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Battle Of The Beards: Which Red Sox Player Grows The Best?

Jordan Gary |
October 20, 2013 | 8:00 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Even fans have been rallying behind the trendy beard phenomenon (Lorianne DiSabato/Creative Commons)
Even fans have been rallying behind the trendy beard phenomenon (Lorianne DiSabato/Creative Commons)
The Red Sox have seen a fantastic year, ending the regular season with the best record in baseball beating the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS and then the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. There is no doubt that the Red Sox have a lot going for them, but a major factor in their success this year has been the chemistry among players. And what better way to bond with teammates than with beards? The fans have joined in on the beard growing, companies have been capitalizing on the marketability and basically everyone has drawn comparisons to the beards of the stars on "Duck Dynasty". Here is a comprehensive ranking of every beard on the 2013 Red Sox:

13. Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury's beard comes in last on this list, simply for lack of effort. As the last to join in the bearded festivities, he is the player with the least impressive beard. Jacoby may have had a stellar season, with 52 stolen bases (the most in the Major Leagues) and .298 batting average, but just about the only thing that his play could not make up for was his lackluster facial hair.

12. John Lackey

Official Beard Nickname: "The Sure Thing"

While Lackey himself may have been a "sure thing" this season, turning his image around after a devastating 2011 collapse, his beard is a little bit lacking. Bestowed with the "Please Grow a Bigger Beard" award by Grantland, Lackey hasn't failed to disappoint with his beard this season. The main problem is that unlike most all of his other teammates', his beard has no heart or distinct personality; it seems like he just forgot to trim or shave for a few weeks. As not just the worst beard on the pitching staff (excluding Uehara's complete lack of a beard), but one of the worst on the team, Lackey earns every bit of his number 12 spot on this list.

11. Clay Buchholz

Official Beard Nickname: "The Buck"

Its nickname features a backwards "k" to represent the numerous strikeouts Buchholz has thrown. While he has an impressive 12-1 regular season record, the one loss came after Clay returned from a neck muscle injury. He also hasn't won a postseason game in his career. BucHholz' beard is very similar to his pitching in that it started off strong, and while it still has some great locks to support it, it's been a bit spotty and grimy lately.

10. Brandon Workman

Official Beard Nickname: "The Blue Collar"

While this beard's nickname is quite clever, it is not very impressive. If simple beards are your style, then this is the beard for you, but the Red Sox have proven that they are anything but simple this year, and if you want to have the best beard, it has to stand out. Workman's beard resembles "the Pineapple" (see: Shane Victorino), just with less finesse. While the simple beard with scruff is perfect for Victorino, Workman just has trouble working it.

Ryan Dempster (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
Ryan Dempster (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
9. Ryan Dempster

Official Beard Nickname: "The Canuck"

Nicknamed the "Canuck" for his canadian heritage, Dempster's beard has a nice strawberry-blonde hue to it that none of the other beards do, so though it isn't as intense as others, it has a soft, welcoming demeanor the other beards lack. While welcoming probably isn't the look the Sox are going for, the "Canuck" is a refreshing change from some of the other overpowering beards.

8. Shane Victorino

Official Beard Nickname: "The Pineapple"

Victorino's beard is not the biggest on the team, but has just a little scruff around the edges, has a connecting mustache to show effort, and brings with it, its own style and personality. With its nickname stemming from Victorino's Hawaiian background, this beard embodies a laidback style, just like Shane. Everytime he comes to the plate, Victorino's beard and walk up song remind everyone that "every little thing is gonna be alright". What's not so laidback is Victorino's hitting power, as evidenced by his grand slam in the bottom of the seventh of ALCS Game 6 to send the Sox to the World Series.

7. Mike Carp

Official Beard Nickname: "The Freshwater"

While I'm sure Carp has never heard a fish joke in his life, Carp is definitely no stranger to beards. Debuting for a team in the land of hipsters, Carp was exposed to plenty of facial hair before growing the majesty that is "The Freshwater". Though the nickname may be unimaginative, he is anything but, adding an air of Carp-e Diem to the team reflected in his beard. Carp keeps his beard maintained, but leaves it just scraggly enough to convey a sense of throwing caution to the wind.

David Ross (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
David Ross (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
6. David Ross

Official Beard Nickname: "The Wolf"

Complete with his own beard comb, the man affectionately known as Blue Wolf by teammates ranks just outside of the top five. The gray patch adds to the beard, making the statement "though he be but old, he is fierce". Ross may only be a backup catcher, but as of late when he is given the chance, he shows that his performance does not take a back seat to starters, just as his beard doesn't take a back seat to younger beards.

5. Dustin Pedroia

Official Beard Nickname: "The Sick Flow"

This beard resembles David Ortiz' but much more scrappy, just like Pedroia himself. The nickname, says it all. Pedroia has had a sick flow this season, both in terms of his beard and his performance. Having a beard makes Pedroia look much older than the 15 year old we are used to seeing out at second base. On top of looking older, Pedroia had a superb season, and locked down an eight year, $110 million contract extension. Hopefully, we'll see much more of Pedroia's sick flow in the seasons to come.

4.David Ortiz

Official Beard Nickname: "The Tease"

While many beards on this team are all about being loud and out there, Ortiz has his beard down to an art form. It is carefully sculpted and almost perfectly symmetrical, just like his performance this season, including a clutch eighth inning grand slam in game two of the ALCS to tie up the game and lead to the eventual Red Sox win. Whether it be hitting balls or hitting phones, both Ortiz and his beard have shown immense power this season. 

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Official Beard Nickname: "The Saltine"

Salty rounds out the top three, and for good reason. Not only does his beard look fantastic and not too wild, but he has the curly locks to compliment it. He looks like a beast, and beasts at the plate too. More often than not, you could hear "Salty" chants follow clutch hit after clutch hit this season, and he is one of the few players that rarely fails to disappoint on defense, providing a little consistency for the not-so-consistent pitching staff this season.

2. Jonny Gomes

Official Beard Nickname: "The Ironsides"

There is no containing this beard. It speaks for itself, with its uncontrollability and general ferocity. He is accredited with co-starting the beard trend on the team alongside Napoli during spring training, and his dedication to growing it out really shows. Gomes' beard and personality have really added to team chemistry this year, as seen in this amazing interview on "Intentional Talk".

Mike Napoli(Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
Mike Napoli(Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
1. Mike Napoli

Official Beard Nickname: "The Siesta"

As if it wasn't already obvious, the honor of "best beard" goes to none other than the man who started it all, Mike Napoli. After a tumultuous 2012 season, the Red Sox were given a blessing in disguise in Napoli, and he brought with him the gift of beards. His beard is somehow simultaneously groomed and incredibly out of control. It's almost as if Napoli is growing a small, but carefully contained forest on his chin. While this may stop some from doling out the title of best beard, I say all the more reason to give it to him. There is no better beard to tug at after a clutch hit, than the most untamed one, and Napoli is, without a doubt, in possession of just that beard.


There is a lot of beard to go around on this team, and while some are more glorious than others, at the end of the day, there's nothing quite as glorious as a champagne soaked beard. Already two deep this postseason, the 2013 Red Sox look to soak their beards one more time as they head to World Series to face the Cardinals.


Reach Staff Writer Jordan Gary here or follow her on Twitter.



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