If you’ve ever noticed the haircuts of the Minnesota Twins, there’s a very good chance they’ve been the handiwork of one specific man.
He goes by the name of Andy Fade, and he’s a ubiquitous presence outside the Twins clubhouse after games and even will join up with the team on the road sometimes.
He’s of Dominican descent but is a long-time resident of Rochester, N.Y. His father wanted him to become a mechanic, but when getting his hair cut as a youngster thought to himself ‘I could probably do this’ and the rest was history.
He recently cut my hair at Target Field before the Twins took on the Boston Red Sox, and I enlisted the help of the one and only Tom Schreier to record the experience, with Andy Carlson editing it down to a much more entertaining video.
It was a fun time.
Here’s a sampling of some of the chatter between Brandon and Andy — including quite a bit that didn’t make it into the final cut.
Q: Which Twins players have this type of cut?
A: Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario, Fernando Romero.
Q: Who all gets their hair cut by you?
A: Not only Twins players, but coaches and other field staff and even some visiting players. (Note: On the day of this cut, Max Kepler and Robbie Grossman went ahead of Brandon — and both homered that night (!) — and Boston’s J.D. Martinez was the next cut afterward.) I also cut the hair of the front office staff if they wish, and some of the clubhouse staff too.
Q: When/where did you start cutting hair for the Twins?
A: I first came up to the big club in 2013, but before that, I had been cutting the hair of the Rochester Red Wings (Twins Triple-A club). I’m from there. Anyway, I came up to cut guys like Pedro Florimon, Oswaldo Arcia and that crowd. I think my first trip was to Toronto to cut for the Twins.
Q: What cut is your specialty?
A: Everything. *laughs*
Q: How did you get into cutting hair in the first place?
A: When I was young, I got my haircut a lot. I’d look at the barber and say ‘I could do that.’ So I just told my friends I knew how to cut hair. *laughs* I was like 16, 17 when I started.
Q: Do you just see a cut and visualize how it will look and what you have to do? How does that work?
A: Well now, guys just sit down and I know what I’m doing. Back in the earlier days, they used to have to tell me what they wanted. Now they just sit down and I know what they want.
Q: What’s it like cutting a new player’s hair?
A: It’s a lot like cutting your hair. You told me your idea, and what you wanted and I’m going to do it. I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it.
Q: How many cuts do you do on a typical day?
A: It depends. Baseball players aren’t like regular people. They’re always on the move. They have pregame stuff, batting practice and getting ready for the game. Sometimes you might get two at the same time, and you have to rush. So I’d say about 10. The first and last days of the homestand are the busiest.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t here or on the road with the team?
A: I go back to New York and cut hair. I’m always working. When you’re young and you have talent, you gotta work! *laughs*
Q: How often do you have someone in your chair who you’ve never cut for?
A: Every time I’m here. Every time. There’s always a new player on the visiting side.
Q: How do they find out about you?
A: Now they just know, because I’ve been here a couple years. But if like a team like the Mets comes in, they’ll hear from the clubhouse guy. They’ll ask ‘Is he good?’ and the clubhouse guys will tell them to go try it.
Q: How many teams have personal barbers?
A: I don’t know for sure. I know the Marlins have a Latin guy. He’s been there forever. A guy named Jordan takes care of the guys from New York.
Q: Have you always been a baseball fan?
A: Yeah. I like baseball. I didn’t play professionally or anything, but growing up in school I did. My love for baseball has grown over the time I’ve done this. Now when I’m home, I’ll have the Twins games on. I grew up a Boston fan because that’s who my dad liked. We never liked the Yankees, so we never watched them. When your dad likes something, you’re going to like it too. He moved to the states in 1989 and I moved in 1995. He had multiple dealerships.
Q: So you went off the beaten path a bit career-wise?
A: Maybe a little bit. *laughs*
Q: What would you do if you weren’t doing this?
A: I’d be making music, probably.
Q: Yeah I noticed that. You have the MacBook set up here with some tunes.
A: I’m always trying to come up with something that people like so they can entertain themselves a bit while I work on their hair.
Q: How often do players change up their styles?
A: Max changes it up a little bit. Not too often, but he does. Jose came in and got his cut before his start yesterday. He gets a lot of cuts. He always gets a fresh cut when he’s pitching.
Q: Do guys ever ask you to recommend a cut for them?
A: Yeah. Especially with designs. They just sit down and let me go to work. I used to do a lot of crazy cuts on Arcia. We still talk a little bit, on Instagram and that. ‘You’re so ugly, blah blah blah,’ that kind of thing.
Q: So what’s next for you?
A: I’d like to open up a shop in Minneapolis. Maybe uptown or downtown. Hopefully in the next year. I want to have a place for people to get really nice haircuts.