Thursday, February 17, 2011

Great Moments in Orioles Facial Hair History

Vladimir Guerrero reported to O's camp on Wednesday. So did his goatee.

Per Orioles Insider:
"He appeared to be in good shape and was sporting a goatee, which may have to come off under the Orioles restrictive facial hair policy."
If Vlad plays his cards right, he could add his name to the list of

Great Moments in Orioles Facial Hair History

Kevin Millar, The Hirsute Hitter (2006-2008)

Kevin Millar was one of Boston's beloved idiots. He tried to bring the same attitude to Baltimore. His efforts failed.

Here's some of the wisdom of Millar from Spring Training 2007, as reported then by Peter Schmuck.

"It's time to end that," Millar said of the facial hair policy. "Nine straight years of losing. It's time to show some hair." 

"Doesn't hair show personality? You want a team with personality. I think if you asked everyone in the clubhouse, they'd be in favor of growing facial hair."

Apparently Millar overstated his case. Not everyone cared. Said Chris Gomez: "I think this is Kevin's battle. I don't think anyone else really gives a crap."

Known to grow a beard to bust a slump, Millar instead shaved his head a year later. He promptly hit two home runs against the Angels. "Worth it to get the stroke back," Millar said in The Washington Post. "Hit .380 the next couple of months and 10 homers, I'll shave my eyebrows next year, look like Mona Lisa in spring training."

After signing with Toronto in 2009, Millar showed up to the Blue Jays' camp with long hair, a thick beard, and some zingers.

"It's nice to see they're still clean-shaven over there," Millar said of the Orioles. "The one plus over here is I don't have to shave, so I grow my beard out just for Aubrey [Huff]. It's a show beard. I have show hair and show beard and now I look like a ballplayer."

Orioles Bullpen, The Unity Stache (2007)

For some reason, athletes seem to use facial hair as bonding. Banned from having bears, the 2007 Orioles bullpen resorted to "the unity stache."

John Parrish summed it up thusly: "You like it? It looks kind of trashy."

Jay Gibbons & Co., Hairy Streakers (2005)

The 2005 Orioles were one win away from eliminating the facial hair ban under new manager Sam Perlozzo. They lost.

Here are the details, as provided by Jorge Arangure Jr. on Aug. 11, 2005, in the Washington Post.
Baltimore appears revived under Perlozzo, who is 4-2 since being given the job last Thursday. After the game rap music played loudly. Former manager Lee Mazzilli had banned postgame music. Several players have begun to show the makings of a beard. Mazzilli had banned facial hair.

"The more stuff we win, he said the more stuff we get," Gibbons said of his new manager. "The fourth win in a row we get facial hair. We're trying hard. We got that incentive."
The 2005 Orioles won four straight from Sept 10. through Sept. 13.

Lee Smith, Exception to the Rule? (1994)

By many accounts, Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who led a group of investors in a 1993 purchase of the team, is the source of the O's strict facial hair policy. If that's the case, there are multiple exceptions to the rule, including former closer Lee Smith. 

Consider this 1994 story by John Marshall of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "New brood of tough guys decides fierce, mean goatee can't  be beat"
Pro athletes, particularly baseball players, such as Orioles closer Lee Smith, seem to be in the forefront of the goatee explosion, with at least a few on almost every major league team joining in. But musicians and film stars are not far behind.
Mike Mussina, Rebel Without a Contract (1993)

Mike Mussina's rebellious stage emerged later than it does for most. Mussina grew a goatee prior to signing a new contract in 1993, as reported by the Associated Press.
Now that he's got a new contract, Mike Mussina can shave that scraggly goatee off his face. Mussina had been referring to the goatee as his "Rebel Without a Contract" look. But after agreeing to terms with the Baltimore Orioles on a one-year pact Wednesday, the facial hair is history.

"Yeah, I'm gonna shave it," he said. "I would have shaved it today, but I didn't have a chance."
Ending the Beard Ban, Rick Sutcliffe (1992)

The Orioles' beard ban pre-dated Peter Angelos. Perhaps he reinstated the rule after noted rebel Johnny Oates (that's sarcasm, folks) let the Orioles run around looking like a bunch of hippies.

Per The Sun's Peter Schmuck in '92 -
Of course, it all started with [Rick Sutcliffe], whose trademark red beard was not allowed to become an issue when he was negotiating a contract with the Orioles last winter. Manager Johnny Oates, who owns a conservative mustache (and even wears it on special occasions), decided to end the beard ban rather than make an unfair exception for Sutcliffe.

"Before I even knew the Orioles had a hair rule, Johnny told me that it wasn't a problem," said Sutcliffe, who insists that it wouldn't have been a problem anyway. "There will come a time when I shave it, because I look younger without it. When I start looking as old as Mike Flanagan, then I'll definitely shave it."

[Todd Frohwirth], who overpowers hitters with his unorthodox submarine delivery, hasn't needed anything else to make him a successful relief pitcher, but he still would like to fit in with the other members of the Orioles bullpen. Mike Flanagan has a mustache. Storm Davis has a perpetual 5 o'clock shadow. Even Alan Mills, the newest Orioles reliever, has a Fu Manchu.
Hall of Fame Hair, Eddie Murray (1977-1988, 1996)

No discussion of Orioles facial hair would be complete without mention of Eddie Murray. Brady Anderson had some chops, but Murray sported a chops-into-mustache look that was so legendary it ended up on a Hall of Fame T-shirt.

Finally, though it's not the Orioles, there's this classic Simpsons clip:

Have a favorite Orioles facial hair memory of your own? Add it in the comments section below.



Dave C said...

Maybe its time to get rid of the facial hair rule. Can't seem to win without beards, lets try with them. Granted guys like B-Rob will look like a 9th grader trying to look like his fake ID, but why not give it a shot. Maybe Jones will grow the Murray look you referenced or Luke Scott could have a nice soul patch. Could be fun.

Roar from 34 said...

Here, here. Nothing wrong with the team having a little personality to it.

Dave said...

You heard anything about the policy being suspended? Watching the game tonight a handful of Os had at least goatee if not a beard going. Just spring traninng?

Roar from 34 said...

Showalter and MacPhail convinced Peter Angelos to relax the policy a bit. Apparently the new policy is "Keep it presentable."

Here's a link to The Sun's story -

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