By Sam Weinman
New Yorkers of a certain age consider Keith Hernandez something of a living deity, for a number of reasons:
1. He was the first baseman and heart and soul of the only Mets team in our lifetime to win a championship.
2. He made a memorable guest appearances (as himself) on Seinfeld.
3. He appeared, until recently, alongside another New York icon, Walt "Clyde" Frazier in the campy Just For Men hair-dyeing gel commercials.
That last part, of course, is because of Hernandez's trademark mustache, which -- according to the New York Times, who we suspect wouldn't make this up -- was voted the best ever in sports by the American Mustache Institute. Now Hernandez intends to shave off his mustache as part of a charity fundraiser for Alzheimer's disease.
None of this has anything to do with golf, except it's an excuse to recall some memorable facial hair in our game in recent -- and not-so recent -- years.
Start with the likes of Johnson Wagner and Geoff Ogilvy, both of whom look like they arrived at the golf course straight from the set of a Spaghetti Western.
As for facial hair in Golf Digest, it's worth noting that we're just a few months removed from featuring the rare double combination of Rickie Fowler sporting both a mustache AND shorts on our August cover.
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(Our September cover subject, Alvaro Quiros, also has facial hair, but in his case, it's more of a several-day old growth). Before that, you had Graeme McDowell appearing on our cover twice in a seven-month span (the latter, in March 2011, was alongside pal Rory McIlroy) with a beard. Then it gets murky. In July 2002, David Duval was on the cover, not with
a beard or a mustache but a modest soul patch below his lip; and in
September 1999, instructor John Elliott was on the cover with a mustache,
but the mustache was slightly obscured by his shoulder.
Hernandez surely must have been proud.