Some people will look back at this era of Major League Baseball, note the drop in batting averages and ERAs, and call it “The Golden Age of the Pitcher.” Not me, though. When I look at the game right now, the most noteworthy trend I see is not the dominance of pitchers but the preponderance of splendid facial hair. So in my book, this is “The Golden Age of the Beard.”
Don’t get me wrong. The ’70s and ’80s produced some truly breathtaking mustaches. I don’t mean any disrespect to Rollie or Goose or Rod or Dennis. However, the always-clean-shaven Yankees notwithstanding, we haven’t seen such a radical forsaking of razor blades in the game of baseball since the 1800s.
So who is leading the way in this facial hair revolution? Today’s list answers that question.
Take a look.
Last year Jayson Werth had the best season of his career (.318/.398/.532 with 25 HRs and a WAR of 4.9), and it was all thanks to his grizzly beard.
This year his beard isn't quite as lush as it used to be. However, put an old-timey hat on his head and a pipe in his mouth and he'd still fit right in with the guys from your hipster band. So he'll do just fine.
15. Jayson Werth (Nationals)
As you can see, Blue Jays first basemen Adam Lind has a pretty intense goatee going. In fact, he's kind of looking like an upside down troll doll.
As you can imagine, fans in Toronto are already smitten their new facial hair deity.
14. Adam Lind (Blue Jays)
Rays relief pitcher has a sweet beard with goofy beard pigtails that make him look like a catfish. However, it feels wrong not to also mention that he's a genuine sex offender who spent 42 days an offense that apparently fell just shy of rape. So yeah...buzzkill.
13. Josh Lueke (Rays)
When he was with the dodgers, this lefty reliever was forced to cut his hair by stick-in-the-mud Hall of Famer Joe Torre. But look at Joe Beimel now. You can't even tell where the beard ends and the mullet begins.
12. Joe Beimel (Mariners)
Sergio Romo has sported better better beards. However, the goatee he's got going now is still pretty great. I especially love the way he connects it to his mustache with that tiny little line of hair—that's real attention to detail.
11. Sergio Romo (Giants)
LaRoche grew this nice, thick beard over the winter while out huntin' mountain lions. And as you can see, he's decided to keep it going, which is an excellent choice. That little touch of grey at the bottom makes him look distinguished.
10. Adam LaRoche (Nationals)
The "Doesn't Give a F#@$" award goes to Tim Lincecum. This Cy Young stoner doesn't care if he does look like a 15-year-old boy from 1983 trying to emulate Magnum P.I., he's not shaving his upper lip.
Good for you, Tim Lincecum.
9. Tim Lincecum (Giants)
Personally I feel Dustin Ackley's mustache isn't as full as it needs to be in order to adequately compliment his beard. But hey, it's hard to get everything right all the time.
8. Dustin Ackley (Mariners)
Sean Doolittle's beard isn't just beard. It's also an epic April Fools joke.
You see, on April 1, Doolittle posted a picture of himself with no beard on Twitter, saying it was time for a change. However, the next day he posted another picture of himself with the beard again, explaining that he took the beardless pic over a year ago specifically for this joke.
That's commitment right there.
7. Sean Doolittle (Athletics)
Something tells me people are going to start calling Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus "Honest Abe."
6. Elvis Andrus (Rangers)
Johnny Gomes trimmed his beard rather significantly following the Red Sox's World Series victory last fall. However, Mike Napoli's is as bushy as ever. It's a thing of beauty.
5. Mike Napoli (Red Sox)
For the past couple of seasons, Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva has been channeling Rollie Fingers with his mustache.
Of course, that's pretty much the only way he resembles a Hall of Famer. Villanueva is definitely a serviceable fifth starter, but he's not going to wind up in Cooperstown.
4. Carlos Villanueva (Cubs)
Meet Derek Norris, lumber jack/professional baseball catcher. If the A's win the AL West for the third consecutive year in 2014, this 24-year-old and his beard may be a key reason. The one can hit, the other intimidate.
3. Derek Norris (Athletics)
The award for "Most Platonic Beard" goes to Jason Motte of the St. Louis Cardinals. The flame thrower must have visited some antiquities museums while rehabbing after Tommy John surgery last year, because his beard is downright ancient.
(Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.)
2. Jason Motte (Cardinals)
Though there are a number of up-and-comers who may challenge him in the future, right now Brian Wilson is still the undisputed Beard King of Major League Baseball. I mean, that thing is beyond incredible. It's totally surreal. And it's got a pony tail.
Keep up the good work, Wilson, you crazy bastard.