From Keith Hernandez to Al Hrabosky, the Cardinals have a star-studded history of hirsute heroes. Recently, though, only backup catcher Jason LaRue and his burly horseshoe carried on the club's proud facial-hair tradition. Sometime in June, however, a handful of superstitious Cardinals players decided to grow good-luck mustaches. Among them was historically mediocre hurler Joel Piñeiro, whose thick black 'stache somehow turned him into the second coming of Rollie Fingers. We're not just talking face fur, either. Since Piñeiro stopped shaving 'neath his nose, his ERA has plummeted. Such whisker-powered statistical surges aren't unheard of; when outfielder Rick Ankiel briefly sported a lip sweater earlier this season, his batting average jumped a whopping 71 points. Now, with the Puerto Rican Piñeiro established as the Redbirds' solid No. 3 starter, one has to wonder: Was learning Dave Duncan's sinker what turned his career around, or was it that immaculate mustache?
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