The Red Sox Guide to Keeping Their Bearded Players Straight

As the team’s facial hair goes viral, the Red Sox want to help you keep it straight.

As the fair-weather Red Sox fans begin to tune in for the end of the season, they might have a little trouble telling the vociferously bearded players apart. To help the September newcomers out, the team has actually released a guide to the various beards.

beards

As the rest of you surely know by now, the Sox’s affair with facial hair is becoming something of a phenomenon. The hashtag #getbeard has become a social media rallying cry for Sox fans. The New York Times picked up on the story last week:

The Red Sox’ fun with facial follicles started innocently enough when Napoli and outfielder Jonny Gomes grew beards during spring training. It became something more than a fad when Pedroia, a second baseman and one of the team’s most popular players, joined Napoli and Gomes in taking a sabbatical from shaving cream.

There was suddenly the sense around the clubhouse that beards were not merely a fashion accessory but a way to build stronger bonds after the Red Sox’ struggles last season, when they lost 93 games, finished last in the A.L. East and bid adieu to Manager Bobby Valentine.

There’s even a nascent Twitter account, @RedSoxBeards, which seems to aggregate all facial hair-related Red Sox news and specialize in recapping games with a focus only on the beards:

 

As the New York Times notes, and that confusing double play highlights, “The Red Sox are fairly conformist with their look: trim along the cheeks with a bulbous bottom, as if a hairy water balloon were swaying in the breeze.” It can be hard to tell who you’re looking at. So if you’re having trouble figuring out who’s at bat, keep this guide close by and judge whether it’s more of a “Saltine” or an “Ironsides.”