Marcus Stroman delivers in the clutch for the struggling Mets in a 4-1 win against the Nats on Thursday in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Citi Field. Stro Show pitched a shutout into the sixth inning.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: haters are Marcus Stroman’s motivators.
At 5 feet, 8 inches tall, Stroman is probably the shortest pitcher in the MLB, and he’s fueled by the doubters that believe height is synonymous with talent.
The proof is in his wardrobe. Yes, his wardrobe.
For years the Mets’ pitcher lived by the saying “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart,” or “HDMH.” Initially, Stroman was told that he would be too short to be a starting pitcher at Duke. He proved the doubters wrong. Not only did Stroman play three seasons at Duke, but he also currently holds the sixth-lowest career ERA in Duke history.
After Stroman became the starting pitcher at Duke, the haters changed their tune. He wasn’t too short to pitch at Duke, but he would definitely be too short to get drafted in the first round of the MLB draft.
He proved the doubters wrong again. In 2012, Stroman was the 22nd pick in the MLB draft. However, getting drafted was one thing. With his height, there couldn’t possibly be any way for him to become a starting pitcher.
As it stands today, Stroman has started 148 games since launching his MLB career in 2014. He has a winning record of 54-51. And this season he returned home to the Mets and is sporting a career-low 2.70 ERA as part of a pitching staff that has given up the least earned runs in baseball as of Tuesday (108).
Angry and inspired by the outside noise, Stroman tattooed “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart” on his chest.
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) January 30, 2013
The slogan had inspired him through college and all the way to the MLB. Nowadays, he also wears the acronym on his clothes.
His apparel brand, HDMH, was born of an idea to inspire and encourage others, while also reminding them to block out the outside noise.
According to the HDMH mission statement, the clothing company came to be after Stroman had been motivated by all the talk and opinions from others. He wanted to start a movement to remind others that outside opinions are irrelevant. Now, thanks to Stroman’s clothing site, anyone can wear his mantra with pride.
The Heart Doesn’t Measure Height brand currently has 30,900 followers across its Twitter and Instagram accounts. Stroman also promotes the brand on his personal social media accounts, which have a combined follower count of over 1 million people.
The brand offers clothing options for men, women, children and adults. The overall vibe of the inventory offered is casual and athletic.
The site offers a wide variety of athletic wear including HDMH baseball jerseys, jumpsuits and socks. For baseball players of all ages, the site also sells HDMH gloves, backpacks and hats.
HDMH’s clientele is diverse. Mets’ catcher Tomas Nido is the latest MLB player to rep the brand. He was seen in an HDMH hat during his press conference on May 17.
The brand is also popular amongst kids. The HDMH Twitter page is loaded with tweets of parents who proudly show off their kids wearing HDMH gear.
— NPMYAC Raiders Baseball and Softball (@npmyac) April 13, 2021
Hanukkah present that got lost in the mail just showed up. Pure joy. He wants to go throw. pic.twitter.com/GQVhn8MDVN
— Howie Kendrick Lamar Latrell Sprewell (@_BenBecker) January 11, 2021
In a world now dominated by COVID-19, the latest addition to Stroman’s apparel brand is face masks. Fans have taken the time to promote the masks across social media platforms as well.
— BlueJaysMamma (@LaurieWulfand) February 23, 2021
HDMH’s social media presence has grown along with the hashtag #HDMH. What started as a simple trend to motivate Stroman, has now become a community of people of all ages who are determined to block out the outside noise.
MLbbro.com told you early in the season to keep an eye on the New York Mets rotation and the squad’s melanated mound marauders; Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman. The team from Queens is one of just two MLB rotations with two Black starting pitchers.
(Seattle Mariners pitchers Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn comprise the other Black starter tandem)
On Tuesday, both pitchers carried their whole weight in leading the Mets to a sweep of NL East rival Philadelphia.
It was exactly the kind of performance that Mets brass hoped for when they decided to bring these two potential Black aces into the fold to round out what could eventually be the best pitching staff in baseball.
Final line from Marcus Stroman:
6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3K
Well done sir ? pic.twitter.com/j1OBb5Nwlk
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 14, 2021
Both pitchers have basically been lights out. Stroman has a 0.37 ERA and in 12.1 innings pitched he’s given up just 1 run on a homer and eight hits.
He wants all the smoke. At 5-foot-7 he’s a walking billboard for his branded HDMH slogan: “Heart Don’t Measure Height.” Let’s not forget he’s doing all this while fighting social justice causes and responding to idiots all day long on Twitter,
That heart was on full display. After getting his start cut short during a nine-pitch rainout on Sunday, instead of waiting his normal five days to start again, Stroman went Rough Ryder DMX on em’ and came back on one day’s rest to hurl 6 innings of no-run, four-hit ball, in a performance fit for framing.
He was efficient, throwing 86 pitches to lead the Mets to a 4-0 shutout win over the Phillies.
Stroman’s outing followed a spicy effort by Walker, who set the day off like Queen Latifah with the semi-auto, hurling 4.1 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball with a whopping 8 strikeout. Yeah, he was throwing ched,
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 14, 2021
This short, but masterful outing follows Walker’s first Citifield start in which he surrendered just two runs in 6 innings. Both of Walker’s efforts ended in a no-decision, but he pitched more than well enough to win.
Walker’s a live arm that the Mets signed to shore up the rotation. At just 28 years of age and having pitched for some pretty average to bad teams in his career, there was much optimism that Walker could really turn up this season on a Mets team that has the pieces to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.
These Black Knights are what we would call X-factors for the Mets this season. How far the Mets advance will strongly depend on the performance of their bros in arms. Both are playing on the best team of their career and if they pitched to their abilities, both could easily have career campaigns. It really comes down to staying healthy.
Walker’s durability is always in question. Entering the season the 6-foot-4 heat hurler had started just 15 MLB games since 2018.
There were skeptics who suggested that Stroman was more bark than bite based on the fact that he hasn’t had a winning record since 2017 and his ERA has fluctuated dramatically. Stroman knew better and entered the season healthy, confident and anxiously waiting for a team to explode on.
Marcus Stroman, Filthy 90mph Cutter/Slider and K Strut. ? pic.twitter.com/yD1aWKM3eT
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 14, 2021
The Mets already have a formidable staff with the best pitcher in the game (Jacob DeGrom) leading the way, To have two other pitchers capable of dominating at times comes in handy for the Mets, who currently have two key starters missing. Noah Syndergaard is on the shelf and No. 2 starter Carlos Carrasco is on the IL with a bad hammy.
Give it up for these brothers who continue to dismiss the myth that Black men don’t pitch…anymore.