Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Beards of October

Watching the World Series recalls childhood days when beards and baseball came together in the House of David team, whose facial foliage was famous back then on the barnstorming circuit.

Unlike today’s Boston Red Sox and many St. Louis Cardinals, their whiskers grew out of religious conviction as members of a commune founded by a charismatic preacher.

They prospered and hired pros like Grover Cleveland Alexander, Satchel Paige and Mordecai Brown, some of whom went unshaven while others wore chin toupees, and inspired imitators, including the Black House of David, an African-American nine that played only in the Negro Leagues.

For today’s integrated major leagues and their TV partners, a Series without teams from major markets like New York and LA is a financial hardship, but can the beards bring out the rubes as they did in the olden days?

For one ancient fan, they succeed only in making his face itch, but all is not lost in the nostalgia department.

Tweeters are excited by signs that Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester may have used a foreign substance in his glove during Game One, the way they did way back when.

Not exactly another steroids scandal, but in these days dominated by statistics and science, any eccentricity is welcome. Beards, long hair, tattoos, anything, as long as they can hit, pitch and field.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

1 comment:

hking said...

Despite the emphasis on statistics, superstition is alive and well in baseball.

This is the sixth time I have tried to enter the text. Get rid of the requirement.