Beards, mustaches and facial artistry are all the rage in Major League Baseball. We take a look at the best Pittsburgh Pirates beards of all time in this post.
As you look back in history to hand out these awards it’s difficult to consider some of the greatest Pirates players. The best Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers like Babe Adams, Bob Friend, Wilbur Cooper and the boys, none of them had facial hair. Most Major League Baseball teams didn’t look highly upon facial hair.
But of course, then the 70’s changed it all.
In the early 1970’s, Reggie Jackson and the Oakland Athletics started rocking lip sweaters, but until then facial art was not widely seen. Two prominent relievers made facial hair mainstream– Rollie Fingers of the A’s and then, one-time Pirates closer Rich Gossage who wore a bad ass Fu Man chu (but it’s hard to find one with the Pirates.)
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Over the past few years, it’s all about the beards. The Red Sox and Cardinals brought beardism into the forefront and the Sox went out of their way to use mustacheularity in marketing their march to the World Series.
Now, more and more Pirates are rocking facial hair too. Here are the best.
Best Pittsburgh Pirates beard–Willie Stargell
Today is Willie Stargell’s birthday. Willie was a tremendous Pirates player. Big time performer in the postseason. The brighter the lights, the more Stargell shined. Nothing more needs to be said about Pops.
Well, except his beard was tremendous too. Future Pirates can grow their facial hair until 2099 and nobody will be able to pull it off like Pops.
Best Pittsburgh Pirates beards of all time. The winner? Willie Stargell
Look at that work by Stargell. I love that photo from Steve’s Baseball Photography Pages. The mustard helmet looks great, the current Bucs desperately need those for their Sunday unis. The mustard hat. No batting gloves. Oh, those chops. Oh, dear god those chops.
Honorable Mention Pedro Alvarez
Feb 19, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez (24) warms up during a workout Thursday morning at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Pedro Alvarez is the latest Pittsburgh Pirate to seek out the power of the beard. El Toro has been growing his beard for years, but the 2015 version has some serious potential to contend for one of the best ever.
Josh Harrison used beardism to ignite a 2014 campaign that captivated Pittsburgh. It’s fuller and thicker in 2015.
Honorable Mention Russell Martin
Of course Martin carved his facial hair in a variety of ways, but there is no denying that the Buccos catcher used the power of the beard to have a monster season that landed him a mega deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s hard to give Martin distinction, after just two years, but the power of his beard simply can’t be denied. The checklist that Martin completed while in Pittsburgh is simply too great.
Pirates snap ignominious losing streak. [check]
Pirates grab postseason victory behind his powerful bat. [check]
Career year. [check]
Postseason loss and beard exits the Pittsburgh stage for a once-in-a-career payday for Martin. [check]
Oct 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcherJason Grilli
(left) celebrates with catcher Russell Martin (right) after defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the National League wild card playoff baseball game at PNC Park. The Pirates won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Honorable mention- Pitcher A.J. Burnett
Burnett was acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees. Immediately a Burnett beard, of sorts at least, began. Of course, Burnett’s face was kept bare after years of fighting his beardhood while playing for the beard-hatin’ Yanks.
Apr 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) delivers to the plate during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
First runner up-Pitcher Doug Drabek
Drabek was a workhorse for the Pirates of the 90’s. The lip sweater was grey, but still strong, thick and powerful when Drabek spun the first pitch of the National League wild card playoff baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in 2013.
Oct 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates former pitcher Doug Drabek throws out the ceremonial first pitch before National League wild card playoff baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Best Pittsburgh Pirates Beard of all Time-Pitcher- John Candelaria
John Candelaria is fifth on the all-time WAR leaders list for the Bucs. The others ahead of Candyman, including RumBunter favorite Babe Adams, didn’t harness the power of facial artwork. Thus, we officially proclaim John Candelaria as the best Pittsburgh Pirates beard (on a pitcher) of all time.
John Candelaria had a sweet beard for the Pirates
An autographed pic of John Candelaria pitcher for the 1979 WS champion Pirates
Some of the worst Pirates facial artistry?
Sometimes they are in the same photo. Holy 70’s porn star overload