Does Quackenbush measure up to the game’s best beards? The San Diego Padres’ reliever is in the conversation.
The things fans will contemplate during the offseason. For some though, this is serious business. After all, Mike Napoli and Brian Wilson would likely take offense if they weren’t considered to have the best beard in their sport.
For some baseball players, their beards are part of what define them. 28-year-old Kevin Quackenbush is an under the radar pitcher with one of the league’s most distinguished beards. Though he lacks the fiery passion of Wilson and many of baseball’s bearded men, the reliever can easily be found in the bullpen due to his impressive facial hair.
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Quackenbush’s unique appearance and personality inspired us to ponder some of baseball’s best beards. As mentioned earlier, Napoli and Wilson have some of the best. But also in the conversation are players such as Dallas Keuchel, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis.
Before 2016, Sports Illustrated published a piece highlighting some of baseball’s best facial hair. Unfortunately and unjustly, there was no mention of Quackenbush. As much effort it must have taken the Padres’ reliever to attain and maintain a beard of this caliber, we would be remiss not to give him his due.
What makes Quackenbush’s beard even more impressive is how consistent he is maintaining it. The right-hander keeps his beard several inches long all year round, and doesn’t let it get out of control.
This gives him an edge over players like Dustin Pedroia and Jayson Werth who put the razor away for the entire month of October. Of course, without a playoff appearance in his career, no one can be sure what Quackenbush will do with his beard in the event of a postseason appearance.
Showing improvement over 60 outings in 2016, Quackenbush kept his ERA at a respectable 3.92 in 59 and 2/3 innings. Moving forward, the 6’4″, 235 pound hurler will spend 2017 with the Padres before becoming arbitration eligible next offseason.
Assistance in the bullpen this coming season will be welcomed, since the Padres have not yet addressed the need this offseason. With the distinguishable Quackenbush returning, there is reason to be optimistic not only about the facial hair, but about what the right-hander can contribute this season.