Youkilis shaves his beard for charity

Youkilis shaves his beard for charity

BOSTON -- As routes to stardom go, Kevin Youkilis took a different tack. His hirsute forebear, Johnny Damon, was as much defined by his carefree streak as by his long locks. Youkilis had little of either in 2007, sporting a shiny dome and a famous seriousness on the field.

But "Youk," as his fans and teammates call him, took a full page from the Johnny Damon book of tricks on Tuesday evening at the Cask 'n Flagon. In exchange for a $5,000 gift from Gillette to "Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids," Youkilis completely shaved off his goatee.

Nine television news cameras and a host of photographers covered the event. Ed Harding of Boston's Channel 5 News reported live from the scene. There was even an event emcee, local radio personality Greg Hill, who compared Youkilis' goatee against a veritable Boston Hall of Hairstyles.

Carl Yastrzemski's sideburns? Larry Bird's mustache? Roger Clemens' highlights? Manny Ramirez's -- and Bronson Arroyo's -- cornrows?

"Probably by far the most memorable piece of body hair in Boston sports history," Hill said, "would be Kevin's goatee."

That overstatement seemed to fit the occasion, likely the best-attended and most highly publicized shaving of a male face since Damon routinely did it for charity during his four-year Red Sox stint.

Before undergoing the shearing with assistance from local stylists Meaghan Boyle and Michelle Fonzi, Youkilis promised that the clean look would very quickly go the way of his goatee.

"I'll start it up again," Youkilis said, "because a lot of people seem to like it."

Youkilis' decision chagrined at least one fan in attendance, 18-year-old Jonathan Moore of North Andover. Moore wore a Youkilis jersey t-shirt and a thick, brown goatee on his bald head, looking like a pint-sized version of the 6-foot-1 Red Sox star.

"I want to see [the goatee] back next year, definitely," Moore said.

The shaving went without a hitch, despite Boyle's and Fonzi's misgivings about how "coarse" Youkilis' hair was.

"He shaved very well, actually," Boyle said.

"We started with a bigger clip and then we just worked our way smaller," Fonzi said.

They started with his chin. When a fan in the crowd suggested they leave only a "Boogie Nights"-style moustache, Youkilis' fiance, Enza Sambataro, agreed.

"Please?" Sambataro asked her husband-to-be, while looking on from the side. "Just for a picture."

The stylists presented the newly mustachioed first baseman, who, for a moment, looked more like former pro wrestler and governor Jesse Ventura.

"There he is, ladies and gentlemen: Ron Burgundy," Hill said.

Then, they went to work on the moustache. Youkilis shaved off the rest with a razor.

"It feels good," Youkilis said. "It feels nice and clean. The peanut gallery wanted me to keep the moustache. I don't think the moustache would've worked."

Hill closed down the ceremonies, but not before taking care to make an announcement.

"Make sure you're here next week for Big Papi's full-body wax," he said.

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