Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Movember - Token American Style - NL Central

For background on Movember see my original post.
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Be sure to check out Lindsay's Movember blog! 

The moustache has been so closely related to the game of baseball, that it's easy to frequently find whiskers not only on players, but on mascots as well.  While I found a whole site devoted to moustached mascots, I knew instantly the one I wanted to feature.  With such a long and rich history as a ball club, I knew the team to discuss for the NL Central, was the Cincinnati Reds and their mascot Mr. Redlegs. 
Mr. Redlegs

Mr. Redlegs first appeared in the 1950s when the Cincinnati Reds were re-branded with the name Cincinnati Redlegs, in an effort to remove any potential association with communism.  The name change lasted into the early 60s when the team returned to its original name.  At the same time, Mr. Redlegs shaved his moustache, and became famous for his "running man" pose.

Mr. Red
 Shortly after, in the late 1960s, the Reds instituted a strict rule barring the team's players from wearing facial hair.  This clean cut look was intended to present the team as wholesome in an era of turmoil.  This rule remained in place for the next three decades, and even occasionally cost the Reds potential players such as pitcher Rollie Fingers, who refused to shave his trademark handlebar moustache.  The rule was finally rescinded in 1999, when the Reds traded for slugger Greg Vaughn, who had a goatee.

Mr. Redlegs, in all his handlebar moustached glory, returned as a mascot in 2007, and has been entertaining Cincinnati fans ever since.  His snappy style has earned him a spot in my Movember Hall of Fame.
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