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11 Athletes Who Shaved Their Heads for Charity

by: Esteban On  Tuesday, November 27, 2012

athletes who shaved their heads for charity

As we told you about yesterday, over the weekend two Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders, inspired by the battle of coach Chuck Pagano, shaved their heads in order to raise $20,000 for cancer research. And while this is certainly the most memorable charity head-shaving in sports history, it is hardly the first. Teams have been shaving their heads for years in order to raise money for cancer awareness, care, and research. So today I thought, why not take a look at some of the other sports personalities who have sheered their locks for a good cause?

Thus we have this list of athletes who shaved their heads for charity. It’s hardly comprehensive. In fact, it just barely scratches the surface. But it’s a start, and I hope it’ll encourage more teams to do stuff like this.

So let’s get started, shall we?

11. Rob Gronkowski

11 rob gronkowski getting head shaved for charity

Back in June, New England Patriots star TE Rob Gronkowski agreed to have his head buzzed at an event called the One Mission Kid’s Cancer Buzz Off, which raised money for the pediatric oncology unit at Boston Children’s hospital. It’s a nice gesture, and I have no intention of suggesting that Gronk doesn’t care about pediatric cancer research. He seems like a good guy who probably loves kids. (After all, he says he still is a kid.) That being said, you also have to admit that he seems like the kind of guy who do something like this just to meet chicks. I mean, I think he’d let some girl he just met at a bar shave his head for no reason at all if she was hot and willing to give him her phone number.

10. Milwaukee Admirals

10 milwaukee admirals shave heads for charity

After the last game of the 2010 season, the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL had a rather unique head-shaving event to raise money for the MACC Fund, which supports cancer research at several Wisconsin medical and research institutions. You see, the players didn’t just get pledges and then shave their heads. They let fans pay $20 a pop to cut locks off their heads. Then, after allowing 25 people to do that, one lucky person won the opportunity to shave the rest off with the clippers.

I have no idea if the fans got to keep the hair they cut, but I’m assuming not since that would be incredibly creepy.

9. Joe Maddon and the Rays

9 joe maddon tampa rays heads shaved for cancer charity

Joe Maddon and the Rays—sounds like a band name, doesn’t it?

Anyway, during spring training back in March of this year, Maddon spearheaded a huge fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and convinced 70 members of the Tampa Bay organization—including Evan Longoria, David Price, and owner Stu Sternberg—to shave their heads. Apparently they raised a quarter of a million bucks with this stunt. Not bad, right?

Also, is it just me, or does Maddon sort of look like Gene Hackman here?

8. South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball Team

8 south carolina gamecocks baseball

In March 2011, the Gamecocks baseball team shaved their heads to raise money for Camp Kemo, a summer camp for young cancer patients. They were inspired to do it by the story of Bayler Teal, a young South Carolina baseball fan who lost his courageous struggle against cancer in the summer of 2010. That 2010 Gamecocks baseball team dedicated their 2010 College World Series victory to Teal, and the 2011 team wanted to do something more to honor the kid’s memory.

Pretty touching, really.

7. Denison Big Red Baseball

7 denison big red baseball shaved heads cancer charity

Up next we have our second consecutive college baseball team. Earlier this month the put on an event they called “Basebald” to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s program, which is a volunteer-based charity that funds childhood cancer research. They set a modest goal of raising $5,000, but in the end they’d collected $9,200.

Not bad for a small Division III program based in Granville, Ohio.

6. Virginia Hokies Baseball

6 virginia tech hokies baseball shaved heads cancer charity

If a small program like Denison is able to raise almost $10K by shaving their heads, you would expect a major school like Virginia Tech to do even better. And indeed they did. This fall they held their third annual “Shave for the Brave” event in which 60 players, coaches, staff, and friends went bald for a good cause. The money was donated to a woman named Melina Brown, whose son Levi was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a highly aggressive brain tumor, when he was four. He managed to beat the cancer and is 12 years old today, but the family still struggles financially from the illness.

Nice going, Hokies.

5. Florida Marlins

5  florida marlins anibal sanchez shave heads for cancer charity

Back in July, some member of the Miami Marlins (including Anibal Sanchez, pictured here) participated in an event called “Bald is Beautiful,” getting their heads shaved before the game to support kids with cancer. Money raised was donated to the Miami Children’s Hospital Cancer Camp.

I bet stingy Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria did it just as a tax write-off.

4. Quinnipiac Bobcats Hockey Team

4 quinnipiac ice hockey shaved heads for cancer charity

Quinnipiac. There’s a mouthful for you. But despite the silly name, this college hockey team managed to raise a very impressive $24,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation back on October 14.

Of course, when they did an event like this four years ago they raised over $35,000. So they really dropped the ball this year. Way to go, guys.

No, just kidding. It was a good effort. I’ve never raised $24,000 for charity, and I wouldn’t not where to begin.

3. Indianapolis Colts

3 indianapolis colts shaved heads cancer chuck pagano

Though Colts cheerleaders Megan M. and Chrystal B. got all the attention this weekend when they let Blue, the Colts mascot, buzz off their pretty locks, let’s not forget the Colts players. About 30 of them shaved their heads in solidarity with coach Chuck Pagano a few weeks back.

Of course, it kind of makes you wonder which guys didn’t get shaved. It’s like, what, are you too cool to shave your head for your coach? You’re too good for peer pressure?

2. Kevin Love

This is one of my favorites. Last month, the injured Kevin Love had Arizona Cardinals superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald shave his head to raise breast cancer awareness. Then the two each agreed to donate money for every view the video got on YouTube, up to $25oK.

Pretty cool right?

And if you’re wondering why he had Fitzgerald do the honors, well, it’s not just because he’s one stylish dude. It turns out that Larry lost his own mother to breast cancer, so the cause is near and dear to his heart.

1. The Minnesota Gophers

1 minnesota gophers shaved heads cancer charity

When Golden Gophers football player Connor Cosgrove was diagnosed with leukemia and found out first hand what it was like to battle cancer, he immediately realized how hard it must be for kids to go through that. So he decided to organize a head-shaving fundraiser.

However, Cosgrove just thought it would be a few members of his team. He never imagined that over 100 members of the U of M athletic department—players, coaches, trainers, and staff—would volunteer to shave their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And he certainly never imagined that a female athlete would join in. But that’s what happened.

Senior volleyball player Mia Tabberson decided she wanted to help, too. So she initiated her own personal sponsorship drive and raised just more than half of what the rest of the department raised together.

How much are we talking here?

Well, the whole department raised $23,000, and Tabberson alone raised $12,000. So that comes to a grand total of $35,000.

Well done, Gophers.