30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Mustache Gang

Every November millions of men (and women?) around the world grow mustaches to support the Movember movement, which is an annual event to help raise awareness of men's health issues.  I've tried to grow a mustache a few times, but never followed through.  This year, I forgot about it until we were two weeks into the month.

The goal is to participate next year regardless of how silly I look.  Until then I decide to help by making a donation to the cause and thought it'd be fun to look back at some of the most famous mustaches in baseball history:  The Mustache Gang.

1972 Topps #435

In March of 1972, Reggie Jackson showed up to Spring Training with a mustache.  Back then baseball was pretty conservative and being clean shaven was one of their unwritten rules.  Up until that time, only a handful of players were documented wearing a mustache during the regular season.  There were even a few teams that had policies written into their contracts against facial hair.

But Reggie was a rebel and when he arrived to Spring Training he had a full grown 'stache that he started growing in the 1971 ALCS.  According to teammates, his goal was to have a beard by Opening Day.

1972 Topps #632
1972 Topps #137

Charlie Finley, the colorful and controversial owner of the Oakland Athletics was originally not amused.  According to Mike Hegan, Finley told A's manager Dick Williams to tell him to shave it off.  Simply put... Reggie refused.

1972 Topps #241

Although there are conflicting stories of how The Mustache Gang actually came to be, I figured I'd share Rollie Finger's version since he arguably has one of the most famous 'staches in baseball history.

In the book 100 Things A's Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die by Susan Slusser, Fingers says that many of Reggie's teammates originally hated the mustache.

1972 Topps #330
1972 Topps #583

So one day while sitting in the bullpen Fingers, Catfish Hunter, and Darold Knowles came up with the idea to grow mustaches to annoy Williams and Finley to the point of making everyone (including Reggie) shave it off.

1972 Topps #454

The plan obviously didn't work.  Eventually Finley embraced the idea of his players wearing them.  He even challenged his team to grow mustaches and offered $300 to any player who could grow one by Father's Day.  All twenty-five guys on the roster got paid.  Williams did too.

And that's how The Mustache Gang was born.

Okay peeps... it's your turn:

Have you ever grown a mustache?  Would you consider growing one next year to support Movember?

Maybe if there are enough of us, we could start our very own Mustache Gang.  Until then...

Happy Movember and sayonara!


  1. I grew my mustache out while I was in New Jersey in the first couple weeks of the month. Every guy in my class started growing them, but by the end I was the only one who hadn't broken down and shaved it off. Then I came home and felt pressured by my wife to get rid of it. It got a lot of compliments while I had it, though.

  2. Had mine (and my beard) since I was a college freshman in 1970.

    Love that Legends Tenace card, btw. That's a sweet set!

  3. I've toyed with having a mustache or beard in the past, but it invariably gets itchy and makes me feel claustrophobic in my own skin. I'm lazy about shaving though, only shaving about once a week, embracing the scraggle for a few days.

  4. I've had a beard/mustache since I was in 7th grade

  5. I've grown a mustache twice. That was two times too many. It's kind of like drinking egg nog. It takes a second try to remember how awful it was the first time. Itchy, difficult to eat, certain women really REALLY hate them.

  6. When I was in my early twenties I had a job that had me working 2nd shift for a month. At the time I looked like I was fourteen, so I grew a mustache so that I'd look at least somewhat like an adult (I don't think I could grow a decent beard if I tried). I ended up keeping the 'stache for 18 years before shaving it off.

    Thirty years later, "looking older" is not what I'm shooting for, I don't really miss it, and Mrs. Shlabotnik DOES NOT LIKE facial hair, so I don't see the mustache making a return.

  7. I grew my goatee for the 08-09 hockey playoffs and have had it ever since. It's where 90% of my grey hair is, so thats a positive. I'm also at the point where I'd have no problem getting rid of it and losing several (more) years off my appearance.

  8. I've grown a 'stache every now and then. Usually a sort of fu-man-chu or full on goatee. Occasionally a devil-like goatee. Now-days I'm usually just 2 or 3 weeks of not shaving scraggly all gray beard before shaving it all off again.

  9. I had major leg surgery a few years back and was confined to a recliner for close to a month. That was my one mustache experience. My wife hates them so it will be my only mustache experience...

  10. raz - when i talked about doing it with co-workers... their wives/girlfriends were the #1 issue

    commishbob - beards are totally in. i don't have a lot of facial hair, which will make Movember very interesting next year

    defgav - i'm the same way. i shave once/maybe twice a week... and rock the scruff.

    billy - nice. if i had that much facial hair, i'd grow it out too.

    night owl - lol. c'mon. i heard the 3rd time's the charm.

    shlabotnikreport - i had a goatee for years, because i wanted to look older. but now that i'm in my 40's, i want to look younger. one problem... i'm too lazy to shave

    gca - 90% of my grey hair is on my face too (and in my nose... lol). sorry... TMI

    captkirk42 - devil-like goatees rule.

    matthew scott - you're the 4th to mention that wives hate the 'stache. yet... tom selleck had no problem getting babes back in the day. what's the deal?

  11. Ohhhhhhhh my..I try each and every year but cannot get one =P

  12. Collecting Cutch - Nice. Super jealous.

    Ana - You keep trying girl. Don't give up.