Since the days of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees were told to act and look a certain way. They had to present themselves with class and with poise. They had to stay out of trouble off the field and be champions on the field. But most importantly, they had to be clean-shaven and groomed. While many Yankees who come and go follow every guideline, some ex-players express their frustration over the facial hair policy and once they sign to a new team, they rebel.
Robertson, who signed a four-year deal with the Chicago White Sox, felt the facial hair policy was “ridiculous” and enjoys the freedom of having a beard now that he’s no longer in the Yankees organization.
“This is nice, not to have to shave every three days,” Robertson recently said in a report from CBS New York. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous, but that was the Yankees’ rule. They wanted to have you clean-shaven. Here you can just let it grow. Obviously, they don’t want me to get it to that point. But I won’t let it get out of control.”
Now, is Robertson wrong for thinking the facial hair policy is ridiculous? No. It’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it. Just know Robertson isn’t the first player to share his disdain of the “old-school rule”.
Last season when David Price was with the Tampa Bay Rays, many pondered if he would have stayed with the Yankees long-term if the Bronx Bombers had traded for him. Due to the facial hair policy, Price said no.
“I wouldn’t stay [on the Yankees] very long then,” Price told Jon Morosi of FOX Sports last season. “I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal there. Those rules, that’s old-school baseball. I was born in ’85. That’s not for me. That’s not something I want to be a part of.”
The facial hair policy within the organization has been enforced for years, decades even. And the Yankees have been known to be traditionalists. While many ballplayers don’t enjoy being told they can’t have facial hair, it’s a rule that makes the Yankees, well…the Yankees. And even though the rule seems to be “old school”, it is a rule that is going to be enforced, and for now it’s a rule that’s going to stay.