It’s almost 2024 and the Yankees still won’t allow beards


The New York Yankees, one of the most storied franchises in Major League Baseball, have a long-standing facial hair policy that has sparked debate over the years. While the team has made some progressive changes, such as adding sponsored sleeve patches to player jerseys, they have yet to let go of their outdated grooming policy. This policy, according to former player Cameron Maybin, may be costing the team from signing certain players and making the Yankees a less attractive free-agency destination.

Maybin took to Twitter to express his opinion on the Yankees’ facial hair rule. He argued that eliminating the rule would make the team more appealing to quality players who find the policy outdated and unnecessary. Maybin’s perspective comes from his own experiences and conversations with other players. As a former Yankee himself, Maybin believes that the team’s strict grooming policy is holding them back in the modern era of baseball.

The Yankees’ grooming policy, known as “Neatness Counts,” was instituted by owner George Steinbrenner in 1976. The policy prohibits beards, long hair, mutton chops, and other unconventional hairstyles. While it has been amended over the years to allow for mustaches and facial hair for religious reasons, it remains a contentious issue.

Steinbrenner’s intention behind the policy was to instill discipline and order in the team. He believed that a clean-cut appearance would foster a sense of pride in the players as Yankees. However, as the years have passed, the policy has become increasingly outdated and out of touch with the changing norms of society.

One of the most notable examples of the policy’s impact is Johnny Damon, who joined the Yankees in 2005. Damon was known for his long hair and big beard during his time with the Boston Red Sox. However, when he signed with the Yankees, he had to shave his beard and cut his hair. The transformation from a scruffy, shaggy player to a clean-cut Yankee was jarring for fans and highlighted the strictness of the team’s policy.

The argument against the policy is that it stifles individualism and self-expression. Players like Andrew McCutchen, who joined the Yankees in 2018, have expressed their frustration with the rule. McCutchen believes that the policy takes away from the players’ ability to express themselves both on and off the field.

The Yankees’ facial hair policy has also had consequences in terms of player recruitment. David Price, a Cy Young winner, stated in 2013 that he would never join the Yankees specifically because of their grooming policy. Brian Wilson, a closer for the San Francisco Giants, was also eliminated from consideration as a Yankees free agent because he refused to shave. These instances highlight how the policy may have cost the team valuable talent over the years.

In conclusion, the New York Yankees’ facial hair policy is an outdated and controversial rule that may be hindering the team’s ability to attract and sign certain players. While the policy may have been well-intentioned when it was instituted, it no longer aligns with the changing norms and values of society. If the Yankees want to remain competitive and appealing to players in the modern era, it may be time to reconsider their grooming policy and allow players more freedom of self-expression.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *