What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Like most baseball fans, I’m sure my fondness for the players from the days of my youth is not unusual. However, readers of this blog may have detected my tendency to analyze the incredibly kitschy. One of those examples delves into the double-knit nether world that was baseball attire of 1980. But take five years either side of that watershed year, and you are right in the wheelhouse of my youth.
So when you combine all those factors, you really should not be surprised by my noticing a great baseball fashion statement, the mustache. Facial hair has long been a point of contention; some franchises explicitly ban it, some embrace it. In any event, the mustache can be a powerful statement, and there is no better way to illustrate that than by using examples from those baseballers of my youth.
Billy Martin – Who better to put at the helm of this squad than Martin? Sure, he had many incarnations, but it’s his 70’s days in Texas that get him the gig here. No better place than Dallas and it’s 178-degree summers to give you the leather face needed to pull of the “Mexican Bandito-stache.”
Alvaro Espinoza: When you hear your team is getting a new shortstop named “Alvaro Espinoza,” you think “Wow, this guy either can pick it with the best, has a Howitzer growing out of his right shoulder, or he’s got the wheels to swipe 50 bases like all those other great Latin shortstops.” If only you’d seen his picture before twirling into that fantasy land, somebody might have been able to warn you that anybody sporting a classic “El Stache-o Douche-o” likely can’t tie his own shoelaces without going on the disabled list, let alone turn the double play.
Dave Revering: Granted, the “Old School” era of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s offered a lot of choices for first basemen in this category (Keith Hernandez, anybody?), but every squad needs a Mientkiewicz-type slick-fielding, weak-hitting corner infielder, especially when they have the classic “CHiP-stache.”
Felix Millan: With Millan’s “Macho Man-stache,” and that photo, you have no idea how close I was to moving Dave Parker’s head just a few feet, if you know what I mean…
Larry Milbourne: In a tribute to dreaming big, despite being a 165-pound middle infielder, Milbourne sports the “ABA-stache” complete with mutton-chops; a look usually reserved for the 7-foot behemoths from the basketball league with the red, white, and blue ball.
Mario Mendoza: There’s a special status accorded to those who have a benchmark named after them, even when it is a milepost of mediocrity. “The Mendoza Line” will forever be the standard by which weak hitters are measured. Since Mendoza’s Little-League-quality bat struggled to crack .200 throughout his career, it is only fitting he models the “Pimply Adolescent-stache.”
Pete LaCock: Why is a guy with his background hiding out in Kansas City with the “Incognito-stache” rather than having been one of the prototypical ‘70’s porn stars? With the name, the ‘stache, and the fact that his father was a TV game show host, this guy could have a route to porn stardom just as hilarious as the Christmas Story kid. Luckily for us, he chose baseball as the way to show his inability to handle wood.
Phil Garner: Just like Yosemite Sam, a little man who cultivated a reputation as the roughest-toughest-he-man-hombre this side of the Allegheny, Garner spent the disco decade resplendent in the “Over-Compensation-stache.” And just like Yosemite Sam, they both believed that being known as a tough guy and having a mustache five times too big for your face atones for other “male inadequacies.”
Ted Martinez: Cue Barry White music in 3…2…1… Beware, ladies. Do not stare directly at the “Smoove Brotha Sex-stache.” It has the power to hypnotize even the most sedate housewife into a sweaty volcano of pure carnality, wrapped in a hotel sheet and the belief that her husband will never find out.
Bill Buckner: Who else would you have sporting the “Porn Guy-stache?” All the pieces are there…A Southern California guy most famous for what went between his legs.
Dave Henderson: Having studied the zen arts at an undisclosed location in the Orient gave Henderson an all-powerful “Black Guy Fu Manchu-stache;” one so powerful it actually caused Donnie Moore to blow his brains out.
Henry Cruz: I really have no idea where to go with this one. He’s got the cookie duster, he’s got the Roy Orbison shades, and he’s got the muttonchops. This is like “Puerto Rican Elvis Meets Stoned Librarian-stache.”
Jim Dwyer: Jimbo was known throughout the league for his use of puns while constantly reviewing the efforts of other players. Besides, he was rumored to really hate Bryant Gumbel, so it’s only fitting that he wears the “Gene Shalit-stache.”
Joe Zdeb: Just looking at the that picture, you can smell the 30-pack of Milwaukee’s Best, and that gas aroma that can only come from a ’77 Camaro with a home-repaired carburetor. The only thing missing is a proper hair-do, because Joe is certainly rocking the “I Can’t Wait Until They Invent Mullets-stache.”
Barry Foote: Boop-beep-boop-da-da-dee-da-dee-da…Once that Nintendo music gets in your head, you can’t get it out. Sure, that has absolutely fucking nothing to do with baseball, other than the fact that one of the Super Mario Brothers was actually a pretty solid defensive backstop.
Duffy Dyer: This may be the quintessential example of the “Guy in a Bar at 8 a.m.-stache.” Just look at the crags on that face. Each one tells a story about a guy who can’t believe this is where he ended up; leaning hard into a bar-rail for 30 years.
Fred Kendall: Being a native Californian and possessing an unusually angular body type for a catcher made Freddie a natural host for the bastard child of the “CHiP-stache” and “Porn Guy-stache.”
Dave Johnson: If this guy asks you if you want to buy some weed, just say no. Sure, you may not be able to see his badge, but his “Undercover Narc-stache” gives it away.
Dennis Leonard: The adjacency of these two slays me, as what better neighbor for the “Undercover Narc-stache” than the “Tried to Buy Weed From the Cop-stache.”
Dick Drago: Maybe it was the name, maybe it was the Key West heat, or maybe it was the 14 Cuba Libres, but all I saw here was “Gay Porn Star-stache.”
Frank Tanana: The number of strikeouts he tossed on the field was rivaled only by the number of “Baseball Annies” introduced to Tanana’s banana off of it. Before he became one of those “born-again” types, Tanana was one of the legendary swordsman in all of baseball, and he’s got the “Millions of My Future Children Landed on Your Girlfriend’s Face Last Night-stache” to prove it.
Paul Reuschel: The minute I saw this card, I was instantly sucked back to age 14, binomial equations, and that girl in 4th period I had the major crush on, all because of Reuschel’s “9th-Grade Algebra Teacher-stache.”
Rick Langford: He may have pitched in Oakland, but his heart may have been in San Francisco. Why? Langford “Village People-stache.”
Rod Scurry: Lacking the powers of it’s black counterpart, it was later discovered that all the “White Guy Fu Manchu-stache” did was help you to die of a cocaine-related heart attack.
Ross Grimsley: Remember the scene in Bull Durham in which Crash Davis chides Nuke LaLoosh for letting fungus grow on his shower shoes? Well, that easily could have been based on the habits of Mr. Grimsley, who was known as either “Skuzz” or “Gross Grimsley” by his teammates. That may explain the “I’ll Comb The Burrito Bits out of it Tomorrow-stache.”
Warren Brusstar: With a look more suited to the octagon rather than the diamond, this is the quintessential “I Will Fuck Your Shit Up For Real-stache”
Rollie Fingers: Of course, no such list could dream of being complete with the inclusion of Mr. Fingers. Sure, he’s in Cooperstown, but if there were Name and Mustache Halls-of-Fame, he’d be a charter member of both.