When pitcher Mike Fiers walked into an interview with NBC Sports California at the A’s offices in downtown Jack London Square in January, his facial hair situation remained a big unknown.
Nobody, including myself, was sure ahead of time of what it would be. I told him that.
When asked, Fiers, who was sporting his standard beard, immediately brought up his infamous “G beard” from when he pitched against the Texas Rangers on Sept. 14 of last season.
All eyes were on him that day as he sported this look:
Caption contest with Mike Fiers' beard. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd GO!!! pic.twitter.com/QVOS7FUi7J— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 15, 2019
We didn’t know what exactly it was at first, but it turned out, he dubbed it a “cattail.”
“Clean-shaven, I’ve always gotten bad reviews,” Fiers told NBC Sports California before A's FanFest. “I don’t know why, but people just like the beard better, but definitely when you do a certain, weird thing on your face -- cat tail-ish -- you just get a laugh. “It just helps the guys in the clubhouse, just keeps it light.”
So that’s what it was … a cattail?
“I’m trying to do whatever I can to make guys laugh and make it easier on them throughout the year,” he added.
It worked after he and teammates Googled “funny beards.”
The following day, however, the beard was gone. He left that Rangers game early with right-arm nerve irritation, after he gave up 3 runs in just 1 2/3 innings. Given the poor result, he didn’t want anything left as a reminder of that outing.
He was freshly shaved, and the "cattail beard" was history.