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How Dallas Keuchel’s bet grew into an illustrious beard

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CHICAGO - Dallas Keuchel looks like a perfect fit for the White Sox.

"Just being on the South Side - the black and white really bodes well not only for my skillset, but for my clothing apparel as well."

The achromatic attire should accentuate Keuchel's signature feature - a beard more than half a decade in the making.

"It started as kind of a dare-bet with a couple of my buddies back home. I always had a couple weeks worth of growth on my face, but I thought 'no better time than to do it now' because of the situation at hand, where I can grow a beard for my job," explained Keuchel. "It started as a six-month bet. 'Hey, I'll do it the whole season. You've got to pay up if I do it.' Then, all of a sudden I did it. So then I was thinking, 'well, I've done it six months, let me do it one year' because it's only six more months. One year happened and all of a sudden it's going on year six. So, here we are."

Keuchel comes to the South Side with more than just ferocious facial hair. He sports a Cy Young award, two All-Star appearances and World Series ring. The veteran southpaw will be 32 when he makes his first start at Guaranteed Rate Field, one year older than Jon Lester was when he began his career on the North Side. The Sox are hoping Keuchel can be the same dual threat, leading the Sox young staff on and off the field.

"I like the Jon Lester comparisons because he's a monster of a human being. I'm about 6'2", 216 so I'm a dwarf compared to him but I appreciate that," Keuchel joked. "The athleticism that some of these guys possess is untapped. If you can bring more out in an athlete, not just call them a pitcher or thrower, the athlete really takes over."

It won't be long before he gets a chance to impart that kind of wisdom with pitchers and catchers due to report to Spring Training just over a month from now.

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