This is a Very Bad Haircut

Matty McIntyre’s hairstyle in the T206 set is one to forget

On Tuesday, I was perusing my T206 cards. It’s something I do less of these days as I’m often tied up with other things but I figured I’d flip through the old binder while I had some spare time.

As I usually am, I was specifically looking atthe imagery on them. Sure, there are some dogs in the set. But for the most part, the cards are beautifully created and I was drawn to the card of pitcher Harry McIntyre for no particular reason. But what really caught my eye was a card next to his – the portrait of the unrelated Matty McIntyre.

Matty McIntyre was mostly a decent but unspectacular player. He lasted ten years in the majors, playing mostly with the Detroit Tigers, and had some very good seasons, even leading the league in runs in 1908. Matty was good just not elite and had a career .269 batting average with some down years. He’s perhaps most known for feuding with a younger Ty Cobb early in Cobb’s career. McIntyre was out of the majors by 1912 but as guys often did, he then went to play minor league ball for several more years.

Matty McIntyre T206His card in the T206 set is one that is difficult to miss. That’s because in it, he is pictured with a particularly horrifying haircut.

The picture was not merely an artist’s own work, mind you. It was indeed produced from a real image of McIntyre that is shown here on the SABR website. But, what exactly is it?

At first glance, one could confuse his hair for simply being ruffled and out of sorts. But a closer look reveals this is an actual, honest-to-God hair style as his hair seems trimmed neatly on one area and grown out on the rest of his head. He is featured in other sets, though, usually with a hat. Other images I’ve seen of him haven’t been large enough to determine what sort of hairstyle he has.

So what is going on here? Beats me.

Some haircuts are driven by disease but I haven’t seen any reference to that. And shockingly, I haven’t been able to dig up other references about McIntyre’s hair. At least not any that go into great detail. The book Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball references Mack acquiring him, describing Matty as ‘a handsome, matinee idol outfielder with a shock of wavy black hair.’ Beyond that, I got nothing.

It should be noted there are several other questionable hair styles in the T206 set as well. The card of Shag Shaughnessy is commonly cited, for example. I’m just not sure anything tops this, though.

Whatever the case, most would agree this is a pretty bad look.

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