Tuesday, the media met he 2011 Aeros players – which also included another standout Berger – as in 6-foot-2, left-handed picther Eric Berger.
With more proof that most southpaws are a bit wacky, Berger returned to Canal Park (where he spent a majority of last season going 5-5 with a 4.64 ERA in 18 games and 17 starts) sporting an identical waxed handlebar moustache made famous in the 1970?s by former Oakland A’s pitcher Rollie Fingers.
Legend has it that Fingers originally grew his ‘stache (patterned after the players of the late 19th century) in an effort to get a $300 bonus from A’s owner and showman Charles O. Finley in the 1972 season.
On Tuesday, Berger joked that he grew his handlebar moustache throughout the off season “to honor all the old timers.” Pressed further, he quipped: “Seen anyone else these days who has one? That’s why.”
Players and coaches alike couldn’t help but get a laugh out of Berger’s new and unforgetable look.
“I need to take a picture of him and then send it to my son,” Aeros pitching coach Tony Arnold said with a laugh.
Said new manager Chris Tremie: “It takes all types to play this game, it really does. There’s all different characteristics, all differnet attitudes and different personalities. So if that helps (Berger) and he feels comfortable with it, then that’s something that’s good for him. It’s a personal choice.”
Aeros fans can only hope Berger becomes more famous for his pitching than for his moustache of choice.