SARASOTA—The biggest surprise of Orioles spring training occurred on Saturday when DL Hall strolled into the clubhouse. His arrival elicited excitement, and it wasn’t because of anything he’d done on the mound.
The 24-year-old left-hander was the center of attention because some of his teammates didn’t recognize him. Instead of shoulder-length hair, Hall had a crew cut.
Hall didn’t do it because he was tired of long hair. No, he sat for his first haircut since 2021 because he was donating his 15-inch locks to Wigs and Wishes, an organization that makes artificial hair coverings for people with cancer.
“I have a family friend up in New Jersey that’s close with the organization I’m working with and he mentioned it to me this offseason. I planned on doing it when we went up north for the season,” Hall said. “But as you can tell, it’s really hot down here. I was ready to go ahead and cut it off, so I cut it off and I’m saving it to take up to the organization when he go up north.”
Hall, who hasn’t had his hair this short since 2019, needed to have hair at least 11 inches long to donate.
“When I cut it in 2021, I tried to save it to donate it as well, but I didn’t have enough because the barber down here … neither one of us knew how to really save it to donate it, so when he cut it off, we were trying to grab it off the ground to save it,” Hall said. “But it didn’t work out, so I never got to do it. This time, I was like, ‘when I cut it again, I want to donate it,’ and then I met this guy, pretty cool.”
Hall prepared for the cut by putting his hair in ponytails.
“Five or six around my head with rubber bands, tied around them, and they just buzzed it off,” Hall said. “Once he got the rubber bands in it, it took two minutes, right off ” Hall said, making the sound of electric clippers. “I knew it was going to be a big deal because a lot of these people haven’t ever seen me with anything but long hair.”
Hall isn’t planning to let his hair grow long again.
“Not for a little while at least,” he said. “I think I’ll keep it short, just try it out and see how it goes.”
The extra-long hair had gotten to be a burden.
“I didn’t really do a whole lot with it. As far as when I would shower and stuff, having to dry it off and everything was so annoying. Now, I’m ready to go,” Hall said, rubbing his head.
When spring training ends, Hall will meet the child who’s getting the hair.
“I’ll get to meet him personally and take pictures with him and show him the hair, and they’ll make a wig for him,” Hall said. “It means a lot. Anytime I can help out, especially with kids and stuff like that, it’s awesome. I was grateful to be able to do it.”
He’s getting used to the new hair style.
“The first morning I woke up, I went into the bathroom and looked at myself and kind of double glanced,” Hall said.
He also discovered his hat no longer fits.
“They’re pretty big on me, but the biggest adjustment was probably my sleep,” he said. “I would wake up in the middle of the night and have hair in my face. The first morning I woke up, yesterday morning, I was like, ‘man I didn’t wake up last night.’ That was nice.”