Only hours after being traded to New York, Clint Frazier (nicknamed “Red Thunder” for his long, flowing, fire-red locks) has frequented a place he probably does not visit often: a hair salon. Arguably the Yankees’ biggest catch at this frenzied trade deadline, and only hours after the trade was made official, he wasted no time to conform to the late George Steinbrenner’s strict hair policy, enacted in 1973. It states: “No male player, coach, or executive may wear any facial hair except for a mustache. They could also grow sideburns or mutton chops. The players’ hair was not allowed to be worn below the collar” (Bleacher Report).
it’s that time! ?✂️ @Yankees pic.twitter.com/o1p61BzpEi
— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) August 1, 2016
Ironically, this policy was established as a result of an infraction when the Yankees took on the Indians (Frazier’s former club) in ’73. The legend is that on opening day, in his first year as owner, George Steinbrenner was sitting in the owner’s box during the National Anthem. He did not like what he saw. He wrote down the numbers of the players who, in his opinion, needed immediate haircuts and had the paper delivered to Manager Ralph Houk. Those numbers were: 1, 6, 15, and 28. Yes, Bobby Murcer, Roy White, Thurman Munson, and Sparky Lyle were the inspiration behind this unusual Yankee rule.
Today, Frazier joined the ranks of former Yankees who have also endured this unusual rite-of-passage.
Probably most drastic in recent memory was Johnny Damon’s transformation. When leaving Boston, where he was affectionately known as “Caveman”, Damon cut his shoulder-length hair and shaved his long beard on Decmeber 23, 2005, just days after joining the Bronx Bombers.