As long as there have been sports to play and men to play them, facial hair — especially a beard — has played a part. Whether for intimidation or just plain fashion, athletes have chosen to go hirsute in pursuit of glory. Nowhere has it been more evident than in hockey, where the “playoff beard” is all the rage. Some are just plain ugly and patchy, but in the case of former NHLer Mike Commodore, almost comical in proportion. Ginger haired Commodore didn’t start the fad, but he certainly took the look to the next level. Recently, baseball players have followed suit, with maniacal Brian Wilson of the Los Angeles Dodgers growth setting the standard. Funny too, that this day in age, the New York Yankees are still prohibited from sporting so much as a moustache. As they haven’t won a World Series in four years — gasp — maybe it’s time to relax the ban.
The World Series champions had so many candidates for this category, you could literally have put anyone on the list. For Pedroia’s part, he didn’t need a beard to make him any more intense. He’s a force of nature on the field and at the plate and gives other team’s fits. Without the beard he grew last year, though, Pedroia looks like a crazed elf. He’s short enough (5’8″), has pointy ears and his legs go 100 MPH when he’s running, so you get the picture. In 2013 though, ‘The Muddy Chicken’, shaved his head and grew a beard that any Amish farmer would be proud of. Did it make him more imposing? Not sure, but it sure didn’t hurt.