Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Reed Johnson during photo day at HoHoKam Park. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
This is a silly post.
But then, this has been sort of a silly season, when not considered as disastrous.
So bear with me as I discuss various Cubs and their facial hair. On the current team, we've got large variations in facial hair. We have some Cubs (Tony Campana) who might not seem as if they could even grow it. We have one (Reed Johnson, pictured above) who have different types of facial hair seemingly every week. We have one (Matt Garza) who might look better without the facial hair they have. We have one (Ryan Dempster) who apparently grew a playoff hockey beard even though he doesn't play hockey.
It was not always thus. There are some Cubs from the past who had facial hair that ranged everywhere from "awesome" to "get that thing off your face, buddy."
After the jump, a few examples of Cubs facial hair from the past.
I'm not going to go back to the 19th Century for Cubs facial hair, because there were so many players who wore it in that era. After 1900, facial hair became rare on baseball players (and virtually everyone else in the USA) until the 1970s. In baseball, the Oakland Athletics became some of the first to sport it, mainly because owner Charlie Finley offered them cash to grow mustaches.
That led to this, um, attempt to grow facial hair by a former Cub:
Later in the decade, Bill Buckner became the first Cub to have really good facial hair, wearing the style of the time, the bushy mustache:
Another example from that era:
Tim Blackwell was not a very good player, although his Cub numbers (.238/.347/.329) were his best for any team. Having lived through three years of Koyie Hill's offensive black hole, we'd have taken that. In 1980, Blackwell was the more-or-less starter, playing in 103 games with an OPS+ of 103.
No. Just no. Goose Gossage's horrific -- whatever that is -- matched his performance in his single season as a Cub in 1988.
Shooter! Class act, good on the mound (51 saves in 1998), awesome facial hair. (For the era, that is. No one would do that in 2012. Right?)
Matt Clement's Abe Lincoln-style chin beard prompted many enterprising vendors to sell fake chin hair to fans during the 2003 playoffs. If only he'd been the guy Dusty called on in relief during Game 7...
Do you have your own suggestions for a Cub with great facial hair? Leave your thoughts in the comments.