WASHINGTON - Being a baseball fan takes a lot of dedication. It is a never-ending season spanning as early as spring training in February to the postseason in November.
Devoted fans show their dedication with season tickets, a team hat or a jersey. But one Washington Nationals fan doesn't just wear his dedication on his sleeve – he wears it on his face.
Opening Day at Nationals Park is a day when every Nats fan dreams of a World Series. This is none more true for B.J. Treuting.
He became a Nationals season ticket holder in 2012. That year, he made a pact with his friends.
“I had a nice long Friday night after the game and one of my friends said, ‘You should probably never shave again,’” he explained. “Sure enough, I said, ‘How about this? I won't shave until the Nats win the World Series.’"
The Nationals have been perennial contenders since 2012.
“Four years later, we're still here growing, we're still going strong,” said Treuting. “A lot of people say, ‘When are you going to shave it?’ Not until the Nationals win the World Series.”
His beard is still growing with strict rules.
“This is all original,” he said of his facial hair. “The only thing I trim is the mustache just because if this was nine inches long, it would be absolutely torturous to eat.”
Beards are a part of Nats culture. There are bearded fans of all shapes and styles. Even the most prominent of Nationals beards appreciates Treuting’s facial hair game.
“I sit right next to the foul pole, so Jayson [Werth] caught a ball, threw it in and then they panned in on him and he just looks up [and rubs his beard and points],” said Treuting.
Giving up your face in the name of fandom has its downsides.
“One girl that I did date, when I first started growing it out, she said, ‘If you let it go crazy, we will not date ever,’” he told us. “We obviously are not dating anymore.”
There are some foods he can’t eat anymore.
“I miss enjoying ice cream, I miss enjoying a good sandwich, a hamburger, a hot dog,” Treuting said. “I can't really eat anything without being completely self-conscious and using 20 napkins.”
What does his family think about his facial hair?
“My dad hates my beard, absolutely despises it, wishes it was gone,” he said. “My mom thinks it's funny, but hates it.”
“I really wish he would shave it off,” his mother told us.
The beard has its admirers. B.J. or "Bam Bam," as he is known to Section 108, has become a fan favorite at Nationals Park.
“The beard definitely gets a lot of love,” said Treuting.
When, if ever, Washington wins a World Series, Treuting will celebrate with a cold beer and a fresh-faced smile.