July 29, 2010

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

I'm back from Vegas and Alex Rodriguez is still stuck at 599 home runs. Who would've bet on that?!? Zing!

We'll be getting back to the regular features (Twitter Tuesday, Friday 5, etc.) soon, but in the meantime...let's try and grow the Facebook page.

Deal?

Become a member of The Hall of Very Good by clicking HERE. And if you are already a fan...invite your friends

July 25, 2010

The Ten Best Moments from The Hawk’s Career

Well, today's the day, baseball fans...the Hall of Fame Induction!

After nine long years on the ballot, Andre Dawson finally got the call, and to celebrate his achievement, Charles Beatley (proprietor of
Hawk for the Hall) put together a list of what he says are the best of The Hawk's storied career.

October 25, 2003

Wins first World Series championship. Yes, Dawson was retired, but he played an important part in the Florida Marlins second appearance in the fall classic. After his retirement from baseball, The Hawk joined the organization’s front office and instantly became a mentor to many of the team’s young and upcoming talent. While all Hawk fans, especially Cubs fans, would have loved his World Serioes ring to come as a player, I am happy that he got to experience that champion feel in some capacity.

July 13, 1987

In the midst of his MVP season, Dawson won the Home Run Derby at the Oakland Coliseum. Who did he beat? George Bell, Ozzie Virgil and Mark McGwire.

September 11 and 13, 1976

At the age of 21, The Hawk begins his career making his MLB debut. How did he do? 0-2, one strikeout. Fortunately that wasn’t a sign of things to come. Two days later he got his first hit, off of who else, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton...one of the pitchers who he would have great success against in the future.

April 29, 1987

The Hawk did one of the more difficult things to do in the big leagues and that is hit for the cycle. It came against the Giants at Wrigley Field with him going 5-5 in an 8-4 win for the Cubs. Dawson hit a home run in the first, double in the third, single in the fourth, triple in the sixth and topped it off with a second single in the 8th.

October 2, 1988

Dawson broke Bobby Bonds’ record of eleven consecutive seasons of at least ten home runs and ten stolen bases. Just a pre-cursor of what was to come for the future Hall of Famer in terms of rare combination of power and speed.

September 24th, 1985

Before he became a Cub, Dawson punished his future team having the best game of his career. In 6 at bats, he had 4 hits, 3 of which were home runs, with 8 RBIs and three runs scored. What can be better than that? How about becoming only the second player in Major League history to hit two home runs in the same inning, a pair of three-run shots in the fifth. Expos won by the way 17-15. (Read what longtime Cubs write George Castle told The Hall of Very Good about that day HERE)

July 9, 1991

The Hawk made his last All-Star appearance (he played in eight total) and went out with a bang. He hit a home run in a losing effort for the National League off of Roger Clemens in the Toronto Skydome.

April 15, 1993

Andre hit his 400th career home run with the Red Sox on April 15 at Fenway Park in the second inning. The Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 that day. Sadly, the steroid era has diminished how special it is to reach such a plateau now...but I remember when it happened for The Hawk and how amazed I was.

May 23, 1991

Dawson joined two exclusive clubs by stealing his 300th base...the 300 home runs/300 stolen bases club and the even more rare 300 home runs/300 stolen bases and 2,000 hits club. It happened at Shea Stadium in a 4-3 Cubs win over the Mets. Other 300/300 members...Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Steve Finley and Reggie Sanders. Other 300/300/2000 members...Barry Bonds, Mays and Finley.

July 25, 2010

I know its cliché, but I saved the best for last…the 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction. Today is your day Mr. Dawson. Today is the day you don’t have to be the humble superstar athlete that we all came to love. Today you become one of baseball’s immortal and unforgettable heroes. Enjoy your day, you’ve waited a long time for this, you’ve reached the pinnacle of an athelete’s career, a career that will always be special to this Hawk fan!


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July 23, 2010

Talkin' Hall of Fame Baseball with George Castle

Earlier in the season, I had the opportunity to talk baseball with baseball writer and "Diamond Gems" host George Castle and given we're both passionate about the Hall of Fame...some of our conversion had to do with just that.

This past week, I caught back up with Castle and got him to share with me his favorite Andre Dawson story.

CASTLE: My favorite Dawson story was from the end of the '85 season...September 24th to be exact. Anyway, I'm doing work for Larry King's segment on NBC's pro football pre-game show. Mostly football, but some other sports news where warranted. I approach Dawson after Expos batting practice. I ask if he'd ever want to play for the Cubs. He said in fact he did if he became a free agent (which he did a year later), and that bleacher fans were constantly encouraging hm to come to the Cubs. That day, as if to emphasize his desire to play in Wrigley, Dawson slugged three homers and drove in eight runs. His best day in the majors. I had a nice scoop on Larry King's segment, as Dawson was famed for stalking the Cubs in spring training 1987 to sign that blank contract.

HOVG: How do you feel about Dawson going in as an Expo rather than a Cub?

CASTLE: It’s no big deal. He’s in the Hall, period, after waiting a bit too long. Any way you get in, in any hat, is fine. But he ID’s as a Cub, those were the best years of his life. The Hall probably played a little politics, yet recognizing a dead franchise is a little strange.

HOVG: Baseball’s former all-time saves leader and the all-time leader in saves for the Cubs, Lee Smith.

CASTLE: Lee Arthur deserves enshrinement due to durability and production. I think he lost out not appearing in a World Series and starring for the New York teams, where there is a big concentration of Hall voters.

HOVG: White Sox legend and one of the game’s best designated hitters, Harold Baines.

CASTLE: Hall of the Very Good indeed with Harold. Consistent hitter, but not a superstar.

HOVG: Current Cubs broadcaster Ron Santo.

CASTLE: Flat-out deserves enshrinement. Better hitter than Brooks Robinson and 90 percent of the fielder. Some petty politics involved in not getting Ronnie the 75 percent of the vote, which is a tough threshold to reach.

HOVG: In 2005, Ryne Sandberg made his way through the doors of the Hall of Fame. However, he doesn’t seem to get the respect that he probably deserves. Where do you think he ranks all-time among Cubs greats?

CASTLE: Probably in the Top Five or Six. Great all-around player, fundamentally sound and totally dedicated.

George Castle is a lifelong Chicagoan and has been following the Cubs since he began drawing breath. Since 1980, he’s been covering baseball for a variety of newspapers and magazines. In 1994, Castle began “Diamond Gems” and four years later, he penned his first book.

Castle lives in the northern Chicago suburbs with wife, Nina, their two dogs and an African grey parrot that mimics him perfectly.



BallHype: hype it up!

The Hall of Fame Class of 2015 (so far)

Looking ahead to the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is tricky...and the reasons are simple.

There are some guys who are definitely retired like Randy Johnson and Nomar Garciaparra. There are guys like John Smoltz who don't look to be coming back. And, of course, there are those who seem to be up in the air as to whether or not they want to play or not a la Pedro Martinez.

Add to that those pesky few who are out there and just not signed (Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield)...and 2015 looks murky at best.

IN.

Randy Johnson.
With the uncertainties out there of who is officially retired and who isn't..."The Big Unit" announced he was done following last year. With five Cy Young Awards, a no-hitter and a perfect game...Johnson is pretty much as safe a lock to end up in Cooperstown as anyone who ever toed the rubber. Add in 303 wins, 4875 strikeouts, a World Series ring and ten All-Star appearances and yeah...it'll be interesting to see what knuckleheads don't believe he is worthy of going in on the first ballot.



Pedro Martinez.
Martinez recently announced that he won't be playing at all this season. Of course, he didn't rule out 2011. Memo to Pedro...pack up your .687 winning percentage, sub-3.00 ERA, three Cy Young Awards and status as a Boston legend and reserve a hotel in Cooperstown for July 2015. There is nothing more for Martinez to prove and at this point...all he can do is ruin his reputation.


John Smoltz is a tricky one. At first glance, he doesn't look like he has the numbers to make it to the Hall of Fame. That said, when you look deeper...he's a pretty special player. In 2002 he became only the second pitcher (Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is the other) to have had both a 20-win season and a 50-save season. The 1996 National League Cy Young award winner is also the only pitcher in major league history to top both 200 wins and 150 saves. Oh yeah, he also is just the 16th pitcher to surpass 3000 Ks for his career.


It is amazing to me how polarizing Gary Sheffield is. Me? I love the dude...and what's not to like? A career .292 batting average, 509 home runs and close to 2700 hits...the man is a hitting machine and performed at just about every stop during his 22-year career.


OUT (in random order).

Nomar Garciaparra.
Alright, reality check time. One of my favorite players of all-time is Nomar Garciaparra, so naturally...one would think that I would automatically pencil him in for a 2015 enshrinement. Unfortunately, his career numbers just aren't good enough. He started his career alongside Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and, arguably, overshadowed them at first. However, injuries plagued the Whittier, California native, whereas the other two are legends.

Troy Percival.
It's pretty safe to say that I have a soft spot for closers. Just days ago, I said that John Franco is a Hall of Famer and took massive heat for it. For years, I've been trumpeting the efforts of Lee Smith. That said, I can't get behind Percival. His 358 saves (good for eighth all-time) is spectacular, but the dude never led the league and can't really hold a candle to some of his contemporaries.

2005 American League Cy Young Bartolo Colon, Brian Giles, Eddie Guardado, Paul Byrd, Tom Gordon, Jason Schmidt, Darin Erstad, David Weathers, Rich Aurilia, Russ Ortiz, Mark Loretta, Tony Clark, Cliff Floyd and Julian Tavarez.

ON THE BUBBLE.

Carlos Delgado.
There are plenty of rumors out there surrounding Carlos Delgado. Ask him and he'll tell you that he is coming back. Check out his Wikipedia page and he's already been signed by the New York Yankees. Ask me and I will tell you that if he hangs it up now, he's on the bubble when it comes to the Hall of Fame. Sitting 27 home runs shy of 500 for his career, Delgado is not that far from becoming the first player enshrined as a Blue Jay.
There are some more players that haven't played this season that I could have included (Joe Nathan, Jason Isringhausen, Jermaine Dye, Alan Embree and Ron Villone) but as of now...their careers don't appear to be over.

So there you have it...your breakdown of the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 (so far). Be sure to check out this week's re-hashes.

Monday: 2011
Tuesday: 2012
Wednesday: 2013
Thursday: 2014


BallHype: hype it up!

July 22, 2010

The Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Provided the BBWAA is still sticking to their guns and not voting in players who have been linked to steroids, the Hall of Fame Class of 2014 looks to be one of most heralded classes ever.

Not since 2001, has Cooperstown welcomed three or more first-timers through its doors. 2014 could (and should) add four.

IN.

Greg Maddux.
What can be said about Maddux that everyone doesn’t already know? 355 wins compared to 227 losses, a career 3.16 ERA and 3371 strikeouts. Add to that four straight Cy Young Awards, 18 straight Gold Gloves, eight All-Star Games, having his number retired by two teams…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

"The Big Hurt” finally hung up his spikes with a career batting average of .301, 521 home runs, 1704 RBI and close to 2500 base hits. Did you know…the two-time American League MVP is the only player in baseball history to have seven consecutive seasons of a .300 average, 100 runs, 100 RBI, 20 home runs and at least 100 walks? Yup, the guy was Albert Pujols before Albert Pujols was.


Tom Glavine.
Only in a year where Greg Maddux is up for induction will Glavine be the second-best pitcher on the ballot. With a 305-203 record...dude is easily one of the best lefties over the last 25 years. Five years with 20-plus wins and two Cy Young Awards (four other seasons in the top five voting) stack up nicely alongside his ten All-Star appearances and one World Series ring. Not bad for a guy who, alledgedly, is a far better hockey player than a baseball player.


Jeff Kent.
Kent and his lip curtain have a long road ahead of them. Is his legendary prickliness toward the media enough to keep him on the bubble…or do his numbers as one of the best second basemen ever win out? The 2000 National League MVP amassed 2461 hits, 377 home runs and a .290 batting average. Four times a Silver Slugger, five times an All-Star and for six years…playing in that long shadow of Barry Bonds. I put him in, not because of the womb broom…but because he is just THAT much better than Ryne Sandberg and Joe Morgan.

OUT (in random order).

Kenny Rogers.
“The Gambler” tossed his perfect game 15 years ago NEXT Tuesday (July 28, 1994), so it is only appropriate he gets brought up as a 2014 Hall candidate. Unfortunately, he’s going to be watching from home like the rest of us. The guy was a wizard on the bump…five Gold Gloves, 219 wins and close to 2000 strikeouts, but what is most impressive is that he is the all-time leader in pickoffs with 93.

Moises Alou.
Alou had a much better career than a lot of people realize, but just because he is underrated...he doesn’t deserve a plaque in Cooperstown. Over his 17 year career, Alou boasted a .303 career batting average, just under 2200 career hits and 332 home runs. Considering he finally got his crack at the bigs at age 25…it’s hard to imagine what kind of numbers he would have had if he broke in five years prior.

Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Jose Cruz Jr., Ray Durham, Damion Easley, Keith Foulke, Eric Gagne, Scott Hatteberg, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jon Lieber, Esteban Loaiza, Paul Lo Duca, Matt Morris, Trot Nixon, Jay Payton, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Shannon Stewart, Mike Timlin, Steve Trachsel and Jose Vidro.

ON THE BUBBLE.

Mike Mussina.
To me, “Moose” is an interesting case. On paper, you see a HUGE winning percentage (.638), a brilliant 270 and 153 record and 2813 Ks. His career ERA is 3.68 and one could argue that had he not toiled for more than half of his career in Baltimore…he would be as much of a Hall candidate as Tom Glavine. However, Glavine had five seasons with more than 20 wins. Mussina, while he’s hit double digits in wins seventeen straight years, only his 20 once. The Cy Young award has eluded Mussina as well. Unfortunately, six top five finishes and no hardware doesn’t make for the best Hall of Fame case.

Luis Gonzalez.
In 2001, “Gonzo” hit .325 with 57 home runs and 142 RBI and led the Diamondbacks to a World Series title. Still serviceable last season at 41, Gonzalez was an every day player for the Marlins and is still looking for work. With 354 home runs, it isn’t likely that Gonzalez will get to 400. That being said, he is nine hits from 2600 and 61 RBI from 1500. Only one player that is Hall eligible (Harold Baines) has more than 1500 RBI and has yet to be enshrined in Cooperstown. There are no Hall eligible players with more doubles than “Gonzo” that have yet to get called to the Hall. If he never plays again…Gonzalez is a tough call.

Hideo Nomo.
Ask anyone what they think of Nomo and his Hall chances and they’ll likely laugh in your face. However, he is the guy who is credited with paving the way for Japanese players to make their way to the Majors. After a brief, yet successful, career in Japan, Nomo hit the states and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1995. He’s the only Japanese player to have thrown a no-hitter (he threw two…one in each league) and finished his abbreviated MLB career with four seasons with more than 200 strikeouts and a 123-109 record. But…without Nomo, there would be no Ichiro. Let’s not forget how he took the league by storm in 1995 and made it okay for Major League teams to take a chance on Asian players.

So there you have it...the re-hashes. Tomorrow brings a fresh look at the Class of 2015.

Monday: 2011
Tuesday: 2012
Wednesday: 2013


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July 21, 2010

Andre Dawson...the Last Expo Hall of Famer?

When Andre Dawson enters the Hall of Fame this weekend, he'll be entering as a Montreal Expo. The following take on Dawson the Expo comes from our friend Charley over at Hawk for the Hall.

It is quite possible that Andre could be the last Montreal Expo to be inducted and that in itself would be pretty cool.

The Expos always had the reputation of developing great, young talent only to trade it away or lose them to free agency. Here's a list of former Expos who has or had Hall potential.

Tim Raines. To me he is a Hall of Famer. However, several Hall voters and baseball writers don't see it that way. Raines has been on the ballot three times, netting 24% in votes in 2008, 22.6% in 2009 and 30.4% in 2010. Andre's voting percentage in his first three years is as follows...45.3% in 2002, 50% in 2003 and 2004. There is a fairly significant difference in their first three years.

Vladimir Guerrero. It looks as though Vlad has bounced back from injury and it he gets hot in the sweltering heat of Texas, he has a real shot of being a Hall of Famer. But will he go in as an Expo or an Angel? My guess would be an Angel. Eight years in Montreal, six as an Angel. His numbers are relatively close in those two spans...however he won the American League MVP award in 2004 with the Angels.

Larry Walker. Walker played his first six years as an Expo, but the move to Colorado did wonders for his career, not to mention winning National League MVP in 1997. Whether he accumulated high enough career numbers for voters is up for debate. We'll find out more in January.

Pedro Martinez. Pedro pitched four years in Montreal and won the National League Cy Young award in 1997. But, only 55 of his 219 career wins came north of the border, plus, he won two more Cy Young awards with the Red Sox (1999 and 2000). Is 219 where his win total stops, we'll have to wait and see. But one thing is for sure...he won't wear an Expo hat on his plaque.

Randy Johnson. Hall of Famer...yes. Being inducted as an Expo...no. "The Big Unit" had a very brief stint in Canada...11 games, to be exact, between 1988 and 1989.

Andres Galarraga: He spent eight years wearing an Expos cap, but failed to reach the necessary 5% in 2010 to stay on the ballot next year.

I'm guessing "The Hawk" will be remembered as the last Expo to be honored by the Hall of Fame. How do you see it?

On a similar note, famed Cubs author and "Diamond Gems" host George Castle shared some memories of "The Hawk". You can read them HERE.


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The Hall of Fame Class of 2013

This past January, the BBWAA once again tried to draw a line in the sand regarding NOT voting someone in who has been linked to PEDs by rewarding Mark McGwire with less than a quarter of their vote.

In 2011, they’ll get their chance to blackball someone who was found guilty in the form of Rafael Palmeiro.

And in 2013, it is possible that three of the best players to ever suit up and take the field might be left out in that Cooperstown cold. But here’s the rub…as of now, none of them have been found guilty of using any banned substances.

NOPE (regardless of what they did “before they started using steroids”).

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.

IN.

Craig Biggio.
To the casual fan…the words “Craig Biggio” are synonymous with “consistency”. And it’s true, the dude was…to the tune of 3060 hits, 668 doubles (good for fifth all-time) and a career .281 batting average. His seven All-Star appearances, five Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Gloves pale in comparison to one of his greatest/oddest achievements…the 285 times (two shy of the record) he was hit by a pitch.

Mike Piazza.
A little while back, rumors started swirling that the 1993 National League Rookie of the Year was a user of PEDs. Fortunately for the 12 time All-Star, the idiom “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” has (seemingly) not been fully investigated. As it is, Piazza finished his career with a bloated .308 career batting average, nine straight seasons with an average of .300 of higher, 427 home runs, including eight straight seasons with 30 or more and 1335 RBI. Not bad for a guy who was taken as a favor in the 62nd round of the draft.

OUT (in random order).

David Wells.
“Boomer” finished his career with a 239-157 record and 13 seasons with ten or more wins. Add to that his perfect game, two World Series rings and three All-Star appearances and you have a very, very good pitcher…but not a Hall of Famer.

Roberto Hernandez and Jose Mesa.
Easily confused as the same dude, Hernandez had 326 saves (12th all-time) and Mesa notched 321 (13th all-time). Hernandez is 12th all-time in games played with 1010, while Mesa is tied with Lee Smith with 1022…ninth all-time.

Mike Stanton.
After Jesse Orosco, Stanton is second on the all-time games pitched list with 1178.

Steve Finley, Shawn Green, Jeff Cirillo, Jose Valentin, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Conine, Royce Clayton, Bob Wickman, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Sele, Woody Williams, Rondell White, Mike Lieberthal, Tony Batista, Sandy Alomar Jr., Damian Miller and Todd Walker.

ON THE BUBBLE.


Curt Schilling.
When he finally hung up his bloody sock and called it quits, plenty of people were already willing to hang up Schilling’s plaque. Sure, his post-season performances are legendary, but his overall body of work was just very, very good. Sure, he won close to 60 percent of his decisions and won 216 games. Sure, he topped 3000 strikeouts with 3116, but did you know that he finished his career second all-time with a 4.38 strikeout to walk ratio? Yeah…me neither.

Kenny Lofton.
Ask anyone if Lofton is a Hall of Famer and they would say (without hesitation) “no”. And they’d probably be right. However, if you compare his stats to “could be HOFer” Tim Raines, they stack up. Raines has 2605 hits, carries a .294 career average and scored 1571 runs. Lofton finished his career with 2428 hits, a .299 average and 1528 runs. Throw in six straight All-Star appearances and four straight Gold Gloves and the case for Lofton looks halfway decent.

Julio Franco.
Franco is on the bubble for the simple reason that he was his generation’s Satchel Paige. If you believe what he told you…he played until he was 48. Some folks suggest that Franco was older though. He holds the distinction of being the oldest player ever to hit a grand slam, pinch-hit home run, two home runs in one game and to steal two bases in a game. But this is why I like Franco and why he is “on the bubble”…combined, throughout his career, he has more than 4200 hits joining Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as the only three to surpass 4000. The breakdown: Major League Baseball-2586, Minor Leagues-618, Mexican League-316, Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball-286, Dominican Winter League-267 and South Korea's Korean Baseball Organization-156. Not too shabby!

Tomorrow marks the end of the re-hashes...but feel free to check out 2011 and 2012 while you wait. Friday, sit back and relax as a fresh 2015 hits the site.



BallHype: hype it up!

July 20, 2010

The Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Every few years, the Hall of Fame takes a breather so guys like Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez (2000), Bruce Sutter (2006) and Goose Gossage (2008) can take their place among the immortals.

Over the last two years, Jim Rice (2009) and Andre Dawson (2010) have joined that list.

Unfortunately, 2012 will be no different as there is not a soul among the first ballot guys who belongs. So, assuming Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven get in in 2011, Barry Larkin can start preparing his speech for 2012!

IN.

None.

OUT (in random order).


Javy Lopez.
A while back I would’ve made the argument that Lopez was on his way to something. Then, well…I am not sure what happened to the guy. He ended his career with a respectable .287 batting average and 260 home runs.


Ruben Sierra.
20 years ago, Sierra was, along with Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Pete Incaviglia, THE future of baseball and you would have been hard pressed to find anyone to agree with you. Now, after 306 home runs and 1322 RBI…he’s an interesting footnote to an era that has long since passed.

Vinny Castilla.
Was Castilla a very good third baseman or another one of those who was helped by the much ballyhooed Coors Effect? Both?!? Any way you slice it, his 320 home runs and near perfect hair doesn’t get him through the doors of Cooperstown without paying first.

1993 American League Rookie of the Year Tim Salmon, Brad Radke, Edgardo Alfonzo, Scott Erickson, Jeff Fassero, Joe Randa, Jeromy Burnitz, Eric Young, Brian Jordan, Bill Mueller, Matt Lawton, Jose Hernandez, Phil Nevin, Alex S. Gonzalez, Pedro Astacio, Carl "the Bible never says anything about dinosaurs" Everett, David Bell, Rick Helling, Jose Vizcaino, Terry Mulholland, Jeff Nelson, Danny Graves and Dustin Hermanson.

ON THE BUBBLE.

Bernie Williams.

So, I’ll be honest…I throw Bernie on this list to please some of the Yankees fans that I know bump around the HOVG. Here’s the thing with Williams…if it’s not likely that the Yankees will retire his number, it isn’t likely the Hall will welcome him. Sure, his .297 career batting average (eight straight seasons of .300 or more), 2336 hits and 22 post season home runs are things of recent Yankee legend…they are nothing but a blip on the radar of what gets mentioned alongside the names of those in Cooperstown.

Monday, The Hall re-hashed 2011. On the horizon for later in the week...an all new breakdown of the 2015 ballot.


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Batting Stance Guy: All-Goatee Lineup

In conjunction with Mustache May, Gar Ryness (aka Batting Stance Guy) put out a series of videos celebrating a wide variety of facial hair stylings.

Well...he's back!

And while I know it goes against everything that the American Mustache Institute has taught me...here comes Batting Stance Guy's All-Goatee Lineup.




Also in May, Ryness released his first book...Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter to Baseball. Back in February, I was fortunate to interview the man himself.

And since I am linking to seemingly everything else, check out the All-Beard, All-Fu Manchu and both All-Mustache Lineups (First Team and Second Team).


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