2009 Goulet Award Winner — Clay Zavada

On October 30, 2009, by AMI Staff

Wearing a $3 crown and his dapper, trademark handlebar mustache that terrorized Major League hitters during the 2009 Major League Baseball season, Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Clay Zavada received the American Mustache Institute’s 2009 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year, presented by Quicken®.

Zavada claims Goulet prize at 'Stache Bash 2009

In front of a crowd of roughly 1,000 at ‘Stache Bash 2009 — a benefit for Challenger Baseball featuring the legendary John Oates — Zavada accepted the Goulet award which recognizes the person best representing or contributing to the Mustached American community over the past year.

Zavada won the Goulet award after more than 100,000 total online votes were cast. He was joined at ‘Stache Bash by fellow finalists Dr. John Yeutter, a Northeastern State University professor and CBS News reporter Bill Geist, who grabbed the microphone after the announcement and bellowed  “Kayne West was right.”

Other finalists included U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Brendan Ryan of the St. Louis Cardinals, USA Today blogger Whitney Matheson, US Airways pilot Sully Sullenberger, and Mayor Dan Snarr of Murray City, Utah.  Several cartoon characters including JStache and FOX Television’s “Cleveland” received votes, but after much debate, were disqualified because they violated a clause that required the winner to sign an ethics agreement as well as actually exist in real life.

“Thanks to Quicken and the American Mustache Institute as this is an honor, especially to beat out some great people like Captain Sully Sullenberger, who is an absolute hero,” said a modest yet good looking Zavada, who in 51 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2009 struck out 52 batters with a  3.35 ERA. “I am humbled that so many people in America care about mustaches and have been amazed at all of the support I’ve gotten, especially from my grandma who was really fired up about me winning.” (SEE CLAY ACCEPT AWARD HERE)

The young lefthander has overcome numerous obstacles in his young career.  After being drafted by the Diamondbacks in June of 2006, his father passed away in December of that year from a heart attack. He opted to leave baseball to attend Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and remain close to his family in Streator, IL.  In 2007, he received his degree and signed with the independent Frontier League, and  then joined the Diamondbacks Class-A South Bend Silverhawks organization where Zavada was inspired by teammate Josh Collmenter to grow his labia sebucula (Latin for “lip sweater”).

Zavada is part of growing wave of good looking mustached baseball players who have discovered the power of the labia sebucula (Latin for “lip sweater”). The mustache’s enhancement of a player’s skills has stirred controversy in the sport as an internal report produced by Major League Baseball reportedly said it believes Zavada’s mustache was responsible for at least 42 of his 52 strikeouts in 2009, leading the Diamondbacks and 12 other teams to conduct a worldwide search for other mustached players. The New York Yankees are believed to have tried to clone and transplant the mustache of Hall of Fame reliever “Goose” Gossage onto the face of Joba Chamberlain until Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig intervened.