot of people in this world who could recover from a torn ACL, which takes some serious rehabilitation work on any time frame, complete an overloaded semester of classes to finish a degree at Duke University, step back onto the pitcher’s mound one week before their projected recovery date… and win. Marcus, you may be too cool for school, but you are an inspiration to students and athletes everywhere!
5) Stroman loves Toronto. He loves Toronto so much, he wrote our city a love letter. If you didn’t get a chance to read The 6ix at that start of the 2016 season, I encourage you to check it out right now. Seriously. Click the link. It’s an awesome piece. And even if you have read the letter, you may want to consider reading it again as we plunge further into the tense, high stakes pennant race that is September baseball. There’s nothing like a little Motivation Marcus to make a person feel like her team can accomplish anything.
6ix) Stroman has one of my favorite mantras, not only in sports, but also in life. “Height doesn’t measure heart”, referred to in his aforementioned Toronto love letter as “HDMH”. Stroman was never the biggest player on the field. As his talent continued to grow, he faced an onslaught of negativity. Outsiders constantly told our Stroman he would never succeed due to his size (5’8″, to be exact). Instead of letting these comments sidetrack his path to success, Stroman, fueled by the love and support of his family, overpowered his height with the passionate drive of his heart. In doing so, he taught his fans to be ferociously determined, optimistically courageous, and enthusiastically perseverant while working toward our dreams. And for that, Marcus Stroman, Toronto loves you back.
Image courtesy of SportingNews.com.