Left-handed pitcher Phillip "Phil" Douglas Coke (born July 19, 1982) made a big change when he left the Yankees for the Detroit Tigers. Phil Coke chopped off his hair.
On April 16th, just three days after arriving in Detroit, the former Yankees took the Tigers mound at Safeco Field with much shorter hair than he had showcased in New York.
Odd Hair Twist
It's an odd hair twist since the Yankees have a well-known hair policy. Yankee players can only grow their hair to a set limit during the baseball season. The Yankees also prohibit facial hair.
Once the off-season started Coke rebelled against the strict Yankees hair policy. He grew his out and grew a full beard. Fans wondered if Coke would keep the longer locks and beard when he reported to Detroit.
They didn't have to wait long to find out if Coke would sport longer hair as a new Tiger. He chopped off his hair, although he kept the beard. Why? Because he said the longer tresses were bothering him. He explained "it was poking me in the eyes and I didn't like it."
More About Phil Coke
Although the new Tiger pitcher has grabbed headlines due to his hair and beard, he's more than just a hair style headliner. Coke attended San Joaquin Delta College.
He was initially drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 49th round (1450th overall) of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose not to sign. Instead, Coke was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 26th round (786th overall) of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft.
Coke signed with the Yankees and began his professional baseball career with the GCL Yankees in 2003.
In The Minor Leagues
By 2007, Coke had also pitched for the short season Staten Island Yankees, Class-A Charleston RiverDogs, and Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees.
He made his Double-A debut with the Trenton Thunder in 2008, going 9–4 with a 2.54 ERA in 23 games (20 starts). Later that year in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, he pitched in 13 games (starting one) and went 2–2 with a 4.67 ERA.
After some time in the minor leagues Coke made his major league debut on September 1, 2008, for the Yankees against the Detroit Tigers with a scoreless inning and strikeouts of Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera.
First World Series
In 2009, Coke got his first World Series title after the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. On December 9, 2009, Coke was ironically traded by the New York Yankees to the Detroit Tigers, the team he first pitched against in the major leagues, as part of a three team trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.The rest is hair history with Coke first growing out his hair and then chopping it all off upon his arrival in Detroit. The Coke beard appears to be a keeper for the long term.