Over the last couple of years, Nike has rolled out some pretty awesome apparel using the well-known hats, hairstyles, facial hair, and glasses of some of baseball's greatest players.
They've also created several for current players who are not exactly legends of the game, but have a new following or, much more likely, just a dumb haircut.
They call it the Hair-itage line, and it's pretty neat, except for one thing. There is not one Royal, past or present, represented in this line. We here at Royales with Cheese call bullshit on that, and we hope to rectify the situation the best way we know how: by making our own damn t-shirts.
This is part one of this series, and for this group, we'll focus on the unheralded, unsung heroes of baseball: the relief pitchers. The starters get all the glory, the wins, the awards, and the poontang. What do the relievers get? Well, there is the relatively meaningless save statistic, but most teams only have one or two guys who get those. Unfortunately, most relievers are unknown precisely because they do their job and do it well. There's no reason to learn the guy's name who comes in every other day to strike out the opposition's best left-handed hitter. No reason to learn the guy's name who only comes in to pitch four innings after the starter gives up eight runs in the first. No reason to learn the guy's name who likely will be traded for a C+ prospect at the trading deadline.
Indeed, most relief pitchers only become well known when they fail at their jobs. This season, the Royal relief appearance that created the most buzz in KC was not even from a reliever. Backup outfielder Mitch Maier threw an inning in a blowout, and fans are still talking about it.
It's a thankless job, a fairly low-paying job, but in reality, it's a job that most fans would kill their own grandmother to have. After all, these guys are major league players, and extremely talented ones at that.
Here are a few current Royals relievers whose hairy visages would make pretty cool tees:
First we have the Royals' toadlike situational lefty Jose Mijares, or as I like to call him, Chinstrap:
Then we have the mighty midget Tim Collins, or as I like to call him, Beardo Baggins:
And lastly, the gargantuan heart-attack-inducing closer, the round mound of the, uh, mound, Jonathan Broxton:
You'd pay money for those, right? I hope so, because, well, Royales with Cheese has opened a store and these are available. Check it out, if you're so inclined.
/End Shameless Plug
We've also come up with a few designs of legendary Royals relievers!
Check out the Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky:
And there's everyone's favorite closer: The Professor, Dan Quisenberry:
And we'll close this out with a recent Royals closer whom we hope makes a full recovery and returns to pitch for KC (at a reduced salary, of course), the Pitcher Formerly Known as the Mexicutioner, Joakim Soria:
A beautiful unibrow, isn't it?
Well that's it for this edition of the Royals Hair Club for Men. Again, check out our store if you're so inclined. You can even choose your own colors and styles. The images have been modified just a bit to avoid copyright issues with the KC logo, but don't let that stop you from buying one or ten.
Go Royals! You're the Best!