DFHC 9/19/2011

Ask Hairy Daddy Update Part Duh

Dear Friends: If the modern era of hairy ballplayers indeed began early in the 1972 season with Reggie Jackson’s mustache, then the beard came hot on its heels that same season. I had newspaper clippings, and in this case could put my finger right on them, because I had pasted them into a notebook/journal I was keeping at the time. These 2 are from an entry dated September 24, 1972.

For ages now, whenever I clip a picture or article, I’ll write the date on it…I didn’t in those days, and who knows how long I had these 2 lying around before I put them in. (From the captions, it seems they might be at least a few days apart…)  But did I write anything about this trend of ballplayers going mod with the facial hair? Alas, nope…I just wrote about girls…big surprise. 3 weeks later, with the World Series underway, I put in these…again, with no comment. But notice the story about the Mustache Gang’s origin is different from the one I mentioned Saturday…altho I suppose both could be true, right?

Also interesting to note there’s no picture of Reggie…nor of Rollie Fingers, perhaps baseball most famous ‘stache. But that reference to the House of David is interesting…

The Israelite House of David was a religious commune founded by one Benjamin Franklin Purnell, the self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 1895. It never had more than a couple hundred members, and pretty much petered out in the 1960s…altho apparently there are several members still alive today.

You will read that one of its tenets was that men couldn’t shave their beards or cut their hair. Well, from the pictures above, the hair part is right…but as any ZZ Top fan understands, in the time it took to grow it that long, you’d have a good bushy beard to match, and some of these guys don’t. Perhaps there was an interpretation that considered “re-growing” a beard the same as “growing” one. But you can see these are ballplayers…notice the guy in the top picture, to the right…pulling his mane back, getting ready to play?

Here’s the thing: HOD was, to put it bluntly, a doomsday cult…you were supposed to sell all your worldly possessions, move to Michigan, and give the money to Jesus’ brother. The ball-team began around 1913 and served 2 purposes: to raise money for the sect, and to also preach the word and seek converts. But this touring team became extremely popular…both for the curiosity factor…guys with Veronica Lake hair, after all…and for their entertaining style of play…they had a hot-potato pepper-game routine like the Harlem Globetrotters would adopt a decade later. They expanded to having 3 different teams barnstorming across the country, and by the late 1920s, the inevitable happened: they started to sign on ringers. 

These guys weren’t required to grow long locks, but most of them did grow beards in deference to the sect’s beliefs (see above)…the few that didn’t wore fake beards. And if you had the drawing power, you could even go clean-shaven…as Grover Cleveland Alexander did when he toured with HOD, after he retired from “regular” baseball. Thus, altho at the beginning the long hair was the gimmick, eventually it became beards that were associated with the team, hence that reference. No, no…don’t thank me…that’s what I’m here for…


What’ll they think of next, right? So the next time you feel like telling your computer to SIT ON IT…But “cooling station”…would that make a hot-water bottle a “warming station”? Once in the clothing section of a store, I saw a setup that they called a “socks bar”…take 2 of these, 4 of these, what else looks good?…

 shameless plugs, but stubbly…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

NEW!   >>>>>   Audio samples at  http://stolfspots.podbean.com/   <<<<<<

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