Rollie Fingers and His Magic Mustache
I once tried to grow a handlebar mustache.
Well, let's say I tried to grow a mustache...any ol' mustache, with or without handlebars.
There were two problems with this plan:
|1974 Topps Rollie Fingers|
- Problem #1: I can't grow a mustache
- Problem #2: See Problem #1
My facial follicle shortcomings aside, Fingers was always one of my favorite players. Because he was a relief pitcher - or "fireman" in baseball parlance - he usually didn't appear until the sixth or seventh inning when the starting pitcher's arm was starting to get rubbery. Fingers would come in with a fresh arm and fan the opposing team's sluggers, sealing the win while his mustachioed upper lip intimidated follicle-challenged guys everywhere, including your wayward blog author.
|1975 Topps (left) and 1976 Topps Rollie Fingers|
A few details about the cards pictured here: All three of the cards pictured here were made by Topps:
A few details about Mr. Fingers: Born Roland Glen Fingers in August 1946, Rollie pitched for 18 years in the majors. He played for the A's from 1968 to 1976, the San Diego Padres from 1977-1980 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1981-1985. His number 34 has been retired by both the A's and the Padres. He was elected to the hall of fame in 1992.
Fingers was a seven-time all-star, was the AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner in 1981, and was a four-time Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year winner.
In 1973, A's owner Charles Finley offered a $300 bonus to the player who could grow and maintain the best facial hair. Rollie ran with it...
In 1986, the Cincinnati Reds offered Fingers a contract to pitch for one more season. However, the Reds had a "clean-cut" policy, meaning the organization would not allow players to grow facial hair. Fingers turned down the job, telling the Reds GM: "Well, you tell Marge Schott to shave her Saint Bernard, and I'll shave my mustache". You just gotta love a man with principles when it comes to the sanctity of his facial hair.
Fingers still rocks his coiffed facial hair today. Check out his website: Rollie Fingers Official Website