Casey Blake's signature beard gone

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Casey Blake walked into the Dodgers' spring-training clubhouse for the first time on Saturday morning, there were more than a few double takes. Seems when the veteran third baseman departed from his snowy home back in Iowa, he left something behind.

His beard.

"I was so frustrated with our last duck hunt we had ... that I just went home and shaved it,'' Blake said. "We'll see how long it goes.''

Blake had sported a full beard and mustache -- he is now clean-shaven -- from the time the Dodgers acquired him from the Cleveland Indians at the 2008 trading deadline. He said he initially grew the full beard in the middle of the 2007 season, which ended with the Indians losing to Boston in the American League Championship Series.

That means the bearded version of Blake has never failed to reach the second round of the playoffs. On the other hand, though, the bearded version of Blake -- or any other version, for that matter -- has never played in the World Series.

"People say I look younger,'' said Blake, who clearly isn't the superstitious type.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com