10 MLB Players with a Unique Look
Is there anything better than a playoff beard?
There is, in fact. An all-the-time facial hairdo. Whether it's James Harden of the Houston Rockets hiding his true colors or former Pittsburgh Steeler Brett Keisel's mane flowing from under his football helmet, we love when athletes rock eccentric styles in the field of play.
And there's no sport more amenable than baseball to wearing a hilarious look that's always visible. It helps players create their own brand—Brian Wilson wouldn't be Brian Wilson without one. Heck, the only thing I know about Rollie Fingers—besides the fact that he pitched (I think) for the Oakland Athletics (maybe)—is that he sported the most majestically curled mustache.
Here are 10 of the MLB's most intriguing, polarizing and entertaining looks less than two months into the season.
And if we missed your favorite player's getup, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs
Few things go right for the Chicago Cubs year in and year out.
Jeff Samardzija happens to be one of them, and for a few reasons. Serving as the Cubbies' Opening Day starter the last two seasons, Samardzija has been a strikeout machine even in defeat, as noted by Miles Johnson:
Samardzija has now thrown 50 innings, 38 strikeouts, and given up just 11 earned runs (1.62 ERA) and has a record of 0-3 #smh— #HowDoYouKFC (@Miles_Johnson_) May 6, 2014
The former Notre Dame wide receiver also sports such luscious locks that even some members of the fairer sex can't help but feel jealous:
I wish my hair looked as good in a hat as Jeff Samardzija's does— Lauren Comitor (@laurencomitor) May 6, 2014
I wouldn't mind running my fingers through Samardzija's hair😍⚾️— Gaby Perez (@_one_b) May 6, 2014
Legend has it the flow is the source of his upper-90s fastball:
Samardzija has struck out 6 in a row!! Must be the hair! Or the 97 mph fastball, probably the fastball. #GoCubs— Joe Kilgallon (@joekilgallon) April 7, 2013
Samardzija does an ace job channeling his inner Randy Johnson and Rod Beck—two of the best arm/hair combinations the game has ever seen—and tops it off with his own take on the unconnected Shakespearean goatee.
Carlos Villanueva, Chicago Cubs
If the Dallas Mavericks' Vince Carter earned the nickname "Half Man, Half Amazing," then Carlos Villanueva deserves to be called "Half Rollie Fingers, Half Old Dutch."
The second Cubs pitcher to appear on this list, Villanueva doesn't have the same quality stuff as Samardzija, as noted by Ryan Barnes:
Carlos Villanueva's (in 7 games including several starts) batting average against is .406 so far. That's...uh...not good.— Ryan Barnes (@rybarnes4) May 7, 2014
But his on-point mustache game has drawn admirers.
Carlos Villanueva is still rocking a Rollie Fingers mustache, and my goodness is it spectacular.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 31, 2014
Carlos Villanueva's mustache was one of my favorites in spring training, reminiscent of Salvador Dalí.— Nina Zimmerman (@ninazim8) May 7, 2014
Too bad Villanueva's facial-hair prowess doesn't seem to have any influence on his pitching.
Corky Miller, Cincinnati Reds
Corky Miller takes the Motorhead mustache to a fluffy new level.
The Cincinnati Reds catcher, currently on assignment at the team's Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats, has been rocking the biker-style 'stache in one form or another for several years. The crumb-saver even has its own fan-operated Facebook page that has been running consistently since 2010.
Corky's been sitting by the phone, waiting for the call to make a Sons of Anarchy cameo.
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
No matter how Tim Lincecum accessorized, he couldn't seem to shake the baby face.
First, the long locks. Then he chopped it all off and still didn't look like he belonged in a bar. Now the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner sports a thin mustache with varying degrees of thickness and a hairdo that feels like it's in transition.
The question is: Is the 'stache even real?
"I think it used to be connected to a fake nose & glasses." --Bob Brenly, on Tim Lincecum's moustache— Mojave Phone Booth (@MojaveFoneBooth) April 3, 2014
All jokes aside, public reception of Lincecum's new lip cap ranges from displeasure:
I'm only asking one thing: Can Tim Lincecum please shave his moustache ?— Autumn Snowberger (@absnowberger44) May 7, 2014
To being personally offended:
Sean Doolittle, Oakland Athletics
Sean Doolittle has his fabulous beard to thank for one of the best nicknames in baseball, as illuminated by Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times:
Sean "The Ginger Beard man" Doolittle with four straight strikeouts. Run, run as fast as you can, can't hit the Ginger Beard man.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 7, 2014
It also appears that his leftovers container can serve as a weapon when Doolittle's in a bind.
The beard also helped the Oakland reliever execute an elaborate 15-month prank, meaning, of course, that he sacrificed one April Fool's Day in order to make the next one more awesome.
Is there anything the beard can't do?
Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals
Just saw Jason Motte's beard up close. Breathtaking.— Chris Basnett (@ChrisBasnettNL) May 4, 2014
When your beard becomes a sight to behold, you know you're doing something right.
The beard itself has been a Motte staple for several years but has entered a new phase of life: waves. Yes, the Cardinal reliever's face carpet is a six-pack of Red Stripes away from going Rastafarian.
And as you'd expect, Motte's fingers have the same sense of humor as his face:
Would like to thank NO ONE for all the none existing Bday wishes for my elbow today. He turned 1. Dont worry said the cake was from everyone— Jason Motte (@JMotte30) May 8, 2014
Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
I thought I recognized Elvis Andrus on an episode of TLC's Breaking Amish. Or was that him playing Daniel Day-Lewis' body double in Lincoln?
It's difficult to make a judgment on Andrus' look when Red Sox beard king Mike Napoli disapproves:
Either way, the Texas Rangers shortstop is feeling the look. He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Drew Davison back in February that the beard is here to stay.
Fernando Rodney, Seattle Mariners
Baseball uniforms leave little room for self expression, so Fernando Rodney cocks his hat to the side to keep things "fun."
Surprisingly, this tactic has been the source of more media coverage than one would expect. Yahoo dug deep into the history books and chronicled the ever-so-slight shifting of Rodney's hat over the years, ending with the near complete 90-degree turn in the last World Baseball Classic.
whoever is complaining on the 49ers quarterback for wearing the hat backwards...meet fernando rodney :) pic.twitter.com/xliG5GT8Or— Fernando Tatis (@FTatis23) January 12, 2014
On the other end of the spectrum, some people actually feel the sideways look disrespects the game and that the league should consider making it illegal.
Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals
Everything matches color-wise in professional sports, from jerseys to shoes.
Adam LaRoche takes it to the next level with his incredible face guard, just a few shades away from Nationals red.
Perhaps he did it for the good of his career.
Or just general badass reasons.
Adam LaRoche's beard is illegal in 13 states.— Andrew V (@AndrewVrchota) May 3, 2014
Either way, if you're going to be tight with the Duck Dynasty dudes you need that kind of mane.
Josh Lueke, Tampa Bay Rays
My personal favorite does a new-aged take on the Johnny-Depp-as-Captain-Jack-Sparrow-braids-within-beard look.
Unfortunately, Josh Lueke doesn't keep the pigtails in at all times. They appear to have been a special "do" for the team's official photo day. While not everyone is crazy about the little guys, they aren't the worst thing Lueke's done.
Here's to hoping Lueke busts them out during a Rays game in the near future.