Rays dye hair black for 'Ring of Fire' trip
Maddon starts fashion trend for games in Toronto, Detroit
TORONTO -- B.J. Upton started last year's team fashion statement when he got a mohawk haircut and most of the team, along with manager Joe Maddon, followed.
This year, it's dyed black hair, a fad Maddon began last week to kick off this week's "Ring of Fire" road trip to Toronto and Detroit. Already this season, the team has had a "white out" trip when it dressed in all white for the Rays' series against the Marlins. And when they went to Colorado, it was a "Cowboy Up" theme that saw everyone wear western attire.
In tribute to Johnny Cash, who sang the song "Ring of Fire," several players and coaches dyed their hair black, while everyone wore all black en route to Toronto on the team charter Sunday night.
Maddon, who previously had all white hair, drew some looks crossing the border with black hair.
"The lady [who checked passports] looked at me twice and wanted to know if that was my dad in the photo," Maddon said. "I think it was tongue in cheek. Maybe not."
Maddon said for the most part, the trip went well.
"There was some creativity about it," Maddon said. "Definitely all black."
Maddon felt the most concern for reliever Brian Shouse. He was afraid that Shouse's young daughter would not recognize her father after he dyed his hair and moustache black. Apparently, all went well.
Shouse teased that having black hair took several miles per hour from the velocity of his fastball and worried that his hair was turning purple.
Among the more noticeable who dyed their hair were coaches Bobby Ramos and Tom Foley. Ramos, who goes by the nickname "Sugar Bear," is now the "Black Bear." Meanwhile, Foley, who had a full head of gray hair, now has a vibrant shock of black hair.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.