Love him or hate him, but Brian Wilson's beard has become a cultural phenomenon. The Giants closer's jet-black neck warmer has its own Facebook and Twitter pages. Seriously. But, Wilson isn't the first baseball player to have a facial hair arrangement worth noting. We take a look back at baseball's best beards, mustaches and everything in between.
Mike Schmidt is a legendary third baseman who played his entire career for the Phillies. Given that he spent nearly two decades in the City of Brotherly Love, he had to have a stiff upper lip, complete with a flavor saver.
Keith Hernandez's tea strainer is the stuff of legends in New York. Hernandez has even parlayed his tremendous 'stache into an endorsement deal with "Just for Men."
Jim Joyce may be most famous for jobbing Armando Galarraga out of a perfect game in 2010, but a teary-eyed Joyce immediately came out after the game admitting he screwed up. What he didn't screw up was that awesome lip caterpillar.
Dustin Hermanson bounced around the league for the majority of what would be considered an average career. What wasn't average, however, was Hermanson's goatee. It's a shame the compass on his chin couldn't point him in the direction of the strike zone more often.
Milwaukee's new closer John Axford has big shoes to fill, replacing legendary shutdown man Trevor Hoffman. Axford has endeared himself to fans with a Guy Fawkes-esque facial arrangement and a 95 mph fastball.
Dennis Eckersley was nearly untouchable as a closer from 1988-1992. The hurler was a six-time All-Star selection, and won the AL Cy Young in 1992. He accomplished all of these feats with a mean 'stache, or "moss" as he'd say.
Randy Johnson paired a signature goatee with a scraggly mullet for the majority of his career. He trimmed his hair during his time with the Yankees (per team rules), but most would prefer to forget those years in the lefty superstar's career, anyway.
As if the soul patch isn't eye catching enough, journeyman infielder Scott Spiezio went ahead and dyed his red. Sure, it looks like he has cotton candy stuck on his chin ... but we don't think Spiezio gives a damn.
Astros legend Jeff Bagwell rarely was seen sans goatee. But, in 2000, Bagwell's goatee reached epic proportions as the first baseman let his chin Chia Pet grow, grow and grow.
Rarely does a man's facial hair overshadow his performance on the field, but Giants closer Brian Wilson would likely not have it any other way. In August 2010, Wilson began growing and dying his trademark black beard. The "Fear the Beard" cry carried the Giants all the way to a World Series victory.
Bruce Sutter is most well known for his tenure with the Cardinals, but Sutter broke into the league with the Cubs and finished up his career with the Braves. Sutter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, and his plaque depicts his trademark beard.
Clay Zavada's mustache is clearly inspired by another crumb-catcher on this list, Rollie Fingers'. Zavada is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, currently pitching with the Diamondbacks' AA affiliate in Mobile, Ala.
Al Hrabosky was known as "The Mad Hungarian," and we can see why. Unfortunately for Al, and Cardinals fans, Hrabosky had to trim his hair and shave his menacing mustache when Vern Rapp took over the Cards in 1977.
One of the most dominant relievers of all time, Yankee legend Goose Gossage's power-'stache still lives on today. When asked by coach Yogi Berra to shave his beard to adhere to George Steinbrenner's rule, he emerged from the clubhouse with the beard gone but the mustache intact, just to "bust Yogi's chops." While his mustache may not have started a trend, he's widely credited as being one of the first to adopt the role of "closer."
Legend has it Rollie Fingers originally grew his trademark mustache to win a $300 bonus from late A's owner Charlie Finley. Fingers won the bonus and kept the mustache for the remainder of his Hall of Fame career, which included stints with the A's, Brewers and Padres. These days? He's still got the 'stache.