Baseball is a funny sport … and baseball players can tend to be an odd bunch. Often times, they’ll do unorthodox things to either break a slump, start a new streak or to simply mix things up.
For this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look at one of the stranger moments of the 1998 Toronto Blue Jays season; when Carlos Delgado dyed his hair blonde on a dare by Roger Clemens.
So what exactly motivated King Carlos to transform himself into a blonde bombshell? Here’s what Rosie DiManno wrote about in the Toronto Star from 1998:
“Delgado who usually keeps his dome cueball smooth, cut his head whilst shaving. In order to let it heal, he was allowing his hair to grow out a bit.
That led to some puzzled inquiries from Roger Clemens, who wanted to know when Delgado was going to shave the bristly stubble, already. Without thinking it through, Delgado riposte was that he intended to A.) grow it and B.) dye it day-glo.
I said, ‘I’ve got the guts to do it’ to which a skeptical Clemens responded, well, if Delgado actually had the nerve to do it, he, Clemens, would follow suit.
Which is why Clemens now has a flat-top lemon buzz-cut. And since Jose Cruz Jr. was in on the original dare, he too has coloured his shorn tresses a pumpkin hue.”
Turns out it wasn’t just Delgado, Clemens and Cruz Jr who got in on the act. According to the LA Times, Ed Sprague and Alex Gonzalez also dyed their hair blonde as well in what may have been some strange team-bonding exercise.
“On a dare from teammate Roger Clemens, Toronto Blue Jay first baseman Carlos Delgado recently dyed his hair blond. The next day, Clemens did likewise. Since then, Shawn Green, Jose Cruz Jr., Ed Sprague and Alex Gonzalez have followed suit.”
So did it work? After many of the Blue Jays opted for a new coif, the team went 4-6 immediately thereafter. Suffice it to say the blonde locks didn’t last very long in the Blue Jays clubhouse, but the 1998 Blue Jays ultimately posted a very respectable 88-74 record.
At the very least, Delgado’s new hairstyle was something for scribes and fans alike to marvel at for a few weeks during the 1998 Toronto Blue Jays season.