Crew Cuts: Hiram Burgos Serves as Team Barber
Right-handed pitcher Hiram Burgos stays extra-busy during Spring Training with a special talent that takes place off of the mound. He moonlights as the team barber.
It’s a skill that he says he picked up back home in Puerto Rico when a neighbor was taking classes to become a barber and started practicing on Burgos. In turn, Burgos became interested in the craft as well, but didn’t have much of a chance to practice on anyone until he went to college.
“There we had like 13 Latin guys on the team and we liked to have haircuts every two weeks, to stay looking good and looking fresh, so that’s where I started, in college, since 2005,” Burgos says.
After that, he says he kept progressing and when he made it to the Minor Leagues, he started cutting hair there, too.
“Actually when I was in the Minor Leagues, I came over here (to the Major League Camp) and cut a couple of the Big Leaguers hair and it just kept growing,” Burgos laughs.
Literally. Burgos sees a lot of repeat business in the Clubhouse and word-of-mouth travels quickly.
He’s open for appointments on the days when he’s done with his workouts and when he’s not scheduled to pitch.
Burgos has many longtime clients and is picking up new ones everyday.
Fellow pitcher Jimmy Nelson is one of Burgos’ oldest clients.
“I played with Burgos since rookie ball and he’s been doing it since way back then. He’s just one of the best. He pays attention to detail, you know?” Nelson said. “In the offseason, there’s a little place close next to my apartment, but it’s not the quality of Burgos’ Barbershop.”
Burgos counts many of his teammates as current customers. The other day he gave Jonathan Lucroy a mohawk and he’s cut Ryan Braun‘s hair, too.
Yesterday alone, Burgos cut four of his fellow teammates’ hair, including Wily Peralta, Jorge Lopez, Ariel Pena and Andy Wilkins.
“A lot of the guys, they are clubhouse clients. Some of them take me to go eat, or some tip on the side, but I don’t charge. I don’t put a price on it,” Burgos says.
“It went pretty good. He cuts his hair a lot, especially in Spring Training every year,” Peralta said. “I usually get the same haircut. I think everybody knows he’s pretty good.”
First baseman Andy Wilkins was a first-time client yesterday.
“He had his little briefcase of stuff and I was like ‘Hey you got time?’ and I was kind of joking around, but he was like, ‘No, I’ve got time.’ so we cut it yesterday before the game. This is my first Burgos haircut. I am a very satisfied client. I will be a repeat customer,” Wilkins said.
“It was our first time, so we had to get to know each other a little bit. I asked for a certain style: one fade on the sides, a little but off the top, the hard part on the side. I found out a lot about him. He’s from Puerto Rico, went to Bethune-Cookman College, unbelievable guy.”
“It’s something that I enjoy doing and I like it. I do a lot of styles to my own hair, but just when I’m in the States. When I go back home, I have my own barber over there. Actually, when I go back home, I don’t cut anyone’s hair. A lot of people don’t know that I cut a lot of hair here in the United States,” Burgos said.
Burgos says he keeps up with different styles by looking around at different haircuts. just keep up with different styles. I’m always looking around at different haircuts. ‘I could do better than that.’ There are a lot of guys that like it and I get good feedback about it, so that’s good.”
“Some guys like to try different styles and do different things with their hair. If I haven’t done it before, I take my time,” he says.
Would he cut my hair?
“I don’t do women’s hair,” he says with a laugh.