Daniel Burton and his dog both have mullet hairstyles. (Contributed photo)
His mullet could be a winning style for Crestline’s Daniel Burton
By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
Life is more fun when you are enjoying it and making the best of your time. Daniel Burton, also known as Kentucky, who plays shortstop on the Crestline Highlanders vintage base ball team, does not take life for granted and is dedicated to his wife and kids.
For the past couple of years, while also excelling in baseball – the Highlanders for the third year in a row are playing in the championship game – Burton has been working hard at his job while perfecting his signature mullet hairstyle. Last year, he came in at the top 25 in the country of having the best mullet.
For those not in the know, a mullet is a hairstyle in which the hair is cut shorter at the front and sides but is longer at the back. This mullet hairstyle term was coined and popularized by American hip-hop group the Beastie Boys in their 1994 song “Mullet Head.” However, the style probably naturally dates back to the 1st century AD in England. Archaeologists say the natives, during the Roman occupation, may have worn their hair cut like a mullet for its practicality, keeping hair out of the eyes while keeping the neck warm.
“I had no intention of growing a mullet,” Burton said, “but gave myself a challenge to not cut my hair for a year. At the year’s end, I decided the sides and top could be trimmed to get them out of my eyes. I went to the Mullet Ninja I found in Rialto for the haircut and liked its look. I had a friend in Kentucky who had joined a Facebook group of about 80 people and I joined. We shared experiences and it soon swelled to over 100,000 members. I am enjoying the mullet lifestyle. I used to judge others by their appearances but have since learned that I was wrong doing that. I now feel better about myself and others. I now joke about those old days.”
As a group, they raised some money for disabled veteran amateur racecar driver Keith McGee to pay the entry fees into a NASCAR race, until COVID stopped the racing for the “Mullet That Changed My Life” car named after the Facebook page. So, instead, the mullet-heads began meet-ups.
In 2021, they held a Texas meet-up along with a mullet championship. “We knew each other from Facebook but meeting face-to-face was spectacular,” said Burton, who was chosen to have one of the top 25 mullets of the nation.
This year, the competition is even more formal. The USA Mullet Championship on Facebook will take place from Oct. 7 through Oct. 11. Voting will take place with one vote per email address per day. There is a $25,000 top prize; second place gets $500 and third receives $300.
“It would be wonderful to win,” said Burton. He has already been chosen to be in the top 25 by former NFL defensive end and judge Jared Allen, who picked Burton’s mullet as his personal choice to be the winner.
“I will be generous with any winnings I get,” said the man who has spent the last three years practicing and representing Crestline in vintage base ball. He had to send in a mullet headshot and create a 30-second video on his life and his mullet.
“Having this mullet has built my enthusiasm and confidence,” Burton said. “It looks so ridiculous, but it makes me feel good, since I know who I am. With this confidence, I have excelled in other areas of my life. I began with the Vintage Base Ball League, from the beginning, with Wes Abarca. This is the third year we are going to the championships and we want to win against Lake Arrowhead! I have also played in other 1886 Vintage Base Ball games in Arizona and also a game using 1860 rules, where even a one-bounce catch is a fly-out – such a trip! Before, I was not a joiner and not involved, so this change has been a good one, and the mullet has been an element of it all.
“After last year’s meet-up,” Burton added, “I know the others in the competition. This year has been fun. I hope anyone who knows me or likes my hair will vote for me.”
Burton has been married for 18 years to the “best wife in the world,” Jennifer. He has three children – a 14-year-old son, whose Type 1 diabetes is finally under control, and two daughters. He broke his neck in 2003 in a Jeep accident and has come a long way since then; he is probably the fastest and quickest on the Highlanders Vintage Base Ball team.