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What are the best mustaches in Oakland A’s history?

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Follicular analysis

Baseball: Mustache judges (clockwise fro
Clockwise: Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Catfish Hunter, Bill King, and Dick Williams
Photo by John M. Burgess//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s are here to do two things: win some baseball games, and grow some mustaches. Over the years, they’ve been excellent at both.

The A’s probably didn’t invent the mustache, though history can’t be certain. What we can say for sure is that they revolutionized the art of upper lipholstry in Major League Baseball, in the 1970s when the Mustache Gang defied the league’s tradition of tidy grooming and used the power of their whiskers to win three straight championships. Their 1972 World Series matchup against the clean-cut Cincinnati Reds was dubbed the Hairs vs. the Squares.

In the decades since, the rest of the sport has caught up, and now facial hair is commonplace. But we’ve seen some mighty impressive soup strainers over the years, so let’s appreciate a few of the best and then take a vote at the end. No beards or goatees here, just staches.

Rollie Fingers

We may as well start with the obvious. Rollie’s handlebars are probably the most iconic mustache in baseball history, and the standard by which all others are measured. The Swingin’ A’s of the 70s were full of face foliage, but this is the one people remember most, and the Hall of Famer still has it to this day.

Oakland Athletics
Rollie Fingers

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Daniel Mengden

Four decades later, a new set of handlebars took the mound at the Coliseum. This time it was Mengden, nailing the look just like Rollie had before him. Even better, he combined it with an old-timey over-the-head windup to complete the retro style. At one point the stache briefly disappeared, but it soon came back.

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers
Daniel Mengden
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

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Sal Fasano

Now Fasano is a coach for the reigning champion Braves, but from 2000-01 he was a catcher for the A’s, as part of an 11-year playing career. His biggest highlight in Oakland was when he hit a homer so far that it shattered a suite window beyond the left field seats, but reports suggest the glass might just have been intimidated by his mean bristles. Our photo database doesn’t have a lot of him on the A’s, so I used a more recent 2009 likeness to properly show off the majesty, but click here to see him wearing green-and-gold.

Colorado Rockies Photo Day
Sal Fasano
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Goose Gossage

Gossage is the second Hall of Fame closer on this list, though he was only with the A’s briefly toward the end of his career. The photo below doesn’t quite capture the full ferocity of his snot mop, which batters would see when he glared them down and delivered a 100 mph fastball high-and-tight.

Oakland Athletics
Goose Gossage

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Andrew Chafin

This might be three mustaches stacked on top of each other, and that rug combined with his shaggy locks and goofy personality (and great pitching) made him a joy to watch last summer. He’s like if Matt Stairs was a reliever.

Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox
Andrew Chafin
Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

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Dave Henderson

Hendu was a great player and a big part of the 1988-90 dynasty, but perhaps his most memorable feature was the biggest, warmest smile you’ve ever seen. It was also framed by a pristine mouth sweater, among various other styles over the years.

Oakland Athletics - Dave Henderson
Dave Henderson
Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

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Davey Lopes

But perhaps you prefer a more traditional pushbroom, rather than all those more elaborate designs. Lopes had a forest that would make Tom Selleck jealous. The best photo in our database is black and white for some reason, though it’s from 1983.

Oakland Athletics
Davey Lopes
Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

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Phil Garner

Like that last one, but want it in red? Garner has you covered, with this nose hedge out of exactly the decade you think it’s from. Many years later he returned to the A’s as a coach, and his stache game was still on point.

Phil Garner

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Ruben Sierra

Sierra had no shortage of style, from his flashy jewelry to his emphatic leg kick at the plate, and his well-manicured face follicles were the perfect complement.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Ruben Sierra
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

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Sal Bando

Reggie Jackson started the trend, and Rollie is the enduring image, but Sal was the Captain of the Mustache Gang. This list isn’t complete without his caterpillar.

Athletics v Mets
Sal Bando
Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

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Dennis Eckersley

Yet another Hall of Fame closer, Eck changed the way relievers were used, but visually he kept 70s style alive well into the 90s. His lip doily was a big part of his fearsome windup, and a familiar detail in his signature celebration pose.

Oakland Athletics
Dennis Eckersley
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

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There have been many others over the years, but these are 11 of the best we’ve seen in Oakland. If you think I crucially missed anybody, then please share in the comments!

For now, let’s take a vote. Which stache is your favorite? It seems pointless to include Rollie, since he’d win in a landslide, so let’s choose the honorary runner-up behind him.

Poll

Rollie Fingers has the best mustache in A’s history, but who is your favorite after him?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Daniel Mengden
    (45 votes)
  • 1%
    Sal Fasano
    (4 votes)
  • 6%
    Goose Gossage
    (18 votes)
  • 6%
    Andrew Chafin
    (18 votes)
  • 7%
    Dave Henderson
    (22 votes)
  • 3%
    Davey Lopes
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    Phil Garner
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    Ruben Sierra
    (3 votes)
  • 22%
    Sal Bando
    (66 votes)
  • 30%
    Dennis Eckersley
    (90 votes)
294 votes total Vote Now

Honorable mention to Reggie the Stachefather, and also to Mike Epstein, pictured below on the left.

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
Mike Epstein, Reggie Jackson, Dave Duncan (1972)
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images