Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Let's Keep the Ban on Facial Hair

I fear that I sometimes appear to children in our neighborhood and to work colleagues as a crusty old stick-in-the-mud aching from his latest lumbago flareup.   The crotchety kind of guy who has too many frisbees on his lawn.  I try, therefore, as often as I am able, to be patient.  I have mixed success.

Which is a polite way of saying I have almost no success.

I thought about this while I read John M's post of earlier today, "Don Mattingly, Marlins lift ban on facial hair."  Despite my repeated and strained attempts at patience, I had trouble with the idea that the Yanks should follow suit and allow facial hair.  Like names on the backs of players' uniforms, it just doesn't feel right to crusty old me.

In the comments section of the post, KD said:
You Photoshop dudes (looking at YOU, LBJ), give us some pictures of Babe Ruth et al, all furred up like U.S. Grant.
I live with a Photoshop dude-ette who's a wizard and an artist but I'm not much of either myself. Worse, I had a number of pressing tasks on my to-do list for this afternoon.

But, shoot, the man called me out by name.  I'm pretty sure there's some Internet rule somewhere that demanded I take action so I decided to look to see if I could scare up some images of furry Yankees using a Google image search.  To my surprise, the Google "auto-complete" feature began typing "Babe Ruth Beard" all by itself after I typed the first few letters.

This happened because, apparently, the Babe participated in a few exhibition games with a team from "The House of David", a Michigan-based Christian commune that eschewed meat, sex, tobacco, shaving and the cutting of hair in general.  They seem to have sworn off pretty much everything except baseball.  Here's a team photo from 1931:

Check out the second guy on the left and the fourth guy from the right!  They make ZZ Top and all those 1980s big hair bands look like Brett Gardner.

These guys must have been reasonably competent as ballplayers, however, because they did barnstorming tours and managed to play against Babe Ruth at least twice.

Being the good sport he was, the Babe apparently donned a fake beard when he played against them.  The photo below is from 1931 during an exhibition game against the House of David team:

The next is from an exhibition game in 1933.  It absolutely scares me how much he looks like Joba Chamberlain.  It was all I could do to resist the urge to photoshop a swarm of midges around his head.

Flush with the success of finding two photos of a famous Yankee with a beard where I didn't have to lift a finger to do any actual work, I thought perhaps Lou Gehrig might have played in the same House of David games and that I might find a picture of Gehrig wearing his own fake fur.  There was nothing like that out there.

Not to be daunted, I found one of those online "beard simulator" websites and carefully placed a goatee on the Iron Horse:

He doesn't look bad but, frankly, I felt dirty the whole time I was doing it.  I felt like I was drawing a mustache on a picture of a saint.  Doctoring Gehrig's face made me feel so awful, in fact, that, I quickly moved along and tried using the same software to alter the guy who started this whole thread:

Yes, friends, this is what Donnie Baseball would have looked like, left to his own devices back in the day.  Are you starting to catch my drift about why a ban on facial hair might not be a bad idea?  Young players with a ton of dough and chicks who'll climb all over them regardless of what they look like will ONLY come out looking like the above.

Check out this next image of another Fine Yankee:

Yikes, even his new daughter might be frightened by that look!  I then found another image of a Yankee that didn't require me to do any photo-retouching:

Yes, boys and girls, that's a picture of Brett Gardner taken when he was still in college.  I wasn't aware that Gardner also needed to remove his muzzle lashings in order to play for the Yanks.

(Quick digression, but I think Gardy looks a fair amount like Toby Flenderson, the Human Resources guy on The Office.)

While painting a mustache on Lou Gehrig felt like blasphemy, I found that doing the next one lifted my spirits quite a bit:

(For the record, he's still not smiling.)

Having had fun painting a mustache on Hal, a non-player, I decided to see what another non-player would look like flying an Admiral's Pennant:

Strange, but the Master doesn't look half bad.  This made me think that perhaps some other non-players might look better sporting some "suburbs of the chin":

Alphonso doesn't look appreciably different and El Duque looks something like Goose Gossage.  Unfortunately, there's no hope for this guy... 

Back to work...


Mike said...

Awesome work, LBJ!

el duque said...

This is magnificent.

joe de pastry said...

Why is this even being talked about in the 21st century?
Why does anybody give a fuck about whether players have facial hair?

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Q: Why is this even being talked about in the 21st century?

A: Because the games haven't started yet and there's precious little else to talk about.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Leinstery said...

Gehrig looks like Edward Norton in American History X

I'm Bill White said...

Post of the Millennium.

Anonymous said...

Mega-kudos to you and your super-Dudette, LBJ - - really great post - - shows lots of originality, is terrific graphically, and makes your point(s). More, please, when you can....
A propos of not much, my uncle (Dad's brother) was a pitcher back in the 20s & early 30s, and they tell me he was really, really good. One of my Dad's favorite stories about baseball, was about how his brother BEAT the House of David team (or the "Bearded Beauties", as some called them. He was quite proud of that. My uncle also got signed to a minor-league contract by the Cards; ultimately, though, they cut him - - not because he wasn't good enough - - but because he was "too short" (5', 3"" in his socks).

Also, I say, LET 'EM GROW HAIR where they want to - - that's just a hold-over from the military academy George went to (and sent his sons to). As long as they don't end up looking like me, they should be fine (unless they want a job in the tRUMP administration). LB (No J)

Tom said...

oh, that was good!

Tom said...

But didn't Munson and everybody else have facial hair in the '70s? And they won two. Must be the stache.

John M said...

This. Is. Awesome.

Alphonso said...

It is Goose Gossage! It is Goose Gossage!

Anonymous said...

It's also El Cheapo as Mephistopheles!!! Brilliante, amigo & amiga!! LB (NO J)