“McDeep Dive” is our new series that spotlights one Giants player every day for a week. We’ll move backwards and forwards through time, look at on the field stuff, off the field stuff, and see if we can learn something new about them. Here’s part three of our look at Brandon Crawford.
Most baseball insiders and fans will say that what stands out most about Brandon Crawford is his amazing defense, but I think we all know that what everybody thinks about constantly is his luxurious, flowing hair. Baseball players shouldn’t have hair like that.
It’s not that long-haired baseballers are rare or even undesirable, it’s that Crawford’s own brand of it stands out. Like his defense, it seems to defy gravity, simply defying the bounds of human imagination. How did Crawford get to that ball? No. How did Crawford get it to look wet but not messy?
Whether you think it makes him look Jon Snow —
or a Portland barista —
You know it’s remarkable. It’s distinct. And his teammates have been so struck by it that, allegedly, when he introduced the clubhouse to Johnny B. Mode gel, multiple Giants players incorporated it into their own styles. I’ll never understand why we don’t call him Brandon Coiffedford. We should. Let’s do it.
Actually, before we run into the streets shouting his new name, let’s museum-piece that hairdo and take a journey through Brandon Coiffedford’s Hall of Hair. We won’t cover his entire life — I don’t have pictures from every year — but enough to get a sense of it.
1987 - Age 1 | The Crawford Family
We don’t have a baby picture of him, so, here’s an illustration of a crying newborn baby.
Nobody expects a newborn baby to wind up looking like Tarzan and it’s hard to project out flowing locks from a 6-10 pounds of wiggling pink flesh that cries and poops a lot, so it’s safe to say that his hair is, quite simply, a miracle.
1992 - Age 5 | The Crawford Family / San Francisco Giants season ticketholder family
Here we see that the Crawford’s let little Brandon’s hair grow wild and free. Probably because it was just going to wind up under a hat anyway and probably because a 5-year old doesn’t need “nice hair” since they’re just gonna run around and mess it up. I really don’t know, I don’t have kids. But here, already, we can see the seeds planted for Wild Man Crawford’s long, long hair in the future. The distant future.
2003 - 16 years old | Foothill High School
This is just a haircut 16-year olds get. It’s hot outside, so who needs a full head of hair, and dudes of that age can barely be bothered to shower or clean up after themselves. This was probably a summer buzz cut that grew out. This is deep in his Hair Conformity Phase. He was just doing whatever his teammates and coaches told him to do.
2005 - 18 years old | Foothill High School
When you’re getting ready to graduate high school and you’ve committed to UCLA and you’ve probably made huge plans for Prom — and maybe you’re even up for Prom King — you probably actually try a little bit with your hair, or else you’re just too busy to go get a hair cut. I have no idea if this was the hairstyle of 2005, but here’s a picture of Nick Lachey from the 2004 American Music Awards:
I could see Brandon Crawford spiking his hair with paste/gel to look Lachey-like. Oh, wait — here we go:
Just as I suspected.
2008 - 21 years old | UCLA / Arizona Giants / Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Clearly, he opted to keep his hair short through his college years. Maybe it was a team edict or something. Wild hair is inconsistent, and college baseball coaches seem deranged enough to demand consistency in all aspects of a player’s life. No fun.
2009 - 22 years old | San Jose Giants / Connecticut Defenders
I get it, though. You are just trying to be seen for your skills as a baseball player. You don’t want to just be a head of hair. In wrestling, there’s the “face/heel” dynamic of good guy and villain, based largely on the premise that handsome dudes are heroes and uggos are villains.
In TV, there’s the idea that a lot of leading actors are “just a head of hair”. That is, they don’t bring anything skillful or soulful to their performances, but since television is (or largely was) a medium that’s just talking heads spouting dialogue, it was more important to simply look good than be good.
Famous “hairs” include David Hasselhoff, David Boreanaz, and Nathan Fillion.
2010 - 23 years old | San Jose Giants / Richmond Flying Squirrels
Same general premise here: he’s just trying to make it to the big leagues.He looks sharp in the picture on the left, though. I’d like to point out that it’s a little bit longer on the right, though... and I have a thought about that...
2011 - 24 years old | San Jose Giants / Fresno Grizzlies / San Francisco Giants
He had to be feeling extremely confident after finally making it up to the major leagues. You’ll notice that his hair’s already longer here. It’s getting thicker and longer, but it looks like it might’ve started even earlier than his MLB debut.
Consider this: he’s on a minor leaguer’s salary (despite a $375,000 signing bonus) and it looks like he and his girlfriend/wife were getting pretty serious. Maybe it just stopped being cost effective to get haircuts every 6-8 weeks.
2012 - 25 years old | San Francisco Giants
Then again, it simply looked much better the more he grew it out. Look at his glorious World Series hair.
2013 - 26 years old | San Francisco Giants
It’s at this point where the beard really starts to become a much stronger factor in the hair growth. Of course, we started to see it in 2012, but it looks like he never trimmed it after that run and just maintained the edges heading into 2013. For a brief period in time, the beard surpasses the hair.
2014 - 27 years old | San Francisco Giants
That still seems to be the case here, but you can see the hair getting longer at the back. Not exactly a mullet. Sure, there was a “party in the back but the “business” in the front was, of course, the grand slam.
2015 - 28 years old | San Francisco Giants
We’re still in this “middle phase” of his hair development, where its clear where he’s going with this, but it’s still not quite there.
2016 - 29 years old | San Francisco Giants
Folks, we found it. The end of 2016 is when Brandon Crawford’s hair reached its full potential. Look at that volume. That flow. It’s complementing his shoulders and his face, not hiding behind them. Marvelous.
2017 - 30 years old | San Francisco Giants
Andrew Baggarly did his own deep dive on Crawford and discovered Brandon’s mom, Lynn, had this to say about his flowing locks:
“I just want him to cut it,” Lynn said. “The only grief I’ve ever gotten from him is about his hair. It’s the only thing that makes me go, ‘Brandon, what are you doing?’
I think what he’s trying to do is become his favorite movie character: Cameron Poe from Con Air.
2018 - 31 years old | San Francisco Giants
Let’s not deny the animal magnetism here. You know this is the look Justin Turner’s been trying to copy. Just be careful, Brandon. You’re getting dangerously close to Jayson Werth territory. Nobody wants that.