As part of a recurring feature over the next four weeks, Fenway Pastoral will remember some of the most dignified and dapper mustaches to ever grace the faces of Boston Red Sox players throughout the team’s history.
On Day 3, we jump even further back in the nostalgia machine to first baseman Cecil Cooper, who broke into the Majors as a Boston Red Sox in 1971. One of Cooper’s best seasons as a pro was 1975, when he posted an OPS that was 43% better than the league average – he hit .311 and slugged .544 (a mark he would not touch again in his career). But – alas – he went just 1-for-20 in the World Series.
Cooper came into his own after he was traded by Boston to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976 for old friend Bernie Carbo and George Scott. As a Brewer, he became a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate for a six-year stretch in the late-70s and early-80s. With a career OPS of 121+ over 18 years in the league, Cooper was good enough to make a cameo on the 1993 Hall of Fame ballot, but he didn’t receive any votes.
Anyway, Cooper’s ‘stache back when he was with Boston didn’t really meet too cleanly in the middle, but he made up for it with some well-groomed mutton chops. A lot of the Movember bros out there have similar issues “bridging the gap” so to speak. If they’d only take a cue from Cooper and grow in their sideburns down their jawline a few inches, all might be forgiven.
Cooper, for his part, eventually grew in a full beard that connected all the way around while also laying early claim – nearly three decades early – to the whole clear-framed glasses craze.