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“Why don’t you think there are more major leaguers with red hair?”

May 29, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

Rusty Staub

Earlier today, just before taping HBT Daily, Kay Adams and I were talking about redheads. You’ll have to ask her why the subject came up in the first place but know that it involved a bet, a wig and a lot of come-ons. I’m awfully glad I’m a dude.

Anyway, we discussed that thing about how, biologically speaking, redheads are selected against. Which was a hoax, by the way, but it’s the sort of thing that rattles around in one’s brain after one hears it. I mean, the thing about gingers having no soul is scientifically proven, so I sort of assumed the thing about them being selected against was too.

Anyway, maybe there is one place they really are selected against: the baseball diamond. At least that’s what Astros GM Jeff Luhnow wondered aloud to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, who investigated the matter.

Crasnick’s conclusions: there aren’t a lot of redheads in the world to begin with so there aren’t likely to be as many readheaded ballplayers. That said, there are a lot of notable redheaded ballplayers, and Crasnick names a great many of them. And either way, there are still some weird old scouts in baseball and in football who have a prejudice against redheads because, man, I have no idea but that’s pretty dumb.

At least we can all agree on the no-souls thing, yes?

  1. scoser - May 29, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    As a redhead, the official party line is to be offended, but yeah, we totally lack souls and hiss at the sight of the daystar.

    • RedHeadedBastard - May 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      I am a redhead and I approve this message.

  2. 13arod - May 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    nobody relly is a red head anymore

  3. stex52 - May 29, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Ah, le Grand Orange. Makes me feel young to see a picture of him.

  4. shaggylocks - May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Hey now, let’s not be too hasty with our condemnation. I don’t know about the other fellas here, but when a beautiful redhead mosys into view my heart skips a beat.

  5. rbj1 - May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Plus, very few redheads have TWTW.

    • jwbiii - May 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      I had a red headed girlfriend many years ago. She certainly had the will to whine.

  6. deepstblu - May 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    At one time they could have played in The Red-Headed League, but it dissolved on October 9, 1890.

  7. Andrew Chapman - May 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    This is a genuine question: why is it acceptable to joke derisively about redheaded persons but not homosexual persons for the same reasons? I think deep down we all don’t harbor true animosity towards redheads, but we’ve bought into this cultural script that says it’s ok to point and laugh. That is quite a shift from the tone of Craig’s recent posts in support of homosexual behavior and the gay lifestyle.

    • aceshigh11 - May 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      What an absolutely batshit comparison.

      • clemente2 - May 29, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        I agree the comparison requires Grand Prix-level coordination.

        Yet do some googling on the intense bullying that goes on in grade and secondary schools against “gingers”. You might not to be so incredulous that there is a genuine issue. I’ll leave it to you to decide if intolerance and bullying are each of a kind or of one type.

        [father of three soul-full redheads]

      • aceshigh11 - May 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        Really?

        Honestly, I had no idea gingers were bullied nowadays. I never saw that when I was in grade school (20-30 years ago.

      • HitsDingers - May 29, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        I wasn’t even going to reply to the esteemed Mr. Chapman because of how asinine his comment was, but clemente, I feel like you’re a reasonable person getting sucked into the vortex of stupidity. Kids get bullied in school because of the color of their hair, their weight, the thickness of their glasses, and oh yeah, literally everything else. That’s what kids do. The historical discrimination against gays isn’t name-calling. It’s denial of basic rights afforded to every other human being.

      • Andrew Chapman - May 29, 2013 at 10:38 PM

        I’m not sure what’s batshit or asinine about it. This is a blog post that makes the cultural joke about red-headed persons having no souls because of the color of their hair. Why is that acceptable?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        I’m not sure what’s batshit or asinine about it.

        Because the comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples. When’s the last time someone was tortured and left to die because they were a redhead? When’s the last time a person was secretly videotaped having sex because they were a redhead? When’s the last time a person committed suicide because they were a redhead (this one probably does happen, but no where in the magnitude of gays)?

        I’m one of those people who thinks you can joke about anything, as long as it’s funny. If kids aren’t getting bullied because of being a redhead, it’s obviously wrong. But it’s wrong due to the bullying aspect. Don’t sensationalize it by comparing it to the struggle gays have and still go through.

      • Andrew Chapman - May 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Not trying to sensationalize anything. I’m saying that it’s wrong to make fun of someone due to the color of their skin or their sexual orientation, etc… why is it ok to make fun of someone for the color of their hair?

  8. elwaysmilehighdenver - May 29, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Rusty Staub. He brings back some great childhood Baseball memories. Thanks Craig.

  9. dluxxx - May 29, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Bobby Kielty!!!! That’s the last one I remember playing for the Twins anyway…

    • hansob - May 30, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      http://snymets.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/ronaldmcdonald2.jpg

  10. JB (the original) - May 29, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    I think it’s as simple as most redheads are extremely sensitive to getting sunburn, and would probably shy away at a young age from a game that has you standing out in the sun for hours at a time.

  11. pinkfloydprism - May 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    because their fair skin would burn in the sun.

  12. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 29, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Wasn’t Josh Hamilton yammering about blue eyes and day games last year? And most red heads are plagued with the mutant blue eye gene….just saying. Unless that whole blue eyed people (mutants) having trouble in bright conditions is a bunch of garbage.

  13. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 29, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    From the ESPN article

    ” But long-held scouting biases haven’t helped. Eddie Bane, a special assistant with the Red Sox and former Angels scouting director, tells the story of an accomplished scout who traveled to see a prospect and had a change of heart for reasons only he could fully understand.

    “Years ago, Bob Fontaine Sr. went to a game to cross-check a player in the Midwest, and he looked at a picture of the kid before he got out of the car,” Bane says. “He looks at the other guys and says, ‘You didn’t tell me this kid has red hair. You go in and do what you need to do. I’m staying in the car.’ People think it’s funny, but it’s true. He wouldn’t get out of the car to go see a redheaded player.””

    Shocking yet not surprising

  14. malbrecht4 - May 29, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Can anybody recommend a good baseball blog? One where the bloggers actually understand the game of baseball. Info about rosters moves and the games maybe some scouting reports

  15. philliesblow - May 29, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    This isn’t an issue in just baseball.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/20/red-hair-a-red-flag-for-andy-dalton/

  16. jlovenotjlo - May 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    It’s amazing the accepted racism that goes along with this redhead thing. Craig lightheartedly joking about it is still a form of condoning racism. Imagine if “red hair” were substituted for “nappy hair” or “slanted eyes” in this situation. That would be racist, too.

    Not cool.

  17. kev86 - May 29, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    I’m offended and this site is rinky dink. Hope a redhead kicks your ass you moron.

  18. courageousdeer - May 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    “At least we can all agree on the no-souls thing, yes?”

    No.

  19. decimusprime - May 29, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Here is my observation regarding reds…there really isnt average looking redheads, they are either ugly or hot, no middle ground. Ponder that one.

  20. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 29, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    With no mortal soul hanging in the balance, redheads are free to have the really dirty kinds of fun we all wish we could without reservations. Thus redheads > the rest of us, and that is why some feel the need to hate. I say tag along and enjoy the ride.

  21. kev86 - May 29, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Calcaterra sounds greasy with nasty black hair.

  22. romoscollarbone - May 29, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Wade Boggs. Thank you and goodnight.

  23. Walk - May 30, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Why? Easy to apply hair coloring and 24 hour barber shops. My first thought any way.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 30, 2013 at 4:21 AM

      Exactly how Ichiro has hidden that he’s a red-head.

  24. bla bla bla - May 30, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    Redheads are actually becoming extinct. True fact. There are fewer and fewer with each generation. Google is your friend… go learn something.

  25. greymares - May 30, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    I’m guessing there aren’t many redheaded Dominicans and Venezuelans.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 30, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      There are at the clubs in my neighborhood. Lots of blondes too. But mostly the women. Not all, but mostly.

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