Diamondback Pitcher Clay Zavada Finalist for Mustache of the Year
|D-Backs reliever Clay Zavada and his notable handlebar mustache|
Clay Zavada, the stache-clad relief pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, has made it to the finals.
No, we don't mean the baseball postseason (he's on the Diamondbacks, remember); Zavada has been named a finalist for the coveted Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award.
The award is the top honor given by the American Mustache Institute (yes, it really exists) and Zavada is in the running with some pretty elite company.
Others finalists include U.S. Airways famed hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and CBS broadcaster Bill Geist.
Zavada's mustache is only partly responsible for his climb to mustache immortality. Zavada's triumphant return to professional baseball is almost as impressive as the curly handlebars decorating his face.
Zavada was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2006 but left professional baseball after his first season when his father died.
Zavada went back to the Illinois farm where he grew up to help out and spend time with his family, leaving baseball behind.
He also got his bachelor's degree at Southern Illinois University and, after that, played a season for the Southern Illinois Miners.
In May, Zavada worked his way back to the Bigs by playing for the Mobile BayBears before getting called up by the D-Backs.
The Mustache Institute thinks Zavada's story is worthy of the top honor and has this to say about our guy: "With adoring Arizona Diamondback fans wearing "Respect da Stache" shirts, who has brought more respect to the mustache? Very few -- that's who."
You can vote for Zavada and his first-class stache by clicking here.