After he missed all of the 2021 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery, San Diego Padres pitcher Mike Clevinger is back and quickly reminded us all of something. He’s got long hair and is not afraid to use it.
Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs was Clevinger’s second start back and first at home since returning from Tommy John Surgery. Clevinger marked the occasion of his first start in San Diego since 2020 with a different hairdo than what we normally see from MLB players — pigtails.
Mike Clevinger rocking the pigtails in his second start pic.twitter.com/zLrIzCLd8l
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) May 11, 2022
That’s a bold choice. And it got the attention of baseball fans everywhere.
As would be expected, there were several humorous comparisons.
Mike Clevinger is out there with actual Wendy’s pigtails right now
— Dan Long (@DLoExpress) May 11, 2022
i know someone did not say mike clevinger look like the wendy's lady with his pigtails
— carli (@carliaclifton) May 11, 2022
Hey @Wendys endorse this man. https://t.co/Cl5KeQZor6
— A.J. Martelli (@AJ_Martelli) May 11, 2022
the Willie Nelson kinda works for him https://t.co/YuSD3kdgVI
— Spahn Ranch Doritos (@scratchbomb) May 11, 2022
Padres SP Clevinger has the Pippi Longstocking look going! pic.twitter.com/nDouFuY1z2
— Eric Alexander (@Ericslosingit) May 11, 2022
I'm just happy for Wednesday Addams that she finally realized her dream of being a big league pitcher. https://t.co/aNsQHQZrUx
— Earl F***ing Weaver (@EarlFckinWeaver) May 11, 2022
Me, when my sister’s out of town and I have to French braid my own hair 😢 https://t.co/riBPBb3YkA
— Ria Otero (@RiaOtero) May 11, 2022
Melissa Gilbert (as Laura Ingalls) wore it better. https://t.co/3i1Td1AFgb pic.twitter.com/ktlYTeHMNP
— Yakyu Night Owl (@yakyunightowl) May 11, 2022
Beyond the comparisons, Clevinger’s unusual hairstyle drew several different reactions.
This is…new. https://t.co/N9xjgpwVBK
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) May 11, 2022
That’s a look https://t.co/KifF9utHcl
— Brian Hall (@MNBrianHall) May 11, 2022
Honestly though he has pretty good volume in those braids. https://t.co/GFlVaF8Syv
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) May 11, 2022
hell yeah, brother https://t.co/hY9je2k1f6
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) May 11, 2022
Hoping he pitches on #MLBSundayLeadoff so we can have him wear the Friar head until right before first pitch, when he'll dramatically reveal his hairstyle 💇♂️ https://t.co/751Dg4AT6T
— Ahmed Fareed (@FareedNBCS) May 11, 2022
A consistent trait among MLB players is superstition. In Clevinger’s first outing back, he went 4.2 innings, surrendered three hits, walked three, allowed three runs (all earned) and struck out four hitters. Given that it was his first outing after surgery and that the team won, it’s not a terrible outing. But all things considered, he can do a lot better.
The hairstyle is a natural thing to change. And if nothing else, seeing the pigtails in Clevinger’s hair has us asking one obvious question — what’s next? We can’t wait to find out.