Daily Egyptian

Mustache March coming to an end for SIU baseball

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

Sometimes baseball players’ facial hair is comparable to their legacy on the field. Take Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers’ handlebar mustache for example. Other times players wish their mustache was more popular than his legacy — a la Bill Buckner, famous for his error that lost the Red Sox a World Series.

This season six SIU baseball players grew mustaches for their own month-long holiday they named “Mustache March.”

They come in different thicknesses and lengths. Some blonde, and some black. But it’s not the appearance that matters, it’s the effort.

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Last season, junior infielder Ryan Sabo’s roommate and former outfielder, Parker Osborne was the lone Saluki to grow his lip hairs out, thus creating Mustache March.

Sophomores Greg Lambert, Hunter Anderson, Logan Blackfan, juniors Ryan Smith, Sabo and senior Taylor Martin have all participated in some capacity in Mustache March this season. Only Lambert, and Sabo’s ‘staches remain. 

For some players, the mustache did not improve performance on the field. Take Blackfan — the mustache seemed to hinder his abilities at the plate.

Before the doubleheader against Northern Illinois and Illinois on March 20, Blackfan went 8-37 at the plate with six RBIs for the month. In the six games right before NIU and Illinois came to town, he went 2-22.

Something had to change.

Blackfan shaved off his mustache the night before SIU’s games against the Huskies and Illini. 

“I didn’t want to do it, I was sitting in front of the mirror for a long time [on March 19],” he said. “I guess it worked out for us — he’s gone but hopefully he will be back again next year.”

The Cordova, Tenn., native belted a fastball on a full count over the right-center field fence for a three-run home run in his first at-bat after shaving his whiskers.

It would seem the mustache was bad juju for Blackfan, but as a team, SIU is 8-4-1 in the month of March including two wins against Illinois.

“I could grow a mustache when I was in seventh grade,” Sabo said. “I started growing this one a couple weeks before March, so I had a headstart.”

Lambert said the team’s mustaches intimidate opposing teams and it shows. Since growing his ‘stache, Lambert is batting .301 at the dish.

His blonde hair means his mustache is not easy to see from afar. Even players with darker facial fur used Just for Men hair treatment to darken their ‘staches.

“They see a guy with the mustache and they have to think ‘I don’t want to mess with that kid,” Lambert said. “The next step has to be be to add the mullet with the mustache.”

But it’s not just the opposing teams that have taken notice — members of the opposite sex have as well, the players said.

Lambert thinks that is the reason that some of his teammates refused to try and grow a mustache. 

“They have girlfriends and they’re whipped,” he said.

The Mustache Marchers went on to give reasons for players not growing mustaches; they can’t physically do it, they’re scared and they’re pretty boys.

Lambert and Sabo have just five more games to don their ‘staches, next being against Memphis at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Itchy Jones Stadium.

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or at (618)536-3304

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