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Fashion in the clubhouse is Miles Ahead, so what goes on everyone else’s shirt?

Jeff Jones



Two weeks ago, a curious fashion trend took hold in the Cardinals clubhouse. Miles Mikolas, once-mustachioed starting pitcher, was suddenly doubling as a t-shirt model. His face adorned shirts seen on a handful of players, complete with a slogan reading “Miles Ahead.” Reliever Sam Tuivailala published an Instagram post highlighting the shirts on the backs of him, Mikolas, Matt Bowman, and Michael Wacha.

The trend, apparently, is catching. Reliever Jordan Hicks was the first person to comment on Tuivailala’s post in inquiry after his own shirt. He’s since received it. So have the rest of his teammates.

Marcell Ozuna has modified his to remove the sleeves in order to make it a more fitting workout garment. Many others have worn them under warmup jerseys into the batting cages, bullpen, and other recesses of the park. The timing of the shirts’ emergence is curious, especially given their provenance. Mikolas’s representation is apparently behind the effort which might serve to boost his profile ever so slightly ahead of a potential All-Star appearance.

If Mikolas has the capacity to be a shirt model, though, so too do his teammates. Tuivailala half-joked that there could be a lucrative market in developing a line which covers the whole clubhouse, and many players had ideas for their own models.

John Brebbia was amenable to the suggestion that a line of “Long John Brebbia” shirts could catch on if he were to make a string of extended relief appearances. He seemed to prefer a donut motif for the shirts, but a pirate theme was also suggested.

Brebbia also seemed open to a shirt which may have some technological constraints – his face, stark and alone, accompanied by magnetic technology which could allow the wearer or his or her friends to design their own Brebbia beard. A wearable Wooly Willy featuring a professional athlete.

Kolten Wong opted for simplicity. “The Wong One” was his idea, though he did begrudgingly admit that, “there’s a lot you can do with Wong.” Wong was also particularly enthused by the idea of an interactive Brebbia beard shirt.

So too was Tuivailala, who seemed concerned that Mikolas might be vindictive if the t-shirt designs were left up to him. “Probably my head on a Moana body,” Tuivailala said. “Or something with pineapples. Miles likes pineapples.”

Tuivailala conceded that his name poses a challenge to even the most committed pun writers, thus creating a hurdle for a creative team which might seek to profit off the melding of a Disney princess and a professional athlete.

The concept, though, sounds pretty funny.

Jeff Jones is the host of Locked On Cardinals. He covers the Cardinals and St. Louis Blues for St. Louis Game Time and 920 AM WGNU. He got a high five from Lou Brock after Dmitri Young’s triple in game four of the 1996 NLCS. He probably doesn’t hate the Cubs as much as you do.

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