by Mark Harris
PEORIA, Ariz. — With his long blond hair, Seattle Mariners hot-hitting infielder Taylor Motter is often mistaken for, well, not Taylor Motter.
“People look at you from behind with the long hair, they want to say ‘Hey ladies, how are you?’ ” Motter said. “Turn around, you’ve got the beard going.”
Although his facial hair is impressive, the most striking aspect of the 27-year-old is his lengthy golden locks.
His hair isn’t the only thing getting noticed this spring. He is hitting .296 with three home runs and 11 RBI, and is in line to make the Opening Day roster.
Motter has been growing his hair out for the last three or four years, he said, but his mane rose to prominence during a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs on March 10.
Social media had some fun with his hair, too. Twitter accounts paid homage to his mane with entertaining GIFs. One made a joke about the New York Yankees hair policy and another made him look like the Little Mermaid.
The infielder doesn’t always keep his hair straight, either. He said that when he is off the field, his hair is often in a man bun.
“All the time. Away from the field it’s always up,” he said.
Motter didn’t always have the luxury of putting his hair in odd styles. In fact, he wasn’t always allowed to have long hair.
Motter joined the Mariners in November after spending the previous season with the Tampa Bay Rays. He batted .188 with two home runs and nine RBI in 80 MLB at-bats, and spent most of the year in the minors.
Although Motter began to grow out his hair in 2012, it was restricted to “off the shoulder” during his time with the Rays, whom he was drafted by in 2011.
Even with Tampa Bay, the idea of lengthier hair had been presented to Motter.
“When we had (first baseman John) Jaso in our organization, he had the dreadlocks and he was kind of coaxing me into getting it done,” Motter said.
He decided against it.
“It was close, but I didn’t want to have to cut them after,” Motter said. “It’s not washed and then you have to cut them out to get them out.”
He has started to notice the locks of other players.
“I guess (Noah) Syndergaard’s got really long hair,” he said.
“Those starters on the Mets have pretty good flow.”
(Video by Gabe Mercer/Cronkite News)