The New York Yankees are the only team to still adhere to a rule set in an era when wide-bottomed pants and disco music were the biggest trends of the decade. The bizarre facial hair policy has existed for the past 47 years thanks to the previous owner. Strict grooming guidelines that don’t allow hair below the collar are easy to say, hard to perform – especially for players who have been tending to their imperial stubbles for a long time. But isn’t it high time the Yankees adapted to current times?
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First seen during the era of George “The Boss” Steinbrenner, the rule is still in practice, much to the dismay of many. The Bronx Bombers are well on their way to stepping into the half-a-century mark since the rule came into play. But is it time the club agreed to the majority crying about the absurdity of the no-beard rule?
New York Yankees against beards: A look into the Bronx’s age-old policy
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According to Conduct Detrimental, a website specializing in Sports Laws, the team’s policy in question goes like this: “All players, coaches, and male executives are forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious reasons), and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar. Long sideburns and ‘mutton chops’ are not specifically banned.”
How do the New York Yankees get away with no facial hair in this new generation?
— Ricky G (@jrichardgoodman) December 18, 2019
Alex Verdugo, one of the Yankees’ recent trade additions, is one of the latest partakers of the policy. He used to don a sleek beard during his previous outfield tenure but of course, wearing pinstripes demanded him to shave the mass of curlies off. However, he is only one of the few players to give in so easily. The policy has cost the team talent and draft prospects in the past since its introduction.
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When was the New York Yankees’ facial hair policy introduced? Who introduced it?
George Steinbrenner took the helm of the team back in 1973. However, it wasn’t until 3 years later that he was able to implement the policy after noticing players, that, according to him, were in dire need of a barber. The Boss might not be here, but his iron-fist rule remains.
For the Bronx Bombers, maintaining a policy created by a stakeholder who passed away 13 years ago, makes them a unique team. The questionability of the rule might make one wonder what exactly was Steinbrenner’s reasons behind implementing it.
What was the thought behind it: George Steinbrenner’s logic
For Papa Steinbrenner, it was a question of discipline more than maintaining a clean appearance.