Movember is once again in full-swing and moustaches are running wild; it’s the one month of the year that allows men around the world to both annoy their significant others, and raise money for a great cause. It’s win-win really.
While the National Hockey League has fully embraced and promoted the idea of their players growing their nose-neighbours for prostate cancer awareness the league still can’t hold a candle to the clear leader in the sports moustache industry. Baseball.
Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Dennis Eckersley, Wade Boggs. Sure they’re hall of famers but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t think of their epic soup-strainers when you bring up their names. Flip through a book of old-timey baseball photos and many Major League players were sporting one, it was those 19th-Century baseball moustaches that Rollie Fingers fashioned his after in order to win a $300 “who could grow the best facial hair” bonus from Oakland A’s owner Charlie O. Finley in 1972.
No one element in baseball can make such an impact and not end up making an appearance in merchandise, branding, or whatever else can generate revenue. The moustache is no exception. Earlier this year Nike released a line of t-shirts featuring silhouettes of famous Major League player moustaches throughout history, mostly the 1980s (what? no Dave Stieb?!) and fans loved them!
So with all that said, and in honour of Movember, this week I’ll be taking a look at baseball’s best moustached team logos.
Cincinnati Redlegs / Cincinnati Reds, National League (1954-1960, 2007-Pres)
When the Cincinnati Reds changed their name from Reds to Redlegs to avoid being hunted down by Senator McCarthy in 1954 they also introduced this moustached mascot to represent them, sporting that traditional baseball moustache complete with pillbox cap and collared jersey, Mr. Red eventually shaved off his famous facial hair and went clean-shaven for four long decades before finally bringing it back for good in 2007.
Syracuse Chiefs, International League (2007-Pres)
The Syracuse Chiefs had their own nickname dilemma, changing from the offensive-to-some “Chiefs” to the offensive-to-all “SkyChiefs” in 1997. Some marketing folk in Syracuse were thinking outside the box and brought back the Chiefs nickname in 2007 this time focusing the branding on trains rather than Native Americans. This guy seems to be enjoying his moustache the most of all our hairy lipped graphics by letting it fly in the wind.
Clinton Lumberkings, Midwest League (1994-2004)
By far the craziest looking one of the bunch, the Midwest League’s Clinton Lumberkings used this crown-wearing, 2×4-with-a-nail-in-it wielding, moustached lunatic as one of their cap logos for eleven seasons. He was replaced by his younger, suave, tanned cousin in 2005, sadly the moustache was also a victim of the “upgrade” dumped in favour of a neatly-trimmed goatee.
West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, Southern League (1998-2010)
Probably my favourite moustache on a baseball logo, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx unfortunately recently renamed themselves as the Jackson Generals before this past season replacing the burgundy bushy moustached diamond miner with a bulldog wearing an army helmet… sigh. Hey, did you notice his headlamp is a baseball? How’d he see down in those mines? Moustache Power, that’s how.
Lexington Legends, South Atlantic League (2001-Pres)
The only baseball logo I could find to sport Catfish Hunter’s legendary waxed moustache, the Sally League’s Lexington Legends mascot gives you a look as if he’s saying, “so, how ’bout it?” from the other side of the club. Here’s a fun fact: his ball cap is an L with a 2, yup, L-squared!
Auburn Doubledays, New York-Penn League (1996-Pres)
Named after Abner Doubleday, one of the many credited with inventing baseball, the logo of the Auburn Doubledays borrows its look from the fashion of Abner’s day – although with a style of moustache that Mr. Doubleday himself did not sport. Also, whoever threw that pitch is in for one hell of an ass whoopin’ should the hitter ever recover from his impending brain injury, some obvious head hunting going on in this logo.
Albuquerque Dukes, Pacific Coast League (1972-2000)
I know, I know, his moustache isn’t all that great, but I just had to include the only moustache in a logo that I could conceivably grow myself… come to think of it he kinda looks like me. Anyways, the Albuquerque Dukes logo incorporated the colours of the State of New Mexico while also including elements of the state flag interspliced (it’s a word) with an “A” onto the front of the dukes feathered cap… they just don’t make logos like this anymore.
Best of the Rest:
If these colourful characters can get in the spirit of Movember, no reason why you can’t too… head on over to the Movember site to sign up so you grow your ‘stache, raise some dough, have some fun, and save some lives!
Like logos? Then you’ll love this website, check out SportsLogos.Net for a massive online database showcasing the history of sports logos and uniforms.