Former New York Yankees outfielder and current Philadelphia Phillie, Andrew McCutchen isn’t necessarily about the “Yankee Way.”
Speaking with Jensen Karp of the Sports Bubble podcast, the veteran who spent 25 games with the Yankees in 2018 believes the team’s policy on hair is an outdated practice.
“I definitely do think it takes away from our individualism as players and as people,” McCutchen said. “We express ourselves in different ways.”
Debuting in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, McCutchen had long dreadlocks until 2015 before chopping them off for charity. However, he kept his familiar beard through his days in Pittsburgh and through 130 games of the 2018 season with the San Francisco Giants.
But when he was traded to the Yankees that season, he was forced to shave it off.
“I feel like maybe there should be some change there in the future — who knows when — but it’s just one of the many things in this game that I feel that there just needs … it needs to be talked about, and to be addressed,” he added.
Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner instituted a rule in 1973 that prohibited players from growing hair past their collars or facial hair that extends past the top lip, making the mustaches of Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, and Reggie Jackson iconic around the Bronx.
George’s son, Hal, has continued enforcing the rule since inheriting the team in 2010.
It wasn’t all bad from McCutchen when describing his time with the Yankees, calling it “an honor” to play for such a historic organization.
However, shaving was “a very tough thing for me to do.”
“That was who I was. That was how I expressed myself. That’s who made me Andrew McCutchen,” he said. “That’s how people noticed who I was, it made me unique. I think, especially in this year, the year of 2020, I just feel like these things are, or should be, things that people should take at heart and realize that we have a way of expressing ourselves in different ways.”