Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The Best Moustaches in Baseball: Part Four
By Ian Hunter
No one can explain exactly why, but there's something very special about the relationship between the moustache and the sport of baseball. While the moustache itself is not limited to one specific sport, it's history is most closely tied in with baseball.
Now they are viewed more of as a novelty, but there was a time when growing a moustache was a right of passage for a baseball player. Take a look through a stack of old baseball cards from the 70's or 80's, and you'd be hard pressed to not find some sweet staches.
The deep-rooted heritage between moustaches and baseball grows much longer than the hairs on Rollie Fingers' soup trainer. So we must venture further up the nostrils of baseball moustache history with another installment of the Best Moustaches in Baseball.
It's very rare in this age in baseball to find a player who has spent his entire career with just two teams. Grich played 17 seasons in total, split between the Orioles and the Angels.
And through most of his career, he donned a well-coiffed moustache. Bravo Mr. Grich, bravo.
Representing the fu manchu contingency on this year's list, Bob McClure's moustache is reminiscent of the moustache glory days.
For full effect, McClure combined his cookie duster with the throwback Milwaukee Brewers cap and a head of hair that would even make Ron Burgundy a little jealous.
Gaetti has the distinction of being the only player in baseball history to hit home runs in his first two playoff plate appearances.
That kind of posteason prowess can be attributed in large part to his moustache, since the opposing pitcher Frank Viola likely lost his focus while admiring Gaetti's moustache.
Dwyer played for a total of seven teams throughout his career, but was known as the quintessential pinch hitter. He ranks 16th all time with 103 pinch hits.
Not that any child dreams of growing up to be a professional pinch hitter, but judging by his photo with the Expos, Matt Stairs must have taken after Jim Dwyer as a prolific pinch hitter himself.
I know this looks like a photo of a character that Adam Sandler concocted for his next box office flip, but I assure you Ken Phelps and his accompanying moustache are in fact very real.
In my opinion, Phelps not only takes the cake for the top moustache in this edition, but overall hilarious baseball card photo as well.
Dave Winfield doesn't necessarily win style points with his traditional moustache, but it's the longevity of his moustache that deserves recognition.
Much like iconic mastachioed men such as Burt Reynolds and Tom Sellick before him, it's hard to imagine Winfield without his moustache.
As is shown in his picture to the left, Robin Yount mastered the art of business in the front, party in the back, and distinction above his upper lip.
Yount was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but perhaps his distinction as one of the best moustaches in baseball is equally as impressive. Except it doesn't come with a bronze plaque ... yet.
Lastly, Rick Sweet caps off this year's crop with another bushy cookie duster. And I have to say, it's a very sweet stache, indeed.
Sweet represents the third Seattle Mariners moustache on this year's list, which leads me to believe the Mariners instituted mandatory moustaches for each player on the roster.
And just in case part four of the Best Moustaches in Baseball just only began to tickle your fancy for lip ticklers, be sure to check out the three previous installments:
The Best Moustaches in Baseball
The Best Moustaches in Baseball: Part Two
The Best Moustaches in Baseball: Part Three
Let's not forget the entire reason for all of this, Movember. I'm sure there's somebody you know; a friend, coworker or family member who is growing a moustache this November to help support Prostate Cancer Research. Please do what you can and support those participating in Movember.
After all, come month's end, most of those moustaches may be gone, but thanks to the internet, the best moustaches in baseball will live on forever.