deGrom gives toddler first haircut for charity

deGrom gives toddler first haircut for charity

NEW YORK -- Seventeen-month-old Zach Lax sat in his mother's arms, silently fiddling with his Mets cap. His father, Jeff, paced in the little room underneath Citi Field.

"This might not go so well," Jeff said. "It's his first haircut, after all."

At the Winter Meetings in December, each of Major League Baseball's 30 clubs put together a team-specific package to be auctioned to fans. Proceeds would benefit the LUNGevity Foundation, the country's leading lung cancer nonprofit; in its three years, the program has raised more than $450,000.

This year, the Mets donated a haircut from right-hander Jacob deGrom, easily recognizable by his shoulder-length brown hair. Jeff was the highest bidder, and he handed control of his youngest son's first haircut to the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year.

"So you can hit, you can pitch, you can field. Can you haircut?" Jeff asked deGrom.

Turns out he can. Despite his own aversion to haircuts, deGrom occasionally tries his hand. Nothing fancy, he said.

So Zach sat in his mom's lap in the oversized leather chair, the Mets' team barber wet his hair, and deGrom grabbed a pair of scissors.

Then, tears. Screams. Zach wasn't ready yet.

"You don't want a haircut, do you?" deGrom asked. "I don't blame you. That's why I don't get them."

But eventually, Zach calmed down enough to let deGrom snip off a lock of blond hair. He handed the curl to Jeff, who immediately pocketed it. He made a couple more cuts, handed each piece of hair to Jeff, and held Zach for a photo.

deGrom tried to apologize for making Zach cry, but Jeff waved him off.

"It's fine," Jeff said. "That's what hitters look like when they face you."

Alden Woods is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.