October 21, 2008
1. Trever Miller — Far and away the best head of hair in the World Series this side of Cole Hamels. Spectacular, layered and feathery in the way that a peacock announces its presence. He looks like one of the guys who hangs out with Lord Humungus (the Warrior of the Wasteland, the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla) in the "Road Warrior."
2. Jonny Gomes — Definitely influenced by Mr. T's famous coiffure. Gomes' tattoos and attitude shouldn't influence, necessarily, how one feels about the hair, but he cultivates whatever look he's going for quite well. Was he born with a Mohawk? Was he voted most likely to get a Mohawk during high school?
3. Akinori Iwamura — Possibly overlooked on some "best Rayhawks" lists, but his Mohawk is quite sharp, from its well-defined back, right down to what I swear are kanji characters (from the Japanese alphabet) on the sides. It's not the easiest thing for a "gaijin" to do, get a mohawk, but Iwamura seemed to be cool with crossing social, cultural and follicle lines until he let his hair grow out a little.
4. Fernando Perez — Had a LOT of hair earlier in the season while in the minors, and still sort of had a cross-pollinated/natural-Afro/dreadlocked/Mohawk thing. He obviously made a commitment to the team while keeping a portion of his personal identity locked up in his locks.
5. Evan Longoria — Chopped his Rayhawk once the playoffs started. It was really pronounced in the regular season's final week. But he didn't stick with it long enough. Rookies.
6. Grant Balfour — It used to be kind of a right-handed version of Miller's. But with Balfour being from Australia you'd think it would be better seeing as "The Road Warrior" was an Australian film which had, like, 25 guys with killer Mohawks in it.
7. Joe Maddon — Cheats on it, because it's really just high in the middle and really low on the sides. Lou Piniella went blond when the Rays won three in a row (and still were consorting with the Devil) back in '03. Getting a Mohawk would seem to be a bigger commitment. But just how much has Maddon committed his hair? Not as much as he committed with the glasses.
8. B.J. Upton — Did what he could despite not having that much hair to work with. Kind of had a Cupid curl thing going on in front. But he was among the first, if not the first, Rays player to mow a 'hawk.
9. Eric Hinske — Really well done. Obviously dedicated to the cause. But too much like Gomes.
10. Andy Sonnanstine — Easily the best 'hawk by any of the Rays starters. Not huge down the middle like Miller, but meticulous on the sides and neatly kept. Fell this low because we were unable to track down a pick. (Being elusive is not a positive attribute of a Rayhawk.)
For a look at a great homemade Rayhawk by a Rays fan, click here.