Friday, February 5, 1999

Readers say hair ban should go

Greg Vaughn
        It wasn't a close shave. Most of you called it a hair-brained idea. And you weren't splitting hairs about it. readers voted 237-39 in favor of dropping the Reds' ban on facial hair.

        The readers who want to keep the ban argued for tradition, apple pie and a clean look.

"Some traditions should be kept," wrote David Iannuzzi of Richmond, Va. "If the players feel the need to grow a beard or goutee, they have plenty of time from October til February to do so. Let's not change a team policy that has been a tradition throughout the team's history for a player who will be long gone by Aug. 1."

"Keep the no facial hair policy for the Reds! It sets us apart from the other clubs and represents Middle America!" - Cathie and Lee Kissick of Orlando.

        "Do Reds fans really want a bunch of 70s style, Rod Beck-type goofballs running around out on the field? Facial hair and weird haircuts for ballplayers went out with Charlie Finley's Oakland Athletics." - Scott Smith, Kokomo, Ind.

        Most everybody else said a clean face doesn't make anyone play better, so drop it and get on with winning baseball games.

        "I'd rather have a team that goes to the World Series instead of a team that looks clean-cut," said Kevin A. Maddock of Fairfield, Ohio. "They're being paid for their ability."

        "If the goatee helps Vaughn, make them ALL grow one !!!! - Larry DiOirio, Nashville, Tenn.

        "Until Jim Bowden pulled off "The Trade", about the only thing we could expect to see on a face in Cinergy was a frown and pimples (Pimples being on the youth moment of players we were expecting to have to watch). Promise to Marge, if we invade Vietnam again, the whole city will shave!!" - Scott Wells of Chicago.

        But, hey, you're all Reds fans, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that some among the overwhelming majority want limits on how the players can wear their hair.

       "Big league baseball is not a fashion show. There should be limits to facial hair and scalp hair disallowing long hair whatsoever." - Dave Rader

       "I vote yes on allowing facial hair, but I think the hair length should be limited to an inch or two, no long, shaggy beards flowing in the breeze." - Margaret Stokley

        We asked you to vote after Greg Vaughn pleaded to keep his goatee and Paul Daugherty's column in Thursday's Enquirer called for Marge Schott to stop it already.

        Now, the big question is: Will the Reds change their policy?

        It's Schott's call; GM Jim Bowden and acting CEO John Allen have clauses in their contract forcing them to uphold the facial hair ban.

        If you want to tell the Reds what you think, go to the email form on their Web site at

        Before you go, though, check out your comments about the facial hair ban:

Readers say hair ban should go
Comments: Drop it
Comments: Keep it