Victorino, Ortiz have close shave for charity

BOSTON – World Series MVP David Ortiz and Boston Red Sox teammate Shane Victorino had their beards shaved for charity Monday to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in April.

The “shave offs” occurred at Gillette’s world headquarters. The Boston company donated $100,000 to the One Fund, which is assisting victims and their families of the April 15 bombings. Three people were killed and over 260 injured near the finish line that day.

Ortiz, fresh off his third World Series title with the Red Sox, joked that it’s a perfect look for his offseason.

“I’m going down south – some place warm,” he said. “I feel fresh. I’ve got to keep it real. It’s not that cold down there.”

Sitting in one of two barber’s chairs to Ortiz’s right, Victorino, a St. Anthony High School alumnus, appeared a bit shocked when he looked into a hand-held mirror and realized his beard and goatee were completely gone.

“I’m a World Series champion and I look like I’m 12-years old,” he said.

Ortiz had most of his beard shaved off, leaving only a goatee.

Victorino found a reason to enjoy his fresh look.

“My kids will be excited,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re going to recognize me when I walk in the door. My daughter was tugging on it last night and said, ‘When are you going to shave it?’ I didn’t want to let the secret out. She was still sleeping when I left this morning.”

Ortiz couldn’t resist teasing his clean-shaven teammate.

“He looks like he’s in fifth grade. You going back to school?” Big Papi said. “Mine will grow very fast. I don’t think I’ll have any problems letting it grow. I don’t know about this guy.”

Victorino said he’s hoping to grow a beard back by spring training.

“It was a battle. We fought to get that beard,” Victorino said.

Outfielder Jonny Gomes and first baseman Mike Napoli encouraged teammates during spring training to grow beards in spring training, even teasing players who talked about shaving.

“Mike Nap said, ‘You touch that one more time and we’re going to have to need a new DH,'” Ortiz recalled.

Victorino and Ortiz were joined Monday by Boston police officer Steve Horgan and fan, Michael Grant, from Leicester, Mass. Grant was selected from Gillette’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Horgan, stationed in the Red Sox bullpen at Fenway Park, became an instant celebrity after he was photographed with his arms in the air celebrating Ortiz’s grand slam in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series as Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter flipped over the short fence with his legs straight upward.

“I started it a week before the playoffs,” Horgan said of his full beard.

Boston beat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games in the World Series, which concluded late last month.