What does a DH do with all that time in between at-bats? If he’s Jason Giambi, he shaves off his mustache.
Or at least that was the case on Monday night, when someone apparently informed Giambi that DH doesn’t stand for “demonstrably hirsute.” Check out his plate appearances: In the 1st inning he had that gross little ’70s porn star mustache that he’s been wearing this year. Same thing in the 3rd inning. But in the 5th inning, whoa — not a whisker in sight! Feeling a bit drafty on the upper lip, Jason?
I know of only one other instance of a player shaving during a game (although I bet there are others): Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, better known as the Bill Buckner Game. A young Roger Clemens was the Red Sox starter that evening, and he took the mound with some clearly visible stubble, including some nascent sideburns. But later on, after he’d been removed from the game and then returned to the dugout, his face had undergone a transformation. Still, Clemens shaved after he’d left the contest, which makes his in-game grooming less remarkable than Giambi’s.
The Yankees, of course, have banned beards throughout the Steinbrenner era. Willie Randolph brought that rule with him to the Mets last season but has allowed beards this year. The Reds used to ban facial hair too, but that changed back in 1999 when they acquired Greg Vaughn, who successfully pleaded with ownership not to make him shave his beard because, he claimed, his children wouldn’t recognize him anymore.
I wrote a little something about facial hair, including a timeline of notable whisker-related moments, back in Uni Watch’s Village Voice days. You can read that piece here.
Meanwhile, if Giambi doesn’t already have a razor endorsement deal, his agent ought to get on the phone with Gillette or Schick right now.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Our discussions of accents and other diacritical marks on nameplates has led Jeremy Brahm to find two players who wear an æ ligature: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Kristofer Hæstad. And then there’s Fredrik Strømstad, whose got one of those empty set ø characters. … Uni Watch gets name-dropped in this eBay listing, posted by reader Drew Samuelson. … Every now and then you see a player whose pants are pulled so far up that you can see the white name tag on his socks. But it never looks like anything’s written on the tag, so why is there in the first place?