Summer is officially here, and no sport is more summer than baseball. Tailgating in the parking lot on those hot summer days at Miller Park, a keg of high life and a game of bean bags…there’s nothing better…I digress…
This week our Beard of History is the legendary baseball pitcher Rollie Fingers. His mustache curves up as slick as his curve balls.
Fingers, appropriately named for his skill gripping the baseball, won the World Series three times, MLB All-Star award 7 times, American League MVP and Cy Young Award. He was the second relief pitcher to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fingers started his career in 1968 in sunny California, playing for the Oakland Athletics. He played in Oakland til 1976 where he took his sweet mustache south to San Diego, joining the Padres for 3 years. In 1981 he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers where he retired in 1985.
He is one of a select few players to have their number retired by multiple clubs (Athletics and Brewers).
Rollie and his handlebars are regarded as pioneers of modern relief pitching, as his excellence helped define the role of a relief pitcher.
His handlebar mustache was actually grown to receive a $300 bonus from the Athletics owner. Wtf? Amazing.
The owner offered the prize to the player who could grow the best facial hair by opening day. Clearly, Rollie had it locked down and took home the cash, and the owner got increased ticket sales due to the hype.
In total, this dude struck out 1300 batters and had 341 saves over his career. I like to think his handlebars helped him handle business on the field.
To this day he sports his mustache and is looking great for a man in his 70s.
Congratulations on all your achievements, Rollie Fingers, may your mustache grow forever