LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Major League Baseball has a flurry of wild facial hair and unique grooming habits, but these players have taken it to a whole new level.
In 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that 58% of MLB players had some kind of facial hair.
Whether they are sporting a majestic beard or an immaculately trimmed mustache, each of these players brings their own style to the game of baseball.
While it is almost second nature nowadays to see a professional baseball player sporting some kind of facial hair, players are doing more and more in order to make an identity for themselves.
These nine players, in no particular order, have distinguished themselves as the leaders of the MLB’s “facial hair movement”, and each brings their own unique aspect of style (if you want to call it that), to the clubhouse day in and day out.
Jason Motte, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Jason Motte sports one of the thickest beards in all of baseball. The former Cardinals closer once racked up 42 saves in 2012 wearing the same beard and is one of the pioneers of the recent beard-craze the MLB is currently undergoing.
The 33-year-old was drafted by the Cardinals in the 2003 MLB Draft, and went to school at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.
Motte has acted as a part-time closer for the Cubs this season, locking down six saves and enjoying a record of 8-1. However, the heavily-bearded reliever has an ERA of 3.91 in his first season with the Cubs.
Since Hector Rondon has regained the full-time closers role in Chicago, Motte and his intimidating facial hair have been relegated to mostly a set-up or seventh inning role.
Jayson Werth, OF, Washington Nationals
If Jayson Werth is going for the “caveman look”, then he has hit the nail straight on the head.
Werth’s facial hair is so out of control that he has begun to resemble Geico’s Caveman who is featured in many of their commercials and advertisements.
This beard is so ridiculous that the Washington Nationals had a “Jayson Werth Chia Pet” Giveaway night.
That is correct, the first 20,000 fans who attended the Nationals game in early August received this Jayson Werth Chia Pet.
If a team is hosting a promotional event that puts your face on a Chia Pet, then maybe it’s time to shave, Jayson.
Who knows what is living inside that beard.
Dallas Keuchel, LHP, Houston Astros
(Dallas Keuchel, Credit: Getty Images)
Aside from being the American League’s leader in wins with 15, Dallas Keuchel also is known for having one of the most majestic beards in all of baseball.
Keuchel has let his beard flow and it certainly shows because he looks like an 1880’s US president. Below the picture of Keuchel is a portrait of America’s 20th president, James Garfield.
Besides being assassinated by Charles Guiteau, Garfield was not a very memorable president, except for his incredibly well-kept facial hair.
For someone who lived in the 1880’s, James Garfield certainly displayed one of the most talented grooming abilities the US has ever seen. His beard girth is unmatched by any other president, and despite just being in office for less than a year, Garfield certainly made a mark in the facial-hair-wearing community.
Keuchel and Garfield look like they could be distant cousins, and if the Astros pitcher doesn’t know he looks just like Garfield, someone should tell him.
Brian Schlitter, RHP, Chicago Cubs
There really isn’t much to say about Brian Schlitter’s long flowing hair and thick beard, it sort of speaks for itself.
The reliever was just designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs after the team picked up Fernando Rodney from the Seattle Mariners.
In just ten games this year for the Cubs, Schlitter posted a 7.36 ERA in 7.1 innings pitched.
I am not a pitching coach, but there is a small chance that all those long locks are getting in the way of his delivery on the mound.
Evan Gattis, OF, Houston Astros
Evan Gattis is a man among boys.
The Astros outfielder sports a husky beard and a clean shaven head, and has one of the most aggressive swings in the entire MLB.
“El Oso Blanco”, or “The White Bear”, does not wear batting gloves either, and when he is hitting it looks like a lumberjack grabbed a club and is preparing to attack the opposing pitcher.
After quitting baseball because of a drug-related problem, Gattis has emerged as one of the most prominent power hitters in the American League, and his versatility as both a catcher and an outfielder makes him invaluable.
When he did quit baseball, he worked as a parking valet, a ski-lift operator, and a janitor.
Gattis is one of the few who can pull this look off, and his comeback story is one of the best in the MLB.
At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Gattis is a rugged-individualistic man who wears a beard to fit his personality.
Gattis wouldn’t look right without a beard.
Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
It”s hard to miss Justin Turner when he is playing third base for the Dodgers.
The red-bearded 30-year old came up with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009, but did not breakout into a consistent, productive player until 2014 when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In just two seasons with the Dodgers, Turner has amassed 188 hits in just 589 at bats, while collecting a total of 22 home runs and 94 RBI in his two seasons in Los Angeles.
Turner has become a fan-favorite in Los Angeles, and the team is offering a Justin Turner bobblehead, featuring his massive beard, as a promotion for a game against the Giants on Sept. 1st.
His extravagant red beard and long hair are a bit of a trademark for Turner, and due to his recently-found success with the Dodgers, don’t expect him to shave it off anytime soon.
Mike Napoli, 1B, Boston Red Sox / Texas Rangers
The Red Sox had a Mike Napoli bobble-head night on June 2nd, where all fans in attendance received a Napoli bobble-head showcasing one of the largest beards in the MLB.
Napoli, like Gattis, is a catcher who gives off that hardcore, old-time baseball player vibe.
He isn’t going to back down to a pitcher throwing high and tight to him, to put it simply.
He was an All-Star in 2012 and won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2013.
This season, he was traded from the Red Sox to the Texas Rangers as the team hopes to make a late playoff run.
Napoli’s beard looks to be a major part of that run.
Jake Arrieta, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Arrieta has quietly put up a Cy Young caliber season with an NL-leading 16 wins.
His facial hair gives him that added intimidation on the mound, and it seems to be working for him.
Arrieta is having his best season as a pro going 16-6 with a 2.22 ERA, over 174 innings.
He also has 178 strikeouts and a serious beard that has brought him tremendous success this season.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon was snubbed out of an NL All-Star selection, but that could have been because voters couldn’t see him behind that forest he calls a beard.
Blackmon’s husky beard dominates his entire face, but it hasn’t stopped him from hitting .290 with 15 home runs, 50 RBI, 33 stolen bases, and 72 runs.
He plays an excellent in the outfield for the Rockies, and is worth watching for more than just his monstrosity of a beard.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brian Wilson, RHP, Free Agent
If Brian Wilson were on a major league roster, then he definitely would have made this list.