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Cardinals' Miles Mikolas shows off his wardrobe

Dec 31, 2023Dec 31, 2023

John Denton

This story was excerpted from John Denton's Cardinals Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Miles Mikolas suffered a somewhat heartbreaking loss last Sunday in Pittsburgh, falling despite giving up just two earned runs in the first inning and otherwise pitching brilliantly through traffic and danger over the next four frames.

However, Mikolas wasn't about to let the frustration of that loss -- one that ended his own personal four-game winning streak -- ruin the surprise he had in store for his teammates for the upcoming trip to Texas. Mikolas, who puts nearly as much thought into his wardrobe as he does frustrating hitters, had a themed wardrobe ready for Texas that included tan leather boots, tight-fitting jeans, an oversized belt buckle with an "M" in the heart of it and green patterned shirt.

"It's not bad, but I’ve got to go and look for a new cowboy hat when I get to Dallas," Mikolas said in all seriousness.

Known among his Cardinals teammates for his creativity and imagination as a pitcher who will throw any of his five pitches on any count and someone who often masterfully changes speeds, Mikolas also possesses quite the creative flair when it comes to his attire -- both for games at Busch Stadium and on the road. At home, Mikolas usually goes for laughs with the T-shirts and hats. Following a recent win against the Royals, Mikolas proudly wore a hat that featured the "flying W" logo that the late Waylon Jennings popularized in the 1970s to symbolize his freedom as an outlaw country musician. Mikolas is every bit the free spirit when it comes to his wardrobe, often picking something out to wear that has a hidden meaning.

"I've got some really good T-shirts," Mikolas said. "I like wearing the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Conan the Barbarian T-shirt on game days when I pitch because that really gets me pumped up.

"I've probably got like 15 kinds of goofy/funny shirts and I'm always in the market for some more," added Mikolas, who finds much of his inspiration for T-shirts from popular 1980s and ‘90s movies and TV shows. "I ordered some new ones a couple weeks ago and I'm waiting on them to get to St. Louis so I can break them out for the guys. I think it's funny and fun. Some of the MLB people take pictures of us when we get to the field, so I’ll break some of those out soon. I usually get good reactions from them."

Mikolas’ T-shirt collection -- one that includes the signature moments from 1980-’90s movies such as "Ghostbusters," "Tombstone," and "Tommy Boy," pales in comparison to the theme outfits that he dons for road trips. Last season, before a Cardinals trip to Toronto, Mikolas wore denim from head to toe for a look he dubbed his "Canadian Tuxedo." There's usually a method to his madness regardless of where the Cardinals are headed.

"When we go to Texas and Arizona, I like to wear my boots and the big belt buckle and kind of play the part," Mikolas said. "When we go to the big cities, I like to get all suited up in my nice pattern suit. When we go to New York, I like to get my best Wall Street going. I just try to keep it fun."

When Mikolas first made it to the Major Leagues in 2012 with the Padres, the veterans dressed in a highly professional manner for road trips and young players such as Mikolas were expected to fall in line.

"I’ll never forget that one time we had a casual flight, and we didn't have to wear ties on that flight," Mikolas recalled. "As I was leaving the clubhouse, Luke Gregerson had a suit and tie on and asked me, ‘Where's your tie?’ I told him ‘We didn't have to wear them on that trip.’ Then, he looked me dead in the face and deadpanned me and said, ‘Yeah, but don't you want to look professional? Don't you want to look like a big leaguer?’ I got the message, and I went and put on my tie. So, even now, I wear ties on most trips because I want to set a good example, look professional and look like a big leaguer."

Mikolas said his bushy, red mustache makes his cowboy ensemble look even more believable. He takes the most pride in wearing a couple of the new three-piece suits he owns, but he also thrives when the theme is quirky and weird.

"Maybe we’ll do something fun with Miami coming up," said Mikolas, a native of Jupiter, Fla. "Maybe we’ll go full beach wear or even super casual with board shorts and tank tops with beach umbrellas. Maybe we’ll put some water wings on the rookies, or maybe rubber duck floaties and make that a fun trip. The guys on the team are always up for some fun and I love to play along."