I think we all know which of these attributes is truly the most important to a professional baseball player. A good mustache on a baseball player is like the hood ornament on a Mercedes, it makes it complete. And throughout baseball history, the mustache has been a storied staple on the upper lip of some of the greatest to ever play the game. But whose facial follicles were the best of the best? Here are the top five mustaches in baseball history.
5 Keith Hernandez – The Coke Sifter
If you know anything about the New York Mets of the 1980s, you know that had a bit of a reputation as partiers. And while some might argue that Keith Hernandez’s mustache was just a product of what was fashionable at the time, it could also be said that it was purely functional. Known as more than a bit of a fan of the Columbian nose-candy, Hernandez may very well have relied on his facial hair to serve as a dustpan for errant cocaine particles. What little bit didn’t make it up his nose was caught in the old sifter and saved for later. That’s just a good system.
4 Dennis Eckersley – The Dad
It’s a look that every dad was sporting in the 1980s, and that most city firemen, cops, and bus drivers still proudly wear to this day, and it could be argued that no one pulled it off better than Mr. Dennis Eckersley. Pairing the standard ‘stache with a perfectly maintained mullet, the reliable Oakland A’s closer was simply 80s dad-tastic. Known by his teammates as “Eck,” the nicknamed is actually rumored to have come from the sound an adoring fan made when she planted a kiss on Eckersley and came away with a mouth full of face-hair.
3 Goose Gossage – The Lorax
Goose rocked a similar look as his one-time Yankee teammate Thurman Munson, only his mustache was even bushier and more of a rebel. He was originally nicknamed Goose because of the way he craned his neck to look at the catcher’s signs, but the only way this guy looked like a goose was if a goose mated with a hippie walrus. Gossage’s free-form follicles were a trademark, flapping in the wind as he wound up to hurl his blistering fastball. To this day, he is credited by many baseball enthusiasts as one of the pioneers of the modern-day closer role, and credited by many mustache enthusiasts as one of the pioneers of the full-on face-duster.
2 Thurman Munson – The Truck Stop
Looking at Thurman Munson, you’d be more likely to guess “guy I’ve seen in dad’s bowling league” than you would “perennial All-Star catcher for the New York Yankees,” because Thurman was the every-man, and so was his amazing facial hair. The one-time “heart and soul of the Yankees” wore the heart and soul of America on his jowly face, a full-bodied ‘stache that peered out at his pitcher like a supportive, face-pillow beckoning forth a perfect strike. Unfortunately, Thurman was taken from us far too soon, assuring that he’d never get into the Hall of Fame, but we can all agree that if nothing else, his sideburns and lip-warmer more than deserve to be enshrined.
1 Rollie Fingers – The Snidely Whiplash
How was anyone expected to get a hit off this guy when they were busy worrying whether he may have tied their loved ones to the train tracks somewhere? Fingers rocked the dastardly villain look for nearly the entirety of his 18-year career, even though he originally only grew it to win a $300 bonus from A’s management in a facial hair contest. He took home the check, then kept right on sporting the curly ‘stache. Our guess is he couldn’t part with it once he realized how sharp the break could be on his slider with the help of a little mustache wax.
So there you have it, the very best mustaches in the history of Major League Baseball. And be honest, whatever you’re saying about the absurdity of putting together a list like this, is really just a manifestation of your jealousy. Because you know that whatever puny fuzz you have growing under your nose, can’t even compare to these legendary mustachioed marvels.