The hot stove is cold, so let's rate some great mustaches on baseball cards

At this writing, it's not certain baseball will ever be played again. This is of course unfortunate news, so in the service of consoling uplift let us drink deeply of old, worthless baseball cards. As always, let us remember that these cards were a gift to this miserable scribe from @ekaycbs, Gentleman of the Internet and lantern-jawed patron of the arts. 

Today's organizing theme? Mustaches. Granted, these are not necessarily the greatest ticklers in the annals of the game (for instance, no Frenchy Bordagaray card was to be found in this sampling). Rather, these are the best mustaches found within this particular batch of cardboard lucre. We shall examine the following mustaches with an eye toward the prototypes they represent and the implications thereof. Come with us, won't you?

Brandisher(s): Craig Reynolds, Steve Lake, Jamie Easterly, Dave Stieb
Mustache taxonomy: "The Happy Family"

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With regard to the images above, it cannot be stated with unassailable certainty that these men are happy solely because of their mustaches, but that certainly appears to be the case. To be sure, they're likely also happy because they play baseball in exchange for redeemable currency. Mostly, though, it's the mustaches. 

Let's reinforce this point with some imaginary dialogue:

Demonstrably less happy teammate: "Stieb, why are you always so happy?"

Dave Stieb, pointing to mustache: "Because of this, my dude! I feel wild without the necessity of being wild!"

Brandisher(s): Kevin Bass
Mustache taxonomy: "The Sovereign Woolly Bear"

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Kevin Bass' pleasure bristles are not the first to be likened to a caterpillar, but they are the last. Are comparing a mustache that doesn't belong to Kevin Bass to a caterpillar? For God's sake stop before it's too late.

Brandisher(s): Bill Buckner
Mustache taxonomy: "A Gathering of Eagles"

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To qualify for the "Gathering of Eagles" designation, one's eyebrows must be able to function as the mustache of a lesser man. Furthermore, to qualify for the "Gathering of Eagles" designation, one's mustache must be able to function as the life's work of a lesser man.

Brandisher(s): John Candelaria
Mustache taxonomy: "The Free Throw Line Extended"

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This prototype, if extended into infinity, would neatly serve as a line of demarcation between those who know better and those who are about to learn the hard way. 

But wait: Let's zoom in on Mr. Candelaria's state of affairs via the photo-editing magic of the Commodore VIC-20 on which this scribe is typing these very words ... 

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Please note the portion encircled in call-to-action red. That, people, is absolutely the shadowy profile of a claw hammer. Thus, ergo, and therefore ... 

Alternative mustache taxonomy: "Phi Slamma Jamma Hair Hammer"

Onward ... 

Brandisher(s): Luis De Los Santos and Frank Viola
Mustache taxonomy: "The Louvre"

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If a mustache and his human canvas have ever been rendered in any artistic medium other than action-sports photography, then use of "The Louvre" is available for use at full sanction. In Mr. Viola's case, "Long Island Nocturne" is also an acceptable appellation. 

Brandisher(s): Keith Atherton
Mustache taxonomy: "The Keith Atherton"

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Lo, behold: Keith Atherton. 

Brandisher(s): Cliff Johnson, Terry Blocker, Dennis Lamp
Mustache taxonomy: "Terry Blocker and His Posse"

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Anyone standing in perilous adjacency to Terry Blocker while mustachioed is necessarily a candidate for this title. Note that Cliff Johnson is ensuring a secure perimeter while Dennis Lamp is just hoping you reach for yours first. Note that Terry Blocker's countenance suggests that blood-soaked indemnity shall soon be his. 

Brandisher(s): Mark Clear
Mustache taxonomy: "Jimmy Eat World Liner Notes"

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While bewhiskered, one must look askance as though too shy for the lens; as though the heart -- taken long ago -- has not been given back; as though everyone needs to understand that no one understands. 

Brandisher(s): Larry Sheets
Mustache taxonomy: "Started Shaving in Sixth Grade and Also Drove to His Little League Games"

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He is the eighth grader whom college freshmen asked to buy beer. 

Brandisher(s): Ramon Aviles
Mustache Taxonomy: "The Invisible Mustache"

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This is a man who, despite appearing not to have a mustache, has a mustache. He simply does. There is no other way.


People, this has been whatever this has been. And whatever it has been, it has been in lieu of This, Our Baseball. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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