Why The Red Sox Grew Their Beards
In October 2013, in the World Series, there was a powerful display of Boston beards on show. Initially it started out in spring training, after a particularly bad season in 2012. That’s when a couple of Red Sox players chose to rock their beards. There was a domino effect from there, with other teammates joining in with the beard craze. Boston is now one of the hairiest teams! It’s easier than ever to see in person, since the availability of discount Red Sox tickets has increased.
It’s often been wondered where exactly this type of superstition came from, and why it’s ever been thought to better a team’s performance. First off, there’s a heck of a lot of competition in baseball. That’s given way to the birth of plenty of superstitions in all kinds of competitive sports, and baseball has a whole range of person superstitions involved. Since it’s such an old game, with plenty of tradition, there’s been loads of time for individual players to develop their own theories. They’ve usually got a lot of downtime as well, when they aren’t actually playing during a contest. That’s led to a lot of procrastination and pondering as to whether different factors are altering the game in any way.
One of the main reasons behind the beard craze could have been the bonding factor. Since baseball is a team sport, there’s group superstitions that have actually acquired some kind of value to the team. Beards can be seen as a form of camaraderie, maintaining the team positivity, morale and focus. There’s also an element of team bonding and identity involved. If everyone’s got some kind of aesthetic similarity besides the team colors, there’s perhaps a slightly increase sense of “all being in it together”. Whilst it’s unlikely that this has a significant impact, it’s still important to look for ways to improve teamwork.