The Hirsute of Happiness: How facial hair brought joy to the Red Sox

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Boston's beard brigade (left to right): Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross.

Boston's beard brigade (left to right): Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross.

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No Napoli home run is complete without a slew of celebratory tugs in the dugout.

No Napoli home run is complete without a slew of celebratory tugs in the dugout.

As he spoke, five o'clock shadows were lengthening outside Fenway, in every sense of the phrase: All those bearded fans, gathering at the gates, hoped that the Sox and their polyglot beards -- black, brown, gray and red -- will make like the leaves, and peak in a blaze of color come October.