Should the Yankees consider lifting their facial hair policy?


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.

Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano and David Robertson. What do these three players have in common? It’s simple; they all grew beards after leaving the Yankees.

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.

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26 Responses to Should the Yankees consider lifting their facial hair policy?

  1. Maybe somebody a bit older than me would know better, but as far as I can tell there was never a no facial hair policy until George Steinbrenner. Before that the Yankees didn't have many players with beards, but there was never any rule against it. Thurman Munson had a beard at one point. Don Mattingly and Jim Leyritz were among a few players that had goatees in the 90s when they allowed it for one or two years.

    By the way, Price wasn't the only player to say he wouldn't play for the Yankees because of the rule. Off the top of my head, I can also remember Brian Wilson, pre TJS, saying he would never come here because of it.

  2. chiggie says:

    Who cares what those guys think? It is an honor to play for the Yankees and as a fan I only want players who feel like it is an honor. Go play for losers. No hard feelings. Just shut up about it. If you don't want to be there, good riddence. I personally would shave anything they asked me to for the money the make to PLAY A GAME!

  3. Rod says:

    The Yankees are different. No change, please.

    • I wouldn't mind them relaxing the rules a bit BUT nothing like the Red Sox or A's. Some of those guys look homeless or like serial killers. I am okay with Price facial hair, but an extreme like Brian Wilson is just ridiculous. I had to shave during HS since I went to a Catholic school….and I didn't get a minimum of 500K to show up.

  4. Scotty says:

    It's Tradition. No need to change it. If you don't like it don't play here. Wearing the pinstripes is wearing pride and tradition Easy as that, don't like it go root for another team.

  5. Michael R says:

    I agree that it is a good tradition. The Yanks should continue leading the majors in class.

  6. Some Guy says:

    It is a completely pointless rule, and just another example of how the Yankees regard their organization to be above the game itself. I hope that one day, there is a superstar ball player who has a beard in order to cover a severe skin condition or something like that, and the Yankees try to tell him to shave it off.

    • hotdog says:

      it's about tradition…and not to brag but if it wasn't for the Yankees, baseball might be in dire straits…

  7. Dave says:

    They look very professional and classy without the facial hair. Many other pro teams look like a bunch of bums.
    Look professional – keep up the rule – makes them a classy squad.

  8. Valstress says:

    We all have to live with rules in our workplaces. If you don't like a particular rule enough then you go work elsewhere. I think the philosophy of the Yankees organization wanting their employees to always present a clean and professional appearance is a valid one and the facial hair rule is a tool to help achieve this. The spirit it the rule is not to stymie the players but rather to set the bar a bit higher in terms of what is expected. Why do these men think that's such a bad thing?

  9. rvayankee says:

    No- the Yanks are one of the only teams that don't look like a bunch of hobos.

  10. Gv1 says:

    Love the yankees…my favorite team. ..but besides the no facial hair they also have a no youth and upcoming talent policy. Red Sox have 3 world series titles and SF Giants have 3 titles compared to 1 in the last 15 years. Change is good.

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  13. William Seager says:

    Born and raised in "da Bronx", I'm a Yankees fan and have always appreciated their clean cut, traditional appearance. Maybe I'm a lone voice, but I'm sick and tired of "professional" athletes in all sports looking like thugs or, at the least, persons who have no pride in their team, their appearance and think the whole show is about them when they take the field, court, diamond, pitch or whatever. Immaturity on display for all to see. GROW UP!

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  16. Scott Richardson says:

    I live in Australia and I am a Yankees fan. The NYY look is classy, the team looks professional. In Australia we have people who are known as Bogans. If you google Bogans you are instantly reminded of the Red Sox team.

  17. Funny article, I think they should!!!. thanks for sharing

  18. Carrie says:

    What is wrong with you people. It's a rule and tradition- if you don't like it, don't play for the Yankees should you ever be fortunate enough to have the opportunity. Rules are rules and whether you feel they are pointless is unimportant. It's what makes the Yankees a classy polished organization. It's about the whole package. It's disgusting to look at the players on those other teams. Go Yankees !!

  19. Carrie says:

    David Price — how's he doing now?? Maybe should focus less on facial hair and more on his pitching stats!!

  20. Colin says:

    I think a lot of these comments are looking too much at these players faces. This is sports, not modeling. I'm a grown man with a beard though, and root for the Red Sox. Fear the beards if you want, and we'll keep winning. NY sports need a wake up call clearly. And this city has so many teams! Lol

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