In July of 1973, MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn issued a stern order to Pittsburg Pirates starting pitcher Dock Ellis, demanding that he cease and desist wearing curlers on the field during batting practice. True to his outspoken and controversial form, Ellis added several more every day for the rest of his road trip, stating that he simply “did not play good unless he looked good.”
One can appreciate Commissioner Kuhn’s concern: few positions in professional sports receive as much air time as major league pitchers. As such, when hurlers significantly stray from the Steinbrenner look, America takes notice.
To that end, in honor of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in 10 days, we present part one of a season-long grooming series on grooming pastimes in America’s pastime.