When you think 1980s baseball, what do you think of first? Um, OK, fine, cocaine. How about after that? Well, yeah, tight pants are right up there, aren’t they? After that. That’s right, mustaches! At least longtime reader and frequent commenter The Common Man, does, and to that end he has put together The All-Time All-Mustache team, with photographic evidence of course.
It’s a lineup so good that the fact he leaves off Al Hrabowsky and Pete Vukovich isn’t even an oversight. And though I am something of a soup-strainer aficionado, I have to admit that I had completely overlooked the unadulterated beauty that was Ken Phelps’ late-career flavor-saver. Mercy.
But while the mustaches are indeed glorious, if you click over for just one reason, click over for Luis Tiant smoking a cigar in his underwear. That’s the kind of history you can’t get just anywhere, my friends.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: