In the year of the Beards, where is Koji Uehara's?
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The Red Sox didn't have to use ace pitcher Koji Uehara for Game 1 Wednesday night, but fans are noticing something else about their favorite closer.
Uehara may be known for two things: his dominant pitching and his clean shaven face.
In the season of “The Beards,” Koji's facial hair isn't there.
“Maybe he can’t grow a beard,” one fan said.
Oh but he can!
When Koji was with the Orioles his face was covered with hair.
“That's when he played with Baltimore, and he can do whatever he wants, he shouldn't change anything,” another man said.
“He's rocking without it so, he doesn't need it,” a woman said.
In fact, it was this year that Koji got rid of it. Uehara shaved it off during a TV appearance he made for the NHK Network in Japan.
He recently told reporters "he didn't know where he was going with that beard... so he thought it best to shave it off."
Koji saying it made people happy, and he was told he looked younger.
Fans say that's just fine with them.
“I think the way he's pitching now he doesn't need the beard. Can't change anything; superstitious,” said one fan.
“It's worked for him so far, whatever he's doing its working, so let Koji be Koji and it's a good thing,” a man said.
When Koji did have his beard his stats weren’t nearly as impressive, but he did have the most famous beard in Japan.