O's prospect rocks new look and shocks teammates

February 26th, 2023

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Dean Kremer walked through the middle of the Orioles’ clubhouse and stopped in his tracks. He noticed a crowd of players assembled in the southeast corner.

In the center of the scrum was a seated player wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts with matching Jordans. Most notably, he had a freshly shaved head.

Kremer looked around, surprised. Who could that be?

The reason the player stood out was because it was DL Hall. Just a day earlier, the 24-year-old left-hander had long, sleek brown hair that went down to his shoulders. By Saturday morning, it was all gone.

“DL, you look sharp,” outfield prospect Colton Cowser yelled from across the room.

Hall, MLB Pipeline's No. 97 overall prospect, had been growing his hair since July 2021. That was the most recent time he’d shaved his head, a decision he made while he was on the injured list due to a left lat strain that limited him to seven starts for Double-A Bowie that year. He was hoping to donate his hair back then, but he needed at least 11 inches and came up short.

This time, Hall had about 15 inches of hair -- more than enough to give to Wigs & Wishes, an organization based in New Jersey he learned about from a family friend.

"When I cut it in 2021, I tried to save it to donate it as well," Hall said. "But the barber down here, neither one of us knew how to really like save it to donate it. So when he cut it off, we were trying to like grab it up off the ground to save it, but it didn't work out. So I never got to do it. This time, I was like, 'When I decide to cut it again, I want to donate it.'"

It may have taken 19 months for Hall’s hair to reach its previous length, but it took only minutes for it to be chopped off. He had five or six ponytails on his head, and they were all removed with a handful of snips and a final buzzing. Hall had planned on waiting a bit longer for the haircut, but the Florida heat and humidity expedited his timeline.

Hall still has the hair in his possession. When the Orioles break camp at the end of Spring Training, he'll be taking it north with him. He'll then connect with Wigs & Wishes, which will use the locks to create a wig for a child who is battling cancer. And Hall will get to meet the recipient.

"It's awesome; it means a lot," Hall said. "Any time I can help out, especially with kids and things like that, it's awesome. I was grateful to be able to do it."

Some players in this year’s Orioles camp said they had never seen the back of Hall’s neck before. Right-hander Joey Krehbiel jokingly introduced himself to Hall.

DL Hall sports a shaved head during Saturday's workouts.Jake Rill / MLB.com

There’s now less competition for the best hair on the team. Kremer, with his own long hair tied back in a bun Saturday, is a clear front-runner.

Hall’s new look was a shock to everybody -- players, staff and media members alike. Well, almost everybody.

“I actually kind of knew going into it before, so not that surprised,” quipped right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, baseball’s No. 7 overall prospect.

But it was the surprise of the day to everyone else.

"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 said.

Hall is now getting reacclimated to having short hair. He did a double take the first time he saw himself in the mirror afterward. His hats are fitting a bit loose. It's also easier to dry off after a shower.

But the biggest difference? Hall is sleeping better because of it.

"I would wake up in the middle of the night, have hair in my face and stuff," Hall said. "Now, the first morning I woke up, [Saturday] morning, I was like, 'Man, I didn't wake up last night.' It was nice."