Editors note: When Vern Rapp was hired as the Cardinals manager after the 1976 season, he instantly fixated on the Cardinals' grooming habits. On Jan. 11, 1977, he dropped the bombshell - insisting players cut their hair and shave their mustaches and beards. Apparently nobody told him it was the late '70s, not the early 60s. He would clash with team stars, notably Al Hrabosky and Ted Simmons and was fired early in the 1978 season after the team staggered to a 6-11 start.
Here is our original coverage:
New manager Vern Rapp said yesterday that his players will have cleanshaven faces, neatly trimmed locks and proper apparel while on the road with the team.
"We see this as a new team image," Rapp said., "I'm trying to build an image of players who are disciplined and dedicated to their profession and team."
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"When I was a Cardinal it meant something special," Rapp continued. "We took it upon ourselves to be disciplined. I think hair should be moderate in length and well kept.
"Of course, you have to be reasonable.
"If it's 100 degrees when we go on the road, ties won't be expected. It's part of our business, though. If you're going to draw a big league salary, the least you can do is dress the part." Rapp, who managed in the Cincinnati Reds' system for seven years, may be taking a hint from the world champions.
All of the Reds are clean shaven and well-attired when on the road.
Relief pitcher Al Hrabosky, who wears his hair long and has a drooping mustache, took the manifesto in stride.
"Dee (Hrabosky's wife) will love me again," said the strong-armed lefthander. "But I don't know if Lisa (his daughter) will recognize me without the mustache."
Catcher Ted Simmons, often criticized for his flowing locks, didn't see any problem with the order, either. "I was thinking of cutting my hair long before I heard from Rapp," said Simmons. "I cut it after last season and you wouldn't believe how short it was."
Second baseman Mike Tyson also, agreed to adhere to Rapp's new rules. "What he (Rapp) wants goes during the season," said Tyson. "But in the offseason ..."
Said Rapp, "I want to create a feeling of togetherness on the club. I didn't insist upon it in the lower minors because it was a matter of economics there."