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Rays Shave Heads, Longo Channels Former MVP

It’s become a Spring Training tradition…the Tampa Bay Rays shaving their heads.

But, unlike teams that have done the deed as a show of unity on the field, the Rays do it to raise awareness for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

"For us, it's about being there for the kids and their families,” skipper Joe Maddon recently told the Tampa Bay Times.  "We want them to know they are not alone. It's a small gesture, but it is our way of showing support for them while gaining empathy for what they are going through."

Sunday morning, fans at Charlotte Sports Park witnessed 30 Rays players and coaches and an incredible 41 additional team staff members lose their locks as part of the fifth annual Cut for a Cure Charity Challenge

"It's great," team owner Stu Sternberg said. "I was walking up, and usually I'm one of the first ones to do it. And this year, a group had had it (done) already. So it was nice to walk up and see a lot of the front-office people and the ballplayers had already had it, and everybody is smiling and feeling like it's really a part of the Rays culture."

One of the players who didn’t take part…outfielder Wil Myers.

Instead, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year offered up $100 apiece to five fans that would take his place in the barber chair.

"I love that he did that," Maddon said about the gesture. "But I still want to see him get his hair cut. I still want to see the locks falling to the floor."

We’ll see.

But…back to those haircuts.

Not long after the team haircuts, Evan Longoria hit the Twitters and posted a pretty cool picture.

Yup, that’s the three-time All-Star channeling Dave Parker.  And while Longoria has yet to match the former National League MVP’s numbers…he definitely has Parker’s style down pat.

“The Cobra” broke out his signature tee in the summer of 1976 and helped lead his Pittsburgh Pirates to three second place finishes before bringing the World Series trophy back to the Steel City in 1979. 

And while all this baseball history pre-dates Longoria (he was born in 1985), my guess is he’s hoping not to have to wait as long to get results for his gesture.

Shawn Anderson

About Shawn Anderson

Shawn Anderson is that guy who, instead of sitting there talking about the game going on around him, is talking wise about the history of baseball. He believes baseball figures such as Tommy John, Harold Baines, Ron Guidry and Billy Martin deserve their own plaque somewhere if not in Cooperstown. You can follow him on Twitter at @HOVG.