A Guide To Boston Red Sox’ Bearded Boys
A Guide To Boston Red Sox Beards
A few weeks ago in an article about the best beards of the MLB Playoffs, I joked that the Boston Red Sox could have an entire slideshow dedicated solely to their bearded glory. Well, now that they’ve made the World Series, it is time to pay homage to their facial accomplishments.
There’s been a mix of criticism surrounding the “Fear the Beard” trend that has exploded in Boston, ranging from utter confusion to shock and awe. The welcomed pain evoked on players faces as their teammates literally tug at the hair on their chinny chin chins is amusing – the playfulness of these major league athletes is refreshing in a sports world that doesn’t often leave room for anything but seriousness.
Maybe a throwback to the 2004 “idiots” who reversed the curse is just the right mix of odd to bring Boston another title in 2013. Yes, the Red Sox have once again embraced the weird. Take a peek into the dugout, and you’ll find it is filled with goofballs sporting equally goofy beards, each taking on its own unique personality.
This brings me to the point of this slideshow; it can often be difficult to keep track of all of the different Fenway facial accessories. Thankfully for us, the Red Sox organization has fully embraced the quirky madness by marketing the bearded phenomena, turning it into a nationwide craze and helping fans to keep their beards straight.
In September, Fenway offered $1 tickets to any fan that showed up donning a beard – real or fake. Following $1 Beard Night, the organization’s official Twitter account furthered the facial hair fever by posting an info graph differentiating each player's signature look with a unique nickname and coining the now popular hashtag, #GetBeard. The hashtag really got things going, inspiring an entire section of the Red Sox website dedicated to facial hair. The team's official shop now even sells collectible Lego-like minis of each bearded player.
The best part about the Red Sox' beard craze is that everyone from the field to the stands has embraced it. It’s not one of those insane Brian Wilson “I’ll shave when I’m dead" things. The entire team has hopped on board, refusing to shave until the Sox notch another World Series title onto their belts – talk about dedication to the cause.
As Boston battled further into the playoffs, the beards continued to grow and surpassed even the wildest of expectations. The players began to be known solely by their beards. Jonny Gomes even went so far as to don a post-game jersey labeled “Ironsides”, epitomizing his beard as the most important part of his identity.
This guide will help allow you to readily differentiate between the distinguished jaw lines of Boston's furriest frenzy. I can’t think of a more proper welcome for the Red Sox to the World Series. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get beard.
Caroline Ponessa is an MLB writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @RantCaroline
12. The Blue Collar
A pretty creative play on words is Brandon Workman's "The Blue Collar". Making his major league debut in July of this season, Workman has worked his way into the Red Sox bullpen and into the hearts of beard lovers everywhere. Workman's first postseason appearance has proved successful thus far, as he has allowed no runs in 5.1 innings.
11. The Buck
"The Buck", one of Boston's more scraggily assembled facial features, belongs to starting ace Clay Buchholz. Though his ability to grow a masculine beard is suspect, Buchholz's 12-1 season and 1.74 ERA has more than proved his worth to the Red Sox this year.
10. The Canuck
Named for the homeland of its Canadian owner, "The Canuck" belongs to right-handed starter Ryan Dempster. Dempster and "The Canuck" have seen a whopping 16 seasons in MLB with four postseason appearances. So, what's the secret to "the Canuck?" Dempster describes it as the three Cs: "confidence, character, and cooperation."
9. The Freshwater
The bottom-feeder of Fenway, Mike Carp's "the Freshwater" is the only flourishing blonde beard on the roster. Carp's wiry jawline has made four appearances so far this postseason, but unfortunately has no hits in six at-bats.
8. The Hawaiian
Another hometown shout-out, Shane Victorino's odd mix of beard and goatee has proved to be pretty lucky this October. Though "The Hawaiian" is slightly patchy, Victorino's postseason performance has been anything but. Delivering the go ahead grand slam in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers, Victorino powered the Red Sox into their third World Series appearance in nine years.
7. The Ironsides
Jonny Gomes is often credited as the father of the 2013 Bo Sox beard movement, inspiring the rest of the team to grown out their facial hair after showing up to Spring Training with a pretty reputable jawline. Named for the ship stationed in the Boston harbor, Gomes and his notorious beard, "The Ironsides", have embraced the trend and soaked up every moment of bearded glory. Gomes' passion is straight out of Duck Dynasty, with passionate words of wisdom such as "You haven't lived a day on this planet unless you've woken up and combed your beard" and "It does bring me joy, it does. You can't see it smile, but I can feel it." I wonder how big its smile would be after winning a World Series title.
6. The Saltine
An obvious connection to its namesake, "The Saltine" belongs to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Saltalamaccchia boasts perhaps the best beard-hair combo, with his curled and flowing locks complimenting his equally curly facial hair. "The Saltine" is coming up big in its first postseason appearance as Saltalamacchia posted a .300 batting average with three RBIs against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
5. The Sick Flow
Somebody call a doctor, we have an extreme case of sick flow. Veteran Dustin Pedroia's flow has indeed been sick, translating both to the infield and the batter's box. Since becoming a member of the Red Sox in 2006, Pedroia has been Rookie of the Year, MVP, a two-time Gold Glover, and a Silver Slugger. In his fourth postseason, Pedroia's beard flourishes like it never has before, raising the question: How much sicker can it get?
4. The Siesta
Though his beard is nicknamed "The Siesta", Mike Napoli has done anything but sleep this postseason. Napoli has come up bigger than his beard (if that's possible) in his first October with the Red Sox, blasting two homers in the ALCS against Detroit. "The Siesta" borders the line between Paul Bunyan and Santa Clause, assuming its title as the fullest beard of Fenway. But success doesn't come easy -- Napoli works hard at maintaining his jawline with meticulous grooming: "Wake up in the morning, shampoo it, condition it, comb it. It's just something that's part of me now."
3. The Sure Thing
If anything is a "Sure Thing", it's that John Lackey will log major innings for the Red Sox in the postseason. At 34, Lackey's bearded look is relatively foreign to those who have been following him since his debut with the (then) Anaheim Angels in 2002. "The Sure Thing" is one of the more standard beards on the roster, a classic look for a class act. In his sixth postseason, maybe the beard will be just the right stroke of luck to bring Lackey his first World Series championship since his rookie season with Angels in 2002.
2. The Tease
While I'm making this my official petition to rename this beard to "The Clutch", David Ortiz's famous chinstrap draws it's title from the latter half of his last name. Obviously, "The Clutch" would be more suitable to Big Papi seeing as he is arguably one of the greatest postseason performers of all time. Ortiz's jaw maintains a clean look and is carefully crafted, mirroring the skills developed by its owner since joining the Sox in 2003. Eight postseason performances have taught us that there really is no tease to Big Papi's game; he will deliver, guaranteed.
1. The Wolf
Catcher David Ross jokes that "The Wolf" is actually an unsuitable name for his beard, believing "The Skunk" would be more fitting to its white striped appearance. "The Wolf" is the oldest beard on the roster at 36, making Ross the seasoned leader of the bearded pack. Splitting time with Saltalamacchia and "The Saltine", Ross has gone .333 in four games this October. The Red Sox hope the wisdom and whiskered passion of "The Wolf" will continue to guide them to the 2013 World Series title.