Top 10 Beards in Sports

Updated: April 17, 2014
Brett Keisel

They say fashions and styles cycle in and out of popularity every 50 years or so, but it’s been about 120 years since full beards have been in vogue, at least to this extent.

This list is not just about the best beards in sports, this is about the best athletes with the best beards. A synergy of buff and scruff.  The players in this list are ranked based on a positive correlation of beard awesomeness and athletic ability (quite unscientific, but passable).

10. Andrew Cashner, Pitcher, San Diego Padres

The 27 year-old sports a golden face-warmer to accompany his golden arm. Considered a dark horse NL Cy Young candidate in 2014, Cashner has a 3.40 career ERA along with 7.6 SO/9 in 5 big league seasons, and he recently struck out Miguel Cabrera to seal a one-hitter. The beard clearly contains magical baseball powers.







9. Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts

The 2-time Pro Bowler rocks an Ulysses S. Grant style burlap beard. Luck was a Heisman runner-up twice at Stanford, and has led the Colts to two playoff appearences in each of his two pro seasons. He’ll look to lead his troops to victory in his third (times the charm?) campaign, demanding nothing but the unconditional surrender of his foes in pursuit of the Lombardi trophy.


8. Tim Howard, Goalkeeper, Everton & USA

The 35 year-old New Jersey born keeper recently forayed into the woolen-face trend with this dark work of art. In 2012, he became just the fourth keeper to score a goal in a Premier League match, subsequently growing a glorious beard to celebrate. The overall balance between shaved head and heavy chin ensures absolute focus on the ball, and here’s hoping it works in the upcoming World Cup. 

7. Jayson Werth, Rightfielder, Washington Nationals

Jayson Werth became the, um, face of the Nationals franchise when his manly growth blossomed to new lengths last year. His batting average has grown as well, hitting .300 and better since 2012. But seriously, Nats fans love that grizzly masterpiece. Not only does it have its own twitter account (@JWerthsBeard), but the Nationals’ Class A affiliate (Potomac Nationals) is throwing a “Beard-A-Palooza Weekend,” complete with Jayson Worth Bobblebeard giveaways, fan beard Olympics, and a beard tasting. Yes, a beard tasting.


6. Lebron James, Forward, Miami Heat

While Lebron’s chinstrap isn’t quite up to par with the previous few, he’s easily the best athlete on the remainder of the list. The 4- time league MVP averages 27 points per game, and has 2 NBA Championships, 2 Finals MVP awards, a scoring title, 2 Olympic gold medals, and was Rookie of the Year in 2004. Plus, The 29 year-old has made 10 NBA All-Star teams. 

5. Henrik Zetterberg, Center/Left Wing, Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings’ Swedish captain rocks the traditional playoff beard all season long. He’s one of 24 players to be a part of the Triple Gold Club, winning an Olympic gold, World Championship gold, and a Stanley Cup. The Swedish lumberjack look must be the reason for all those victories, since it certainly is the reason that he was able to marry Emma Andersson, a swedish model and TV host.  Henrik hurt is back in the Sochi Olympics, apparently from carrying the weight of those  flowing auburn locks and whiskers. 



4. Brett Keisel, Defensive End, Free Agent

“Da Beard,” as it is called, has taken on a career of its own. Da Beard has raised more than $160,000 for charity after being shaved 4 times since 2011. It has been described as a “beautiful thing,” and “the greatest beard of all time”(by Keisel himself). As for Keisel, a solid career featuring a Pro Bowl selection and two Super Bowl rings has kept Da Beard in the public spotlight. Let’s hope it can find a new home in the NFL as Keisel is currently a free agent. HIRE DA BEARD!








3. Mike Napoli, 1st base/Catcher, Boston Red Sox

While there’s no denying that the Red Sox playoff beards collectively propelled the team to its 8th World Series title in 2013, Napoli’s neck curtain is the ringleader. While his teammates elected to shave after winning the Series, Napoli knew it was going to be a brutal winter and decided to keep his. 





2. James Harden, Shooting Guard, Houston Rockets

It’s the best beard in basketball, and it’s the main reason 24 year-old Harden won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012. That and his talent. The “Bearded Assassin” has made the All-Star team in the last two seasons, and has led the Rockets to the playoffs in both years, averaging 25 points per game. This year, the 4th seeded Rockets hope to ride on Harden’s magic whiskers deep into the playoffs, but they could face the top ranked Spurs in a difficult second round series. Then again, there is reason to fear the beard.  



1. Brian Wilson, Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers

This work of art appears to have been sculpted by Michaelangelo himself. Once fined $1,000 for “having too much awesome on his feet,” Wilson has set the bar for facial awesome very high. The 3- time All-Star closer and World Series Champion also claims to be a certified ninja, hence the beard pony tail, I suppose. It has become such a part of his brand that he, like Harden, turned down a million dollars to shave it.  Actually, the beard chose to keep him. 




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