A tail as old as time…
The tradition of the shortstop blondies began around the time of Matt Tolbert in the early 2000’s. Each year, the starting shortstop receives the honor of getting his hair bleached before the first game. How you choose to style it is an individual choice, it just has to be blonde.
Last year, Anthony Servideo was named the starter and carried on the tradition with transforming his black hair, to a new blonde shoulder length hair style. He was able to make a strong statement in only 17 games played, and left for the MLB Draft where he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles.
This year, Ole Miss fans were able to watch as freshman Jacob Gonzalez had his hair dyed by teammate Derek Diamond on The Season. Gonzalez has wasted no time proving that he deserved to be a starter in his first year as a Rebel. Through 24 games, he is hitting .283 with 26 hits, 16 RBI, and 3 HR. It is not very often that a true freshman is able to come into SEC baseball, and be a clear difference maker.
“Playing a premium defensive position, we knew he was a good hitter and player but we didn’t know he would be a D1 shortstop,” Head Coach Mike Bianco said about Gonzalez. “He looks a lot like Kessinger did in Year 3. He’s a guy that is going to be in the middle of that lineup for quite some time.”
One of the key reasons and motivations for this hairstyle is to make sure that the person wearing it understands their role on and off the field. It symbolizes leadership, and because of the importance of its position, demands respect from his teammates. This year’s starting shortstop is not only admired by anyone who watches him, but also by his teammates.
Pitcher Derek Diamond on Jacob Gonzalez at short: “He’s unbelievable. He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s a SoCal kid and he plays like a SoCal kid. He’s just unbelievable.”
I mean, c’mon.
It’s looking like Gonzalez will be rocking the blond hair for at least the next three years, but I have no doubt that the next shortstop to take his place will be just as excited to see the hydrogen peroxide as he was.