How do you measure a baseball career? In RBIs and home runs? In all-star teams made and gold gloves won? In World Series rings?

How about in dollars earned? In endorsements garnered? Or by the number of folk songs inspired?

Those are all fine metrics, but I’ve got another one: in whiskers.

Behold, Jayson Werth, a truly complete player with an appropriately full beard.

Of course, he hasn’t always looked this way. As a young player with the Orioles, Werth was baby-faced and clean-shaven, with glasses that might have offered him x-ray vision.

As a member of the Dodgers, Werth rocked the goatee.

When he joined the Phillies, Werth sported the soul strip and sideburns.

But none of those looks felt right. Sure, the goatee was trendy at the time, and the soul strip was aerodynamic. But Werth seemed destined for bigger and better things.

Now on the cusp of free agency, in a season where he’s dedicated to proving his value, he is making a facial hair statement: go big or go home.

And the internets love it. Already, Werth’s beard has it’s own Tumblr blog and Twitter account.

Drafted as a catcher, beset by injuries and cut loose by three teams before landing in Philly, Werth has never had it easy. But he worked hard, his health and luck improved, and it became impossible to ignore his performance (36 homers, .373 OBP, 20 steals and above average defense last season).

Now, it has become impossible to ignore Werth’s unfortunate facial hair.

I can’t explain why it took us this long to recognize Werth’s UFH. After all, the soul strip should have been enough to get our attention. I can imagine Werth sitting at home saying to himself, “Come on, UmpBump! I’ve got a ferret living under my lower lip! What does a guy have to do to get some UFH love?”

You win, Jayson. The beard is the bomb. You’ve earned this UFH distinction.

Don’t shave, Jayson. Don’t ever shave.

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