John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers recently announced his Moustache Legends All-Star Team Roster. Axford’s bristly picks were perfect, but beneath their whiskered exterior, there was a giant beard-sized void. That’s right, Axford, by nature a moustache aficionado, did not nominate any bodacious beards to his team of ‘stached stars, which leaves the tickling task to the ladies at Aerys Sports.
With no further ado, fans of beards and baseball, I am pleased to announce your All-Beard All-Stars:
Dave Martinez (coach)
Dave Martinez is the clear decision for the All-Beard coach. Martinez is bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, where the climate reaches uncomfortable (and sticky) levels of heat and humidity; but even the weather fails to stop Papa Beard from letting it all grow out. That level of dedication (and woolliness) is precisely what an All-Beard Team needs to look up to.
Fans of beards everywhere found the silver lining to Red Sox Johnnny Damon’s outfield collision in 2003, which yielded a concussion and jaw injury that prevented the Cave Man from shaving for many months. Unfortunately, this facial hair fable has a sad ending: when Damon signed with the New York Yankees in 2005, he was forced to shave his magnificent mane, due to the club’s strict (and spiteful) anti-beard policy. This controversial team switch (and coveted beard) inspired the timeless cry of Boston fans: “Looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, throws like Mary.”
Sergio Romo’s wonderful whiskers score bonus points for the All-Beard squad, because the Giants‘ Romo rocks a scrupulously sculpted combo– the full-facial beard and moustache combo. Think of Romo as the Extra Value Meal of the team: you wanted a hamburger (or in this case, an awesome beard), and the kid at the drive-thru gave you a soda and fries with that (or a mighty moustache).
If Nick Blackburn had a pirate name, it would definitely be Blackbeard. Alas, there are few pirates in Minnesota due to the landlocked nature of the state, and the fact that pirate ships are typically too large for lakes, even if you have 1,000 of them. Check out this disgraceful Facebook page made for Blackburn’s blackbeard. If you are the owner of this shameful page, please hastily post a photo of the blackbeard. No wonder only one person “likes” it.
Koyie Hill has a young bear of a beard. One might say his face resembles a Cub, and one would be absolutely right, because Hill indeed is a Cub– species Cubbus chicagoans. If you choose to search Google for “Koyie Hill Beard,” be prepared for a smattering of mediocre yet wonderfully beard-oriented Chuck Norris jokes. SPOILER: Beard beats Norris.
I first scouted Casey Blake’s delightfully fuzzy beard at Dodger Stadium many summers ago. I was so struck by this third baseman’s face, I may or may not have dropped my Dodger Dog. Dodger fans were so inspired by Blake’s beard that T-shirts are sold in its honor, bearing the slogan “In Beard We Trust.” Amen.
As of late, Kevin Youkilis’ beard appears rather anemic, but let us push that knowledge aside for a moment, and make room for the glorious Ghost of Beards Past. We are gathered here today to discuss a great beard; of all beards in the MLB, this fine specimen from Boston looks the most like a lumberjack. Kevin, you-kill-us with your amazing Paul Bunyan beard. I’m starting a campain: “Bring Back the Lumberjack.”
El Beardtista de Jose is widely popular in the Toronto crowd– and with good reason. Jose is having a remarkable season of both facial hair and four-baggers (31 so far). Fans have speculated that the beard is somehow linked to Jose’s success, like a modern-day Samson story. Regardless of whether or not the length and strength of Bautista’s beard has an effect on his playing power, one thing is for certain: Bautista’s beard is a homerun.
Do not let Jayson Werth’s nonchalance fool you: this beard is far from Werth-less. The Phillies’ player disappointed beard fans when he had very little to say about his blonde bristles in an interview with Todd Zolecki:
Q: You want to steal more bases. Speed is a big part of your game. Do you worry the hair piece is going to slow you down?
A: I’m not wearing a hair piece.
Q: No, the beard.
A: No, I’m not worried about it.
Q: Will you taper down for the season?
A: I’m not sure.
Q: It’s attractive.
A: Thank you.
And finally, without further ado, the All-Beard All-Star M.V.P.:
Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson’s brawny beard is nothing short of beautiful. It is a beard so brilliant, so beefy, and so breath-taking, that it will be undoubtedly idolized for centuries of seasons to come. Wilson’s beard is an icon and a beacon of hope that shines true in foggy San Francisco. Even Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig recognizes Wilson’s beard as baseball’s true savior:
“…He has a beard. But not just any beard. It’s a dark black beard and it’s large ” almost comically so. Plus, he’s really intense about his beard. So we’re very confident that Brian Wilson and his beard will resonate all across the country and get people excited about baseball.”
Excitement about baseball, excitement about beards: two timeless traditions that go together. Fear the beard. Respect the beard. Honor the beard. Celebrate the All-Beard All-Stars.
Shout-outs to Aerys writers Megan Wells, Julie DiCaro, and Sarah Tyson for their All-Beard All-Star player nominations.
Edit: The Bautista bomb count was at 31, not 30, as of the time the post was published. It seems that I underestimated his beard’s power, even though I watched him hit number 31.