Astros’ Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia rocking hair extensions

HOUSTON — Astros starters Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia seem like naturals at the mound, even within the hairiest of scenarios.

Numerous paintings to make it appear that simple — on the ballpark and, because it seems, the barber store.

Both pitchers gave their hair a man-made spice up this season, including extensions as a method of expressing their individuality. They are appearing off the ones locks this postseason as Houston tries to achieve the World Series for the fourth time in six years.

“At first a lot of people were talking about it and joking about this topic,” Valdez mentioned in Spanish via an interpreter. “But at the end of the day, I feel comfortable with my hair and I feel good about my hair, so I’ll keep having my hair like this.”

Garcia, who opened the season with shoulder-grazing curls, this summer time opted so as to add period and quantity by means of braids embellished with beads on the finish.

“When I have the braids, everybody knows me more, because it’s not a normal look,” the 25-year-old mentioned.

For Valdez, who will get started Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Thursday towards the Seattle Mariners, the transformation used to be extra dramatic.

To stand out at his first All-Star Game in July, the 28-year-old left-hander added dreadlocks that fall previous his shoulders to hair that used to be prior to now cropped intently at the aspects with a couple of inches of enlargement at the most sensible.

Standout ‘dos don’t seem to be exceptional in baseball. Longtime MLB outfielder Oscar Gamble had an Afro within the Seventies, and extra not too long ago, pitcher Noah Syndergaard earned the moniker “Thor” for his flowing blond locks. Quirky facial hair additionally has lengthy been a staple within the game, like Rollie Fingers’ handlebar mustache or Al Hrabosky’s Fu Manchu.

Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel lengthy had Houston’s maximum notable coiffure. His spiky most sensible resulted in the nickname “La Piña,” the Spanish phrase for pineapple.

Gurriel wasn’t first of all keen on Valdez’s extensions. He even cracked a couple of jokes.

“At first, I thought he looked very strange with all of the hair that he came in with,” Gurriel mentioned in Spanish via an interpreter. “But now, I like his style and think it looks really good, and I really like when people change their style because I also like to change mine.”

It’s been a greater reception than Miami Heat celebrity Jimmy Butler were given for his faux-locks this summer time. Butler used to be bombarded via blowback on social media when he unveiled lengthy dreadlock extensions. He denied they had been extensions at media day, even supposing his Instagram posts made it transparent they had been. By the time he took the court docket for Miami’s first preseason recreation, the long-haired glance used to be long gone.

Both Valdez and Garcia mentioned they do not care if folks dislike the radical kinds.

“My mom likes it,” Garcia mentioned. “If it’s fine with her, I’m OK.”

The extensions include a significant time funding. Both Valdez and Garcia mentioned the preliminary installations took greater than 4 hours. Subsequent touch-ups run about 90 mins to 2 hours.

Garcia had his extensions all summer time however not too long ago took them out to “let his hair rest.” He were given a contemporary set of skinny braids — with 3 transparent beads on the finish of each and every — put in Monday after Houston’s exercise.

He did not have beads at the first extensions he were given in June, and his teammates had been at a loss for words about the place a clicking noise used to be coming from as they took the sphere this week.

“It was kind of loud when I was walking, and the guys said: ‘What is that sound?’ And I said: ‘This,'” Garcia mentioned, pointing on the beads on his hair.

What does a 15-game winner do for 4 hours within the barber’s chair?

“Just watching TikTok during the process and it’s fine,” Garcia mentioned.

He did run right into a small drawback when he first added his extensions. His cap not have compatibility, and he needed to get one two sizes larger. He laughed recalling that dialog with Houston’s apparatus team of workers.

“At the end of the day, I feel comfortable with my hair and I feel good about my hair, so I’ll keep having my hair like this.”

Framber Valdez

Houston has had its percentage of showy hairdos. Catcher Martín Maldonado dyed his purple this season on the behest of his younger daughter then debuted a red tone for Game 1 of the ALDS. Pitcher Jose Urquidy and application participant Aledmys Díaz are amongst a handful of Astros avid gamers who’ve added blond highlights.

It’s this sort of younger exuberance the occasionally stodgy game has been seeking to inspire.

“It’s showing a lot of personality in the game,” Díaz mentioned. “In the past, when I got to the league in ’16, people were more like old-school baseball. You just show up to the park and play the game.

“But at this time, with social media and issues happening, avid gamers like appearing off their personalities, and I believe that is nice for the sport.”

Maldonado, who has helped Valdez and Garcia find success on the mound, raved about their looks. He joked with Valdez that he was trying to be the left-handed Luis Castillo soon after he unveiled his extensions. Castillo, a fellow Dominican who will start opposite Valdez for Seattle on Thursday, has longer natural dreadlocks that he has been growing for years.

“So now it is humorous they are going to face each and every different,” Maldonado said.

Díaz is superstitious and believes a new hairstyle can bring good luck. He got a haircut every week for a stretch in 2019 after he started hitting a home run every time he got a trim.

Not to discount Valdez’s pitching skills, but Díaz thinks his extensions might have had something to do with his success this season.

“He used to be doing nice after that hair alternate,” Díaz said. “So with a bit of luck he can take it into the playoffs.”

Valdez, who ranked second in the AL behind teammate Justin Verlander with a career-high 17 wins this season, scoffed at the notion that the hair extensions brought him luck. But he is eager to build on his regular-season success in his start Thursday — the playoff debut for his fancy ‘do.

“I’m looking forward to the postseason to get right here and be capable of display what I’m able to doing and display those that we will move to the World Series in combination as a workforce,” Valdez said. “And I’m taking a look ahead to stay appearing my ability.”

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