The monocle almost didn’t make it to Justin Meekins’ picture day.
Meekins, a senior outfielder at Salisbury University in Maryland who bears a strong resemblance to former MLB outfielder Jayson Werth, needed that monocle from Amazon Prime. It had to accompany his long locks, curled-up mustache and stone-cold glare.
It arrived with two minutes to spare, when Meekins’ dad dropped it off on campus.
And with that, the outfit was complete. For the third straight year, Meekins would have a roster picture that looked different from any of his teammates’.
“I just thought I would do something different again,” said Meekins, whose style first went viral thanks to The Podcast About Division III Baseball. “I don’t think there’s anything more different than wearing a monocle in a roster picture. It kind of just came out of being a weird guy and embracing my weirdness.”
For Meekins, dressing up on picture day — or any day — is nothing new. He often frequents thrift stores, and will wear anything from a fur coat to a bandana.
So sophomore year, when he was in line with a teammate, they thought of what he could do that was different. And Meekins — a self-described “pretty weird guy” — said the first thing he thought of was putting his hair in front of his face. The glasses were his. Junior year, he again wore glasses, but added a new twist: curling his mustache. His dad thought it’d be funny. And so a tradition was born.
The attention has followed. Meekins was recently recognized while walking to the dining hall with a teammate.
“Somebody walked by us and said, ‘Oh, you’re that guy,'” he recalled. “And I was like, ‘What guy are you talking about?’ And he said, ‘You’re the picture guy.'”
While he’s enjoying the limelight, Meekins is quick to deflect the attention his pictures receive toward Division III Salisbury, which is off to a 4-2 start and made the NCAA regionals last season.
“We’re kind of on the map I guess you could say,” Meekins said. “I think the best part is that our program and our school are getting recognition, too.
“I wasn’t expecting all this but it’s really cool. I didn’t think it was going to be this crazy. But it’s definitely a lot of fun.”
As for the monocle, it’s still in the locker room, and Meekins said he’ll take it home with him if it’s still there at the end of the season.
“It will be able to tell a story of how I had my three days of fame from a little Amazon monocle that I bought,” Meekins said. “It turned out to be a pretty big hit.”