Paulsen's beard ejected after shaving error

Paulsen's beard ejected after shaving error

DENVER -- Rockies first baseman Ben Paulsen wore a bushy mustache when called up last year, and this year he doubled down by growing a thick beard.

However, he showed up at Coors Field clean-shaven Thursday before Colorado's 3-2 win.

Possible baseball-related reasons for the new look: The Rockies had lost eight of nine and had won consecutive games just once since the All-Star break, and Paulsen had hit .161 in his 11 games going into Thursday night's series finale against the Nationals, in which he delivered the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning.

But Paulsen said that's overthinking the situation.

"I tried trimming my beard myself, took too much off the left side and said, 'Oh, whatever,' and took it all off," said Paulsen, who after Thursday was hitting .281 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs.

Paulsen isn't above changing his look for luck. Last time he got rid of his facial hair was for that very reason.

"It was the day I got sent down [to the Minors] during Spring Training," Paulsen said over a blaring soundtrack of soul classic hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s that also could have been a fortune-changing attempt. "I coincidentally shaved because the mustache didn't have any hits in it in Spring Training. That was when I needed a change for superstition.

"This was almost accidental, but I'm OK with it. I don't think many people have seen me clean-shaven."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said, "There's some wildlife that lost some habitat when that thing came off."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.