September 30, 2014
Baseball's Playoff Contenders Better Get Their Beards On
STERLING, ILL. (September 30, 2014) –Get growing—that’s the message pro baseball’s skippers should be telling their players as they prepare for the post season. The reason, according to a new light-hearted study from STATS and men’s grooming leader Wahl, is the more facial hair a team has the better their odds of hoisting the trophy at season’s end. Highlights of this study can be found in the new Winning the Series with Facial Hair infographic.
“Facial hair is all about confidence, and we proved it on the baseball diamond last year with research confirming All-Star players with scruff outperform their clean-shaven counterparts,” said Steven Yde, director of marketing for Wahl. “Now, we’re proving the power of facial hair at the team level—and on the game’s biggest stage.”
Does facial hair give guys confidence, or do confident guys grow facial hair? Either way, it seems to be working for the vast majority of Series winners, starting with last year’s champions.
Wahl, whose facial hair trimmers have helped shape and trim up many of baseball’s whiskered winners over the years, engaged the sports statistical leader after watching Boston get stronger and stronger as their facial hair got longer and longer and eventually winning it all last October. After determining that more than 90 percent of Boston’s players sported facial hair en route to victory, Wahl and STATS set out to answer one question: Can this act of self-expression, this demonstration of confidence actually reflect who wins the game’s grand finale series? The answer: Yes.
The study, which examined facial hair’s impact in the Fall Classic over the past decade, showed that facial hair was in deed a dominating theme for those who won it all. With exception for the 2009 winning team—which had a no-facial-hair policy—those teams that brought home the trophy averaged more facial hair than those who lost.
Not only have teams with more facial hair won, but the last three Series MVPs all hoisted the trophy donning facial fuzz. They combined to hit .491 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 17 games. Over the past decade, bearded players had a higher percentage of home runs. In fact, only six players have hit at least three home runs in a single Series; five of them had facial hair.
Facial hair has been a dominating force on the mound, as well. In the last 17 Series games spanning the past three years, all but one of the winning pitchers sported facial hair. Closers, too, have made facial hair a must. Since the beginning of Brian Wilson’s famed beard in 2010, all but two of the 11 saves in the Fall Classic were recorded by a pitcher with hair on his face.
Facial Hair Power Rankings for 2014 contenders
Given the success of teams sporting facial hair in the Series, STATS and Wahl have broken down this year’s post-season contenders to determine which teams have the edge based on their shaving habits, or lack thereof.
Facial Hair Power Rankings
% Facial Hair
Los Angeles (AL)
Los Angeles (NL)
To measure facial hair’s impact on the Fall Classic, STATS the world’s leading sports statistical analysis company, conducted a study for Wahl. To determine the number of facial haired versus clean-shaven players, STATS analyzed photos of each team’s key players leading up to the 2014 playoffs. The study on facial hair’s impact on October baseball was then extended to analyze playoff teams between 2004 and 2013. For more information about STATS, visit www.stats.com.
About Wahl Grooming
Since 1919, with the invention of the first practical electric hair clipper, the Wahl Clipper Corporation has been the leader in the professional and home grooming category. A quarter-century ago, Wahl, recognized the desire for well-kept facial hair and created the facial hair trimmer category. Today, Wahl manufactures a variety of facial hair trimmers and clippers, including the first-ever line to harness the power of lithium ion. For more information visit www.wahlgrooming.com.