, Salem, MA

October 19, 2013

Are the Red Sox just a whisker away from the pennant?

By Will Broaddus
Staff writer

---- — The Red Sox have a one-game lead going into tonight’s action against the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.

Timely hitting and a deep bullpen have led to the team’s success, but surely the beards have something to do with it.

That led us to wonder if people around the region had stopped shaving as a way to show their appreciation for the team.

So, we asked men with beards: Did you grow that to show support for the Red Sox, or have you always sported facial hair? Do you like the beards the team has grown?

Warren Gerlowski, of Nashua, N.H., said he grew a beard to celebrate the Sox, as well as the start of hunting season.

“It’s a combination of the two,” said Warren, who hunts both deer and ducks.

Chris Reily of Ipswich has had his beard for three or four years and shaved it off once, but his daughter Piper didn’t like his clean-shaven look.

“She told me I looked like a freak,” he said.

Reily does follow the Sox and likes Dustin Pedroia’s beard the best.

“It’s the most neatly groomed,” he said.

Dave Provencher, who lives in Tewksbury and works in Danvers, said his beard has nothing to do with the Red Sox, but he likes what they’re trying to do.

“I think it’s a way for them to unite through facial hair,” he said.

Many of the Red Sox players’ beards are bushy, which Provencher said is not his style, but it’s the team spirit that counts.

“I’m cool with whatever unites them,” he said.

Mike Kerr from Middleton reminded us that the beards have a tradition. He said he was thinking of the Red Sox, but also of last season’s Boston Bruins, when he started to let his whiskers grow two weeks ago.

“I did it last year along with the Bruins players,” he said, “so I decided to do it for the Sox.”