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1970s / Oakland As Mustache Gang 1972
Nineteenth-century baseball players regularly sported mustaches. After the turn of the twentieth century, though, most ballplayers were clean shaven. By 1914 only one MLB player--Wally Schang--had facial hair. For the next 58 years, there were no mustachioed players in MLB. In 1972 Reggie Jackson showed up for the Oakland A's spring training camp with a mustache. A's owner Charlie Finley and manager Dick Williams both hated it. The more they insisted that Jackson shave it off, the more defiant he became. Finley then attempted some reverse psychology: He figured if he encouraged other A's players to grow mustaches, Jackson's sense of individuality would be defeated and he'd voluntarily shave his mustache. The plan backfired. After several players starting growing mustaches, Finley started to like the new look of his team and the publicity that came with it. He completely switched gears and offered a $300 bonus to anyone who had grown a mustache by Father's Day. In fact, Finley began pressuring his players to have mustaches. To a man, everyone on the A's roster agreed--including ultra-conservative manager Williams. The A’s long-haired, mustachioed look would stamp them with an identity starkly different from the rest of Major League Baseball. Relief pitcher Rollie Fingers (shown here) became the most noteworthy Oakland player with a mustache. His agreement to sport stylish facial hair was included in his contract--along with a $100 annual stipend for mustache wax.