John Oates thrills crowd and pitcher who returned to baseball with a handlebar mustache after giving it all up wins honor

ST. LOUIS (Oct. 30, 2009) – 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®.

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.

“Clay and his menacing mouth garden were a great story throughout the 2009 baseball season, and Quicken and the American Mustache Institute are proud to honor him as the ‘Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year’ award winner,” said Chelsea Marti of Quicken®, who herself is a robust supporter of the Mustached American way of life.

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.

The Goulet award is named in honor of the late and legendary performer Robert Goulet, whose voice, trademark mustache, sense of humor, and black leather jackets represented a quadruple-threat of talent the American Mustache Institute is proud to salute.

SEE A RECAP OF THE ENTIRE EVENT IN THIS VIDEO.

About AMI
The American Mustache Institute, the bravest organization in the history of mankind behind only the U.S. Military and the post-Jim Henson Muppets, is the world’s only facial hair advocacy and research organization, with more than 600 chapters around globally. AMI battles negative stereotypes and discrimination against the Mustached American race. Based in St. Louis due to the presence of the world’s largest mustache – the Gateway Arch – the organization is committed to recapturing the mustache’s glory years of the 1970s, when there existed a climate of acceptance, understanding, and flavor saving for Mustached Americans.

About Challenger Baseball
Challenger Baseball is a baseball league for youngsters and adults with developmental disabilities. The fundamental goal of Challenger Baseball is to give every player the chance to play. To realize that goal, Challenger has two basic rules: every player bats each inning, and every player plays the field. The league does not count strikes, and does not count outs. Every player scores and every player wins. Challenger Baseball participants learn not only the fundamentals of baseball, but also experience teamwork, being cheered on by a crowd, and being encouraged by peers. All players are named all-stars and all receive trophies. Find more about the program at ChallengerBaseball.org.

About Quicken
Quicken is a division of Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals.  Our flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit's leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants. Its financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions. Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $3.1 billion in its fiscal year 2008.  The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations.  More information can be found at www.intuit.com.