Last year, Mike Fiers offered the world a gift. On Sept. 14, 2019, he took the mound for the Oakland A’s wearing one of the most wonderful, unique, awful, amazing, terrible beards in sports history. Unfortunately he left in the 2nd inning with a minor injury (hyperextended sense of style? a fever from looking too hot?), but that was long enough for it to enter the record books forever.
The cat-tail beard was a work of art, and you can see the photo at the top of this post. It extended from the right ear, down the jawline, around the chin, and then up into a normal mustache. The whole thing formed a 6, or a G, or a b, depending on the viewer and the desired joke. Or, it looks like a cat is sitting under your hat with its tail curling down in front of your face. Click here for more photos and the full story.
Fiers shaved off the tail after that game, but perhaps the legend is true that cats have nine lives. On Wednesday, it made a comeback, sort of.
When the A’s got to the Coliseum for work — training for the 2020 MLB season amid the coronavirus pandemic — they each found a face mask decorated in the style of Fiers’ classic whiskers. Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle has all the details. Behold:
Sean Manaea (pictured above, if you couldn’t tell) is already considering wearing a mask during his first start this season. Please let it be this one.
While that shot of Manaea is excellent, there is another. This closeup of manager Bob Melvin is one of the greatest photos ever taken, of anything.
Oakland @Athletics manager Bob Melvin wears a mask imprinted with an image of pitcher Mike Fiers during practice at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. #baseball @sfchronicle photo by @ScottStrazzante pic.twitter.com/jSxGLnlBw6— Scott Strazzante (@ScottStrazzante) July 8, 2020
Slusser notes in her story that the team might make the masks available to fans at some point, after an immediate influx of public demand.
This has been a tough year for everybody, with plenty to make us angry, sad, worried, and more. It’s important to be able to stop and have a laugh, and it’s nice to see a light moment out of A’s Summer Camp during a tense time. The real question is: Given that we all need to wear masks for the foreseeable future, would you rock this one?