Marcus Stroman pumps The 6ix in Players Tribune piece
The Blue Jays ace recalls the moments he knew that Toronto was the city for him, which wasn’t necessarily the case when he was drafted out of Duke University
Marcus Stroman is a man of many pitches. He’s also a man of many talents off the field, and earlier today released this love letter to the city of Toronto on The Player’s Tribune.
If you’re still needing that little extra something to spark your excitement for Toronton’s home opener later tonight, Stroman’s got the prescription.
“Toronto is a baseball city,” he begins. “No, I’m serious. I know you probably don’t know this — especially if you don’t live here. You have to really experience it to know what I’m talking about. But just trust me. Toronto. Is. A. Baseball. City.”
Stroman recalls the night before Game 1 of the 2015 ALDS when he and several teammates attended a Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre. Following a video display on the video screen, a chant of Let’s Go Blue Jays echoed from the crowd well after puck drop. “
“We had a Blue Jays chant going,” Stroman writes, “… in a hockey arena … in Canada. That’s baseball city status.”
He hasn’t always known this, though, and admits that when he was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2012, he wasn’t nearly as optimistic about his new home.
“When I got drafted by the Blue Jays out of Duke in 2012, I was pretty upset about it. I didn’t want to go to Canada. I didn’t know anything about Toronto. All I knew was that it wasn’t New York, where I’m from. It wasn’t Duke. It was Canada. It was a different country.
Stroman also speaks about how Toronto is not just a baseball city. It’s a basketball city, a music city, a food city, and he’s grown to love the support that each group lends to the other. The loud, dynamic style is something that Stroman and his teammates carry over onto the field, and they have no intentions of reeling that in despite the grumblings of baseball’s self-appointed gate keepers.
“We’re just going to do everything in our power to go out there and get a win every day. We’re going to have fun with it. We’re going to let our personality show. We’re going to let our emotions show. And if you have a problem with that, you’re going to have to deal with it.”
Stroman has quickly become one of Major League Baseball’s more recognizable faces. Whether he be marketing his own HDMH (Height Doesn’t Measure Heart) brand, appearing in Mike Stud rap videos, or finishing his degree at Duke University, this is a uniquely dynamic individual. Frankly, one with the potential to be the face of professional sports in Toronto.
“I’ll never be the biggest guy on the field,” Stroman writes. “But I’m going to go out every day and compete like I am. And Toronto will never be the biggest city. We’re not New York. We’re not Boston. We’re not Chicago. We’re Toronto. And we’re out to show everybody what that means.”
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*Editor’s note: For the many of you who are still reading “The 6ix” with a tilted head, and I know you’re out there, allow me to reach out a hand. Toronto’s area code of ‘416’ is often shortened to ‘The 6″ by the trendy many who have a little more style than myself. Perhaps it’s a symptom of the Drake-ification of all things Toronto, but I digress. Does “The 6ix” fit within a purist’s understanding of the English language, or even logic? Perhaps not. But, it’s a thing, and people seem to quite enjoy it.