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June 8, 2007 at 2:47 am ET
23 Comments
Baseball and Mullets: An American Tradition

About 20 months ago, the White Sox and Astros met on baseball grandest stage with the World Series championship at stake.

Friday night, the two teams meet again at U.S. Cellular Field but with a drastically From the time he was a rookie, Flanagan was destined for All-Mullet greatnessdifferent backdrop. Houston, welcome to “Mullet Night” on the south side of Chicago.

The way both teams have played so far this year, it’s actually a good thing to have some focus taken away from the game on the field and into the stands. And while it’s easy to dismiss the night as just another way the Sox organization is selling out to make a buck like their start time brought to you by 7-11 or their Giordano’s delivery of the game, baseball and mullets have a rich history together which is worthy of a night of recognition.

In that spirit, I’ve put together an “All Mullet Team” to celebrate/ridicule baseball’s finest players that proudly sported the trailer park look for the majority of their playing careers.

Before I start, I’d like to apologize in advance to Gary Sheffield and Ozzie Guillen for the lack of African-American or Latino players on this list. Just so you know, I did consider the likes of Bake McBride, Juan Gonzalez and Vinny Castilla for this list.

Starting pitcher #1 – Randy Johnson

Signing with the Yankees was the biggest mistake the Big Unit made during his career.Joe Dirt - Supersized! Not only because he never fit in with the club and pitched progressively worse every year in the Big Apple, but because he was forced to chop the mullet in order to don the pinstripes. Losing the mullet seemed to correspond directly with losing games in New York.

Now that he’s back in Arizona, he’s pitching better and should consider reinventing the mullet. At 42 though, it could take a while.

Starting pitcher #2 – Moose Haas

The first of several former Milwaukee Brewers to make the team, Haas looked pretty much exactly like what you’d expect a guy named Moose Haas to look like. Haas also was one heckuva pitcher. He went 91-79 over his career with the Brew Crew and won his first six starts with Oakland before running into elbow problems which would end his career prematurely.

Starting pitcher #3 – Pete Vuckovich

Those Brewers teams from the ’80’s were full of mullets as you will find as you read. However, Vuckovich makes this list more for his appearance as an actor than for the mullet he sported on the field. Under the stage name “Peter Vuckovich,” the burly right-hander played power-hitting first baseman Clue Haywood in Major League.

“You really hit the sh*! outta that one” was one of several great quotes from Vuckovich in the most quotable movie in the history of all movies.

Starting pitcher #4 – Mike Flanagan

The ace of the 1979 American League champion Baltimore Orioles came into the league with a full-fledged mullet in the mid-70’s. While it got more respectable later in his career, he still makes a great pick for this team. He also was one of the most underrated pitchers of his time.

Starting pitcher #5 – Zane Smith

Zane Smith’s mullet was more of a pretty boy mullet than the other starters but it was a mullet no less. Unlike many mullets that are born out of laziness or being too cheap to spend money on a haircut, Smith’s mullet was a shiney, well-kept mane throughout his career. Unfortunately, no amount of shampoo in the world could get the Pirates and Smith past the Braves in the NLCS.

Lefty Closer – Mitch Williams

While Vuckovich acted in the movie Major League, Williams loosely had a characterThe original Wild Thing was all about his mullet modeled after him. Charlie Sheen’s Ricky Vaughn shared a nickname, 99 mph heater and a #99 jersey with Williams. Sheen’s bizarre haircut was no match for Williams’s mullet though.

After a short tenure as Lee Smith’s successor as the Cubs closer, Williams came into his own in the mullet-infested locker room of the Phillies in the early 1990’s. After giving up a World Series-clinching homer to Joe Carter, his career never recovered.

Right-handed closer – Rod Beck

Anyone that parks his motor home outside of a minor league ballpark while trying to break back into the big leagues has to be on this team. Beck certainly had the raggedly hair to qualify his as well. “Shooter” had some phenomenal seasons as a closer with both the Giants and the Cubs. But he’ll probably be most remembered for his stint in Des Moines and subsequent return to the big leagues with the Padres.

Catcher – Sal Fasano

The only active player to make this list and probably the least talented. But I give him Fasano has few mullet-wearing peers in today's gamespecial credit for choosing the hairstyle when it’s not the least bit in style. He cemented his spot on the list by bunting for a base hit Jake Taylor-style last weekend against the White Sox. I didn’t realize how many guys had mullets in Major League until I started writing this.

First Base – John Kruk

Amazingly, Kruk’s mullet hasn’t kept him from enjoying a career in television as an analyst on Baseball Tonight. Kruk has found a way to make both his mullet and his gut work to his advantage with a careless but effective sense of humor. Baseball Tonight seems to have a thing for the mullet though as both Jeff Brantley and Rob Dibble would have to receive honorable mention on this list.

Second Base – Jim Gantner

When in doubt, look to the Brewers of the 1980’s. There were some other marginal candidates, but no one comes close to the mullet of Gantner historically among secondThe ultimate mullet double-play combo basemen. A modest hitter, Gantner was a solid defender and knew his role on this team of heavy hitters.

Shortstop – Robin Yount

Mr. Brewer and you can make a case for Mr. Mullet after 20 full seasons with the Brew Crew from 1974 to 1993. Yount was a two-time MVP and 1999 Hall of Fame inductee. That being said, his curly blonde mullet was one of a kind. Although he spent the second half of his career in the outfield, at shortstop seems like the perfect place for one of the greatest players to ever play the game with or without a mullet.

Third Base – George Brett

A tough call between him and several others, he gets the nod because he was actually nicknamed “mullet” by his teammates early in his career. Brett only wore the style in the The young Brett had one ugly mulletearly years, but he took the gritty attitude that often accompanies it throughout his entire playing career.

Left Field – Rob Deer

The final member from the Brewers but certainly not the least. He gets the slight nod over fellow Brewer Gorman Thomas. Stormin’ Gorman just had hair everywhere but Deer had a true mullet. His all or nothing stroke make him a lock for the squad as well.

Center Field – Dan Gladden

Eric Byrnes wishes he was as cool as Dan Gladden. An underrated member of the Twins championship teams in both 1987 and 1991, Gladden always brought 110 percent effort toLong before Eric Byrnes and Craig Wilson, there was Gladden the field. Due to some guy named Kirby Puckett, he spent the majority of his career in left field. On this team full of beerguts though, I’ll take Gladden in center.

Right Field – Larry Walker/Dante Bichette platoon

Both of these guys were pretty clean-cut with their original teams. But after arriving with the expansion Colorado Rockies, both decided to become mountain men by growing mullets. Their styles were quite a bit different though. Bichette wore a wide mullet across the entire nape of his neck while Walker preferred a skinny mullet that could almost be considered a ducktail. I give Bichette the better mullet while Walker was a much better player.

Honorable mention: Gorman Thomas, Magglio Ordonez, Sid Bream, Kirk Gibson, Dickie Thon, Carney Lansford, Kevin Hickey, Darren Daulton, Kelly Gruber, Mickey Morandini, and Scott Radinsky.

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23 Responses to “Baseball and Mullets: An American Tradition”
  1. Ryan says:

    Under the notes about Flanagan, the Orioles did NOT win the 79 World Series.

  2. John Renneke says:

    Yikes! I cannot believe I wrote that. You’d think I’d remember that they lost to the Pirates as it was one of the first World Series I can remember watching.

    Perhaps watching the White Sox make so many errors last night rubbed off on my writing. That’s my only excuse.

    Anyway, problem fixed. Thanks!

  3. bill says:

    nice piece – but what a lousy job someone did on the photos – better pictures would’ve made the article great

  4. Steve says:

    Wow. Mitch Williams, John Kruk, Sal Fasano and Honorable mention Dickie Thon, Mickey Morandini and Darren “Dutch” Daulton. I guess that makes the Phillies the original All-Mullet Team. Finally, the Phillies win something!

  5. Mike says:

    Should have included Lenny Dykstra on that list. He was also on the Phillies’ All-Mullet team.

  6. Sean says:

    Sweet topic but the pictures absolutely suck.

  7. Pat says:

    No Doug Drabek in the rotation? Now there was a mullet!

  8. Eric says:

    I realize the Phils can make their own all-mullet team, but we are forgetting one important cog to that squad…….Pete Incaviglia!

  9. Adam Godson says:

    The competition was tought, so I’ll forgive you for leaving off Matt Stairs. Not only has he sported a mullet for most of his career, but it’s been a curly mullet. But if you read here very often, you know that a day for me without mentioning Matt Stairs is hardly a day at all.

  10. John Renneke says:

    Sorry I didn’t have time to put together a better picture collection. Just to appease some of you though, I put up a new Johnson picture and took down the “Moose under the shadows” pic.

    Consider Dykstra, Drabek, Incaviglia and Stairs mentioned…honorably of course.

    1982 Brewers versus 1993 Phillies would be ultimate Mullet World Series. It would actually be a great series as well.

  11. Joshua says:

    Dante Bichette was a Brewers as well.

  12. scott says:

    Great Article-When does the All Afro team come out?

  13. Matt says:

    Where’s Don Sutton? Or was his more of a Jerry-Curl? Ha!

  14. Kyle says:

    What about Dennis F’n Eckersley!!!!!! HE STILL HAS A MULLET!!!!!

  15. John Renneke says:

    Eckersley just has a ton of hair, it’s not really a mullet. By definition, a mullet should be short in front and long in the back. His is long all over.

    I thought about Sutton, but he was clean cut for most of his career then grew out his hair as some sort of overcompensation for turning grey early. I’m not sure what you call that.

    Watching the Dodgers game tonight though, I need to mention a major oversight on my part. Joe Beimel has a true mullet that needs to be recoginized.

  16. Shander says:

    Catcher has GOT to go to Mike Piazza circa 1997. That thing was monstrous. Also, Jaromir Jagr should be the pitching coach.

  17. Spencer Kyte says:

    How Kelly Gruber’s flowing blonde mullet isn’t manning third base is a crime. Brett’s was a fab, following a trend; Gruber lived the mullet lifestyle!

    Thanks to AJ for the Matty Stairs shout out – the man has the ultimate mullet – nothing on top, long and curly in the back, plus he looks like a walking bowling ball.

    And Shander is right – Piazza had the SUPER MULLET OF THE 90’S!

  18. MWolf says:

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Obviously the ’70’s and early 80s’ were the heyday of Mullet Mania. . .no offense to those few sporting the style afterwards. Those Brew Crew teams were in the perfect city for hairstyles and beer.

    Of all the mullets mentioned, I’d have to say my vote for mangiest mullet would have to be Randy Johnson’s. Unruly as they come. I agree, going to the Yanks was not a great move on his part. Of course George Steinbrenner in a mullet would be far scarier.

    MAJOR LEAGUE. One of the best baseball movies ever. And yes to the ALL Afro team. Make Harold Baines a strarter. If you wanted to segue over to football, start with Brian Bosworth’s biker mane. Now THAT was a mullet.

    And finally, when Don Sutton was announcing for the Braves, his nickname was “Carpets by Dalton”. . . in reference to Dalton, Ga. The carpet capital of the world. Gotta luv it.

  19. Garrett says:

    C’mon, cant we add Barry Melrose as an honorary member…try making an All-Mullett hockey team next..youl’ll have practically an entire league of players, for the last 20 years or so, from which to choose.

  20. Edmundo says:

    You wrote: After giving up a World Series-clinching homer to Joe Carter, his career never recovered.

    As any Phillies fan could tell, but Jim Fregosi couldn’t, Mitchy-poo was done by August of 1993. He had lost several MPH off the ultra-straight fastball. Joe Carter gets too much credit for that home run; anyone who could hit a ball 340′ in batting practice would have taken him deep.

  21. John Renneke says:

    I’ve thought about it over the last few days and I’m standing by my omission of Piazza. The whole blonde thing he tried a few years ago goes against everything this team stands for. Also, if you’re wearing your mullet properly, you probably shouldn’t repeatedly have to explain your sexual orientation to anyone.

  22. Tacobellmanager says:

    Out here there is a brilliant A’s commercial starring Nick Swisher as a supremely-mulleted Little League dad, trucker hat, black t-shirt, the works. It rivals anything in franchise history — considering Giambi, Stairs, Byrnes and anyone from the Finley era, that says tons.

  23. The Gov'Nah says:

    Swisher wont have a mullet pretty soon. i believe he is cutting his hair this summeror fall and donating it to charity.

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