Monday, November 8, 2010
The Best Moustaches in Baseball: Part Three
By Ian Hunter
Historically, baseball has been one of the largest professional sports to prominently feature moustache-clad players. And naturally over the years, this has created an vast talent pool of guys to choose from who have donned a lip sweater.
In honour of “Movember”, we’re taking a third look at some of the best cookie dusters that America’s national pastime has ever seen. Think of this as the “Return of the Jedi” of Moustaches - without any further adieu, here is the third installment of The Best Moustaches in Baseball.
Who knew that this blast from the past was part of the inaugural 1977 Blue Jays roster? Pete Vuckovich didn’t start growing his ‘stache until the 80’s with the Milwaukee Brewers, and his fu manchu quickly became one of the best in the American League. A pitcher by trade, Vuckovich also made made an appearance in the film “Major League” as the character Clu Haywood.
Most folks know Bill Buckner as the guy who let one slip between his legs, however he should also be remember for letting one hell of a caterpillar grow between his nose and mouth. As you can see, Buckner was a very furry fellow, as the girth of his moustache also matched his eyebrows. So really, it looks like Bill Buckner has three moustaches on his face.
At one point in his career, Catfish Hunter was the highest paid pitcher in the game. And rightfully so, moustache upkeep back in the day probably ate into 25% of a baseball player’s salary alone. Catfish Hunter along his Oakland A’s teammates Ken Holtzman and Rollie Fingers were involved in the infamous facial hair contest of 1972. Rollie obviously won.
Much to the effect of Tom Selleck, there are some men that you just can’t picture without a moustache. For the better part of his career, Davey Lopes has always had a ‘stache: from his playing days, to a brief stint as a manager of Brewers, and it has now transformed into a goatee as a first base coach with the Phillies.
Eddie Murray – Orioles
No, that isn’t the “Rent Is Too Damn High” guy, it’s Hall of Famer Eddie Murray. Aside from his offensive threat and Golden Glove, Murray will be remembered for his ability to connect his sideburns to his moustache which can only be described as the “epitome of awesome” in the facial follicle arts.
Bobby Valentine owned perhaps the most notorious fake moustache in history, but I couldn’t get away with excluding this creative number. We all remember how he was tossed from a game, only to emerge later donning a moustache and glasses. Let’s just say that if that’s the kind of disguise Bobby Valentine can come up with, he shouldn’t quit his day job to be an employee for the Witness Protection Program.
In the cavern of darkness of facial hair, Dennis Lamp is the beacon that guides us towards the light of amazing moustaches. Lamp spent 19 seasons in the majors, 3 of which were with the Toronto Blue Jays. He will always be remembered for not only his curveball, but the curvature on his moustache.
Here's another moustache lifer, Luis Tiant, who still has his signature handlebars to this day. Tiant's moustache complied with the infamous New York Yankees facial hair policy, which kind of makes me respect him even more. And Luis Tiant also has his own line of cigars, which may or may not smell of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.
There you have it folks - the third round of the Best Moustaches in Baseball. If you think there's anyone that I've missed that hasn't already been covered in part one, part two please email me and I'll be sure to include them next year.
For the time being, I'm attempting to follow in the footsteps of our facial follicle forefathers and growing a moustache of my own for Movember. Please check out my Mo Space and donate if you can.
So after seeing all those beautifully constructed moustaches, it all comes back to the question posed at the beginning of this blog post: does the man make the moustache, or does the moustache make the man?
I can't help but think it's a little bit of both.