Evan Longoria And Fernando Perez With Rayhawks. James Borchuck via TampaBay.com
It began with the team’s rebel, or the team’s clown: you know, the guy with a bit of an attitude, a showcase of tattoos, a slew of jokes, and a can of whipped cream in his locker. Most teams have at least one of these spunky characters, and it only fits that his big personality sport the haircut to match his attitude. And even though his hairstyle may go covered, be it by batting helmet or cap, it still leaves an impression among fans and teammates. The distinguished coiffure is now familiar to baseball fans. It is the mohawk, and its younger brother, the fauxhawk, and these two trending trouble makers have swept like a storm through dugouts and bullpens across the Big Leagues in recent years. Who knew that America’s favorite past-time would one day embrace a symbol of her counter-culture?
Today we will take a look at some of the most beloved (and sometimes- most despised) ‘hawks of Major League Baseball, starting with theÂ historic Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, whose teammates (and manager!)Â beat the September heat by chopping off their curly locks for much cooler ‘hawks. This club was whole-hair-dedly devoted to a style which has been thus dubbed the Rayhawk. The Rayhawk, a scaled-down buzzed rendition of a traditional mohawk one might see in the mosh pit at The Casualties show, is the perfect solution for a mohawk that must fit under a batting helmet or ballcap. Tampa Bay boys known to sport the Rayhawk include BJ Upton, Edwin Jackson, Jonny Gomes, Fernando Perez, Eric Hinske, Akinori Iwamura, and basically, the rest of the line-up. Eventually, even Rays’ manager Joe Maddon did the ‘do, a symbolic gesture to unify the team.
Currently, the Rayhawk, and new evolutions of the style, can be seen making a steady comeback in Tampa Bay. None other than the previously bearded and be-hawked newcomer, Johnny Damon, sports a fine fauxhawk, a style bent like Beckham’s, a mohawk variation that comes to a point in the middle, at the crown of the head, but without the shaved sides of traditional ‘hawks. Much like he can be traced to the resurgence of the beard in Major League Baseball, Johnny Damon, to my knowledge, is the father of the mohawk in Major League Baseball. He is the spikey catalyst that started it all; a true trend-setter of various hairy occupations.
The Detroit Tigers Show Off Fresh 'Hawks. Reuters via Daylife.com
Another team who succumbed to this mohawky madness was the Detroit Tigers of 2010. There is a connection here: to the aforementioned influencer JohnnyÂ Damon, of course. This MoTown bunch immediately embraced the mohawk. Over ten Tigers teammates went under the razor in between games during a doubleheader against the Yankees (a team well-known for discouraging such acts of hairy expression). Damon may have been the muse for the Tiger’s sudden follicle-frenzy, as he flaunted a ‘hawk of his own before these clubhouse shenanigans played out- but he claimed no responsibility.
Who more fitting to fashion five fauxhawk’d crowns than the Royals of Kansas City? The club’s bullpen adopted the fauxhawk earlier this season, as well as clever nicknames to match. The Royal’s ‘hawk roster includes: red-head Nate Adcock (Redhawk), Aaron Crow (Crowhawk), Hawaiian Kanekoa Texeira (Alohawk), vertically challenged Tim Collins (Minihawk), and African-American Jeremy Jeffress (Blackhawk). Word on the street says Royals’ closer Joakim Soria coerced the rookie arms to don the hawkdo’s as a hazing stunt, but the boys say they wanted ‘em. Either way, they rock their hawks. » Continue reading “Who Let The ‘Hawks Out?”