SEATTLE -- It didn't take long for the "Larry Bernandez" T-shirt craze to catch on in the Mariners' clubhouse on Thursday.
The same day Nike came out with a shirt with the outline of Felix Hernandez's mutton-chopped likeness used in Mariners TV commercials, infielder Jack Wilson and backup catcher Chris Gimenez saw the shirts and made a decision.
"We thought it was funny, so I was going to grab one," said Wilson. "Then Chris wanted one, so we were going to get two. Then we started checking around and I just said, 'Get 30 of 'em.'"
So it was that every Mariners player and coach found a "Larry" shirt in their locker on Thursday before Hernandez took the mound to face the Rays.
"I walked in and saw Chris [DeWitt], our clubhouse guy, with one and I said, 'Dude, I've got to get one,'" Gimenez said. "That's the best shirt I've ever seen. That commercial is hilarious."
The TV spot shows Hernandez trying to fool manager Eric Wedge into letting him pitch on his off-day by showing up in a "Bernandez" jersey, wearing considerable facial hair as a disguise. That hair makes for the outline on the Nike shirts that are being sold at Mariners Team Stores for $22.
The shirts are not to be confused with the recently released yellow "King's Court" shirts being handed out to fans who purchase tickets in a special section at Safeco Field for games in which Hernandez pitches.
"Between this and his yellow shirts, he's creating his own clothing line here," said Gimenez. "He can call it 'Larry Wear.'"