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Big League Stew

Big League Stew’s All-Beard Team: Honoring baseball’s best beards

Big League Stew

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(BLS Illustration)

Thanks to guys like Brian Wilson, Josh Reddick and Jayson Werth, beards in baseball are getting more attention than they have in a long time. It's like baseball's facial-hair renaissance.

With Reddick engaged in a beard battle with a WWE star, Jayson Werth looking even more like a mountain man and Wilson getting his fuzzy face on TMZ, we thought it would be a good time to look at baseball's bristly heroes and crown Big League Stew's All-Beard Team. The team — position players, starting pitchers, relievers, coaches and a bench — is unveiled below.

We're currently in the process of creating gold-plated Barbasol-can trophies for everyone. They'll be in the mail.

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First base: Daric Barton (Oakland Athletics)
Barton, looking to fit in with Oakland's cast of characters, grew quite the beard in the offseason. Maybe he figures it will help him solidify a career that's seen a lot of back-and-forth between the big club and Triple-A. Beard power!

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Second base: Justin Turner (New York Mets)
Turner's an infield utility guy, who can play all over the diamond, and that orangish beard of his will look solid anywhere — and it complements a Mets uniform nicely. Double points.

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- Shortstop: Jose Reyes (Toronto Blue Jays)
- Third base: Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays)

Not only do these Toronto Blue Jays hold down the left side of the infield, but also offer two different facial hair styles. Bautista — who we've moved back to the infield for this — has a beard that's razor-sharp and lined precisely. It's all style. Reyes, meanwhile, is unkempt, with plenty of chin flair hanging off.

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OUTFIELD
- Luke Scott (Tampa Bay Rays)
- Josh Reddick (Oakland Athletics)
- Jayson Werth (Washington Nationals)

With plenty of scraggily beards in baseball, Scott gives The All-Beard Team something different with his Wolverine-esque look. We like how the bald patch on his chin creates a V. We assume for "valor." Meanwhile, having Werth and Reddick side-by-side in the outfield is the beard equivalent of having Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols next to each other in the lineup. Werth, if you're wondering, is also our team captain and spiritual leader.

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Catcher: Carlos Santana (Cleveland Indians)
Oh, the good ol' chinstrap. It's only fitting that a catcher is the one on our All-Beard Team with the finest chinstrap.

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STARTING PITCHERS
- Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals)
- Luis Perdomo (Minnesota Twins)
- Andrew Miller (Boston Red Sox)
- David Price (Tampa Bay Rays)
- Charlie Furbush (Seattle Mariners)

Starting pitching is, admittedly, the weakness of the All-Beard Team. Relief pitching is so strong, however, we converted some relievers back to starters, like Andrew Miller. We also gave David Price a spot, because he's great and he's a facial hair advocate, even though his beard isn't Werth-level amazing. Charlie Furbush — well, he just made it because of his last name.

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CLOSER: Josh Collmenter (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Winning the closing job for The Stew's All-Beard Team means Collmenter is the best among a stellar crop of bullpen beards. Way to go, Josh. You're a whisker warrior.

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RELIEF PITCHERS
- Chris Perez (Cleveland Indians)
- Jason Motte (St. Louis Cardinals)
- Tim Collins (Kansas City Royals)
- Andrew Cashner (San Diego Padres)
- Chance Ruffin (Seattle Mariners)

As noted above, the bullpen is where you find baseball's best beards. It seems like every team in Major League Baseball has a bearded dude coming out of the 'pen, so the options are aplenty. These five gentlemen have beard prowess that is undeniable.

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BULLPEN CATCHER: Jeff Murphy (Houston Astros)
Somebody's gotta keep these crazy relief pitchers in check, and for that we've brought in a mustache guy. But not just any mustache. Murphy's handlebars are legit.

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BENCH
- Prince Fielder (Detroit Tigers)
- Jonny Gomes (Boston Red Sox)
- Lucas Duda (New York Mets)
- Emilio Bonifacio (Toronto Blues Jays)

These guys made the team, but weren't beautifully bearded enough to be first-stringers.

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COACH: Ray Burris (Philadelphia Phillies)
We needed a coach, so we turn to Burris, an ex-Major Leaguer who is a Triple-A coach in the Phillies organization. He brings some quality old-guy beard action to the squad too.

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Bravo, beards, bravo.

Spring training is here. Stretch out with us.
Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.

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