Sports, Town Talk

Get to Know: Mike Claiborne

You’ve likely heard Mike Claiborne’ voice on KMOX Radio and seen his face on TV, but now you can catch up with him on the pages of Town&Style as well. The longtime sportscaster and writer is penning a new T&S column, Off the Cuff with Claiborne, which takes a personal look at the players, coaches and execs of St. Louis sports—including their sartorial style and fascinating stories. “We’ll talk to non-sports figures as well, like entertainers and celebs,” he says. “I’m looking forward to sitting down with the people St. Louisans want to hear from.”

Claiborne is a local from top to toe. Born and raised in St. Louis and having spent his career here, he knows the metro better than most, and that makes him a perfect fit for this equally homegrown magazine. So does the fact that he’s a fixture in the sports world, with deep roots among players, managers and other influentials.

plans for the column …
I’m looking forward to doing fun stuff about fashion and style. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak is scheduled for an interview, and I want to talk with players like pitcher Jack Flaherty as well. It’s always interesting to see them dressed up and leaving the stadium after games. I’d also like to reach out to other guys with local connections, like Cedric the Entertainer.

formative moments …
A lot of different people inspired me and helped me along in my career. Guys like Mike Shannon, Jack Buck, and Bob Ramsey of the Billikens were very good to me in the early stages when I wasn’t yet sure what I was doing. I feel like I’ve worked with pretty much everyone in local radio, and I’ve tried to learn something from them all.

pearls of wisdom …
I try to mentor young people coming into the broadcasting business and make sure they have a chance to grow. They might make some mistakes, but I help them learn how not to make them twice. I like to take young folks to dinner and hear what’s going on in their worlds. I explain how it took a lot of grunt work to get where I am. It’s not an easy path, and no one should take it for granted.

what I tell people about the StL …
Overall, it’s a nice town, and the people are good to outsiders. I believe we still have some racial issues to deal with that you don’t necessarily see in other places. I think cities like Denver, Atlanta and Austin have it figured out better than we do. With that said, St. Louis is still a great place to live and have fun. I’m blessed to work here.

my own style …
I am definitely a shopper and a clothes person. I think I gravitate most toward realistic fashion; I sometimes look at men’s style magazines and think, how am I going to wear that to work? Well-made clothes and good bargains are my thing.

what is fun for me …
I am not into cold weather. Put me somewhere warm, and I’m happy. I love to read, watch TV and movies, play golf and work out, and I would fish more if I could. Music-wise, I’m old-school—I like pretty much everything but rap. Motown, The Eagles, George Clinton, the Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oates—give me some musicians who really can play or do a great vocal solo.

food for thought …
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, The Capital Grille and Cafe Napoli are the local restaurants that stand out for me. I’m out of town a lot, but I try to plan a visit to one of those at least once or twice a week. I like to cook, too—I have a shrimp recipe I’m particularly good with, and I can grill a steak with the best of them. Turkey with fixings is something I can eat all year, no need to wait until Thanksgiving. I like to have fun in the kitchen, but I am a finicky eater; I only do a few vegetables like spinach and corn. You can have the rest.

where I hang out …
I’m not a big cigar guy, but I do like Stanley’s Cigar Lounge on Washington Avenue. When friends call and say they are in town, I usually meet them someplace like Truffles in Ladue. In my off hours, I like to be in an environment where I can relax and talk about other things besides batting orders.

on the horizon …
I don’t really have a career bucket list, because I feel like I’ve already covered it all! Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup … even boxing. I’ve never had a bad event. I’ve followed the Blues since I was a kid, and I cried like a baby when they won the Cup. I think I actually got dehydrated.

Check out our first April issue for Mike Claiborne’s inaugural Off the Cuff interview!

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Get to Know: Mike Claiborne
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Get to Know: Mike Claiborne
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You've likely heard Mike Claiborne' voice on KMOX Radio and seen his face on TV, but now you can catch up with him on the pages of Town&Style as well.
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TownAndStyle.com
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