09.28.12

Becoming Reacquianted With Keith’s Naked Upper Lip

Posted in Baseball at 11:27 am by

Earlier this month, SNY’s Keith Hernandez mulled shaving his iconic mustache for charity, a threat he fulfilled before yesterday’s Pirates/Mets matinee with a keeny-viewed ceremony in the Citi Field parking lot. Though not quite overshadowing R.A. Dickey becoming the first Met to win 20 games since Frank Viola, Keith’s shaving was met with mixed reactions by his adoring public, as the New York Times’ Joseph Berger explains.

Stunt notwithstanding, some fans lamented Mr. Hernandez’s decision.

“He should keep it,” said Marsha Landar, 54, a retired real estate broker from Queens Village, Queens. “My second husband looked like Keith Hernandez. That’s why I married him. I wouldn’t let him shave his mustache. C’mon, it’s sexy.”

But Sol Passik, 61, a retired social worker from Holliswood, Queens, said Mr. Hernandez, despite revealing his upper lip for the first time in a quarter century, still has “a recognizable nose and profile.”

Mr. Hernandez became one of the mustache’s more famous exhibitors. In an interview before his shearing, Mr. Hernandez, now 58, said that he grew a mustache as a young man because he was raised on mustachioed tough guys like Paladin, the lead character played by Richard Boone on the late 1950s and early 1960s television show “Have Gun Will Travel,” and John Wayne in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”

After the barber, Elliott Chester, took it off (using a battery-powered trimmer and only at the end picking up a Schick razor). Mr. Hernandez, groaning and chuckling at all the attention, said he “looked 20 years younger” but also pointed out portentously: “I can always grow it back.”

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