You may have thought articles on baseball facial hair started only after the internet came into being, where there was no consideration for the space the posts take up and information was unlimited. I think you give human beings far too much credit as the Tigers’ 1979 nearly came unraveled under one of the greatest mustache controversies in baseball history.
Think I’m exaggerating for effect? Just look at the headline from the June 22, 1979 issue of The Deseret News:
Not such a laughing matter anymore is it?
The story is that Tiger manager Sparky Anderson said that he didn’t like mustaches on baseball players (which is the type of opinion that makes the idea of corporal punishment seem okay) and so the Michigan Mustache Hall of Fame, surely a secret society since they have no website, staged a protest.
The article notes that “250 prominent and proud mustache wearers” were in attendance with president Joe Neussendorfer saying:
"It’s a fatal gash for the mustache and Sparky’s got himself into a hairy situation. The Michigan Hall of Fame wonders if Sparky’s next move will be to chop off the whiskers belonging to the Tiger on the ballclub’s logo."
Sadly, Sparky never grew a mustache to placate the fans, but I think we can give him a pass. After all, not many can make pipe smoking in a dugout look so damn cool:
Considering the team finished fifth though, they could have used the performance enhancing boost that facial hair often provides.
(image via NotGraphs)
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