During the month of November, Fenway Pastoral will pay tribute to some of the most dignified and dapper mustaches to ever grace the faces of Boston Red Sox players throughout the team’s history.
Our first entry for Week 2 is lovable right-handed reliever Rich Garces aka El Guapo. For those who began growing Movember ‘staches at the start of the month, there should at the very least at this juncture be a thickness that matches early career Guapo. If not, it’s probably time to shave and try again next year.
Garces played for the Red Sox from 1996-2002 and also re-signed with the team in 2005, but did not pitch in any big league games that year. The Venezuelan was a fan favorite on the Pedro/Nomar-era teams of the late-1990s. However, over the course of his Sox career, he totaled just over 3.0 WAR. He was mainly a fastball/curveball thrower, but with an often mediocre fastball, hitters sitting on the pitch hit many balls an awful long way in some pivotal points of games.
While Guapo’s stuff was never truly ‘electric,’ his personality was, and mound presence always fired up the crowds at Fenway when he was summoned from the bullpen in the late innings. The sum was indeed greater than the parts and, well, perhaps there’s a lesson in that for those out there who have yet to see their mustaches make any meaningful connection with the rest of the face. It’s just hanging out there, exposed for the world to see and laugh at. But all the while, there’s a genuine affection that’s laced with just the right amount of irony.