It’s the middle of November and for many Canadian men, and men around the world for that matter, it means their growing a mustache for Movember. For those that are late to the party, men around the world grow mustaches in Movember to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer.
Through the years a number of Blue Jays players and coaches have sported some slick mustaches. In honor of Movember and men’s health everywhere it’s seems like an appropriate time to take a look at some of the top Blue Jays mustaches. Anyone who’s worn a Blue Jays uniform, no matter how short their stint with the Jays was, is eligible. The other criteria? Basically, just a mustache that makes you stand back and take notice. You’ll see what I mean as we go through the list. Here we go…
10. Danny Cox
Danny Cox spent three seasons in Toronto from 1993 to 1995. During that time he was an integral part of the bullpen in the 1993 championship season and sported the sweet ‘stache in the pictures above.
During the 1993 season Cox appeared in 44 games and posted a 3.12 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP. He also averaged a solid 2.90 strikeouts per walk ratio and averaged nine strikeouts per nine innings. Is there any doubt that staring down batters with his handle bar ‘stache was partly responsible for that success?
9. Jack Morris
Jack Morris spent two seasons in Toronto and was a part of both World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. He brought the same ‘stache he had sported with Detroit and Minnesota along for the ride north of the border. His 1992 season was his most successful in a Blue Jays uniform, as he became the first pitcher in franchise to win 20 games. No doubt the Jays hard-hitting offense was at least partially responsible for that, as Morris sported a mediocre 4.04 ERA and only a 2.5 WAR that season.
If you asked batters who faced Morris whether they feared his hard sinking forkball or his ‘stache more I wonder what they would say?
8. Cito Gaston
Cito Gaston and his ‘stache set the standard for facial hair in the Toronto dugout for over a decade. Cito and his ‘stache first landed in Toronto in 1982 when he joined the franchise as the team’s hitting coach. He took over as manager in 1989 when Jimy Williams was canned and held that position for the next eight seasons. In his first nine seasons at the helm Cito led the Jays to four division titles, and a pair of World Series titles. Cito was fired near the end of the ’97 season but returned for a short stint as hitting coach in 2000 and shocked a lot of people when he began a second go-around as manager in 2008.
If you want to see how respected Cito’s ‘stache was take a look at the way the team honored him during his final game. Every player sported their own ‘stache in honor of Cito, but none of them could pull it off the way Gaston had for more than 20 years.
7. 1980′s Outfield – George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield
What made the Blue Jays trio the bet outfield? Was it the great combination of power from Bell and Barfield on the corners? Or, was it the five-tool skills of Moseby? How about the solid defensive of Moseby and Barfield and the cannon of an arm that Barfield had? More likely it was all of the above, or maybe, just maybe it was the epic ‘staches all three players sported. Yeah, let’s go with that.
6. Buck Martinez
Buck Martinez may be clean shaven now, but before he traded in his catcher’s gear for the broadcast booth he sported quite the ‘stache. Buck and his ‘stache spent six seasons behind the plate in Toronto and his most memorable moment came in 1985. More specifically it was on July 9, 1985. That night the Jays faced the Mariners and Buck was a major part of the all too rare 9-2-7-2 double play.
The unforgettable play began with Phil Bradley on second and Goran Thomas at the plate. Thomas knocked a single to Jesse Barfield in right field. Barfield delivered a strike to Buck at home. Buck successfully blocked the plate but got steamrolled by Thomas in the process. Sitting up after getting destroyed by Thomas, Buck threw the ball to third to try and get Bradley. The ball flew into left field but it was quickly corralled by George Bell. Bell hit a still sitting Buck with a perfect throw to nail Thomas at the plate. What makes the play even more amazing was that Buck suffered a broken leg and severely dislocated ankle when Thomas ran over him. If he wasn’t sporting such a slick ‘stache he probably would have died.
5. Otto Velez
When you hear the name Otto Velez how can you not picture a guy with a rockin’ ‘stache? Velez didn’t disappoint either, sporting the ‘stache in the pictures above during his time in Toronto from 1977 to 1982.
Velez was selected by the Blue Jays in the 1976 expansion draft and was the DH on opening day in 1977. He was also the first Blue Jays to ever win the Player of the Month award. Velez received the honor in April, 1977 after he hit .442 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 21 games. The ‘stache probably got him a few votes too.
4. Dave Stieb
Dave Stieb was arguably the best starting pitcher the Blue Jays have ever had. He also rocked a pretty suave ‘stache during his lengthy tenure in Toronto.
Stieb joined the Blue Jays in 1979 and remained with the team until 1992. He came out of retirement in 1998 and spent one interesting season in the Toronto bullpen. In those 15 years he set a number of franchise records, including wins, ERA and strikeouts. He also threw the only no-hitter in franchise history when he blanked the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 2, 1990. That’s the power of a wicked ‘stache right there.
3. Dennis Lamp
Lamp’s best season with Torontocame in 1985. It was also the first season Toronto made the playoffs. Pitching out of the Toronto bullpen that season Lamp posted an 11-0 record with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He also posted a stellar 2.52 strikeouts per walk ratio and a 1.2 WAR. Not bad for a reliever. He also earned a few MVP votes that season. He would have definitely won the Most Valuable Mustache award that season.
2. Cliff Johnson
Johnson’s ‘stache clubbed 22 home runs in 1983. It also led to this great music video by Baseball Card Theatre that get’s me laughing every time I watch it. He probably found it hard to smile due to the hefty weight of his ‘stache above his stiff upper lip.
1. Sal Fasano
Sal Fasano played only 16 games for the Blue Jays, but there’ no denying he had the most impressive ‘stache in franchise history. Just look at that thing. It’s a piece of facial hair beauty.
Fasasno found his way to Toronto in 2007 when he filled in for an injured Gregg Zaun. Despite his short tenure with the club, he (or more likely his ‘stache) must have made an impression. After retiring in 2009 Fasano rejoined the Blue Jays organization as the manager of the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts. The following year he took over as the manager of the Double-A New Hampshire Fishers Cats where he won the Eastern League Manager of the Year award in 2011.
A few more honorable mentions who just missed making the cut ….