Swisher cuts his hair for good cause

Swisher cuts his hair for good cause

OAKLAND -- Just in case you didn't like the hairdo, you don't have to worry about it any longer; but you can't disagree with the cause.

Nick Swisher had grown his straight brown hair to 11 inches long over a 10-month span, and did so for good reason.

Swisher, an ambassador for the Entertainment Industry Foundation Women's Cancer Fund, donated his hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths non-profit fund, which creates wigs for women battling with cancer. The wigs are distributed for free by the American Cancer Society.

Swisher's grandmother, Betty, passed away after her battle with cancer in August 2005, which inspired Swisher to grow his hair long and donate it.

"I was pretty excited when I heard about the thing with Pantene," Swisher said in late April. "It's a great cause, obviously, and anything I can do to make life a little easier or happier for someone who has to go through what my grandma went through, I'm all for it.

"My grandmother was my inspiration and strength. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams. It was a difficult time for our entire family as she bravely fought cancer, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her."

Nick's dad, former big leaguer Steve Swisher, made the first cut a half an hour before Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT start with the Giants.

"It's a great honor to make the first cut in honor of my mom," Steve said. "I'm proud of [Nick] for what he's done in the fight against cancer. It's a great cause and it shows great respect for my mother and his grandmother.

"But it was time for a haircut," his dad said jokingly.

This wasn't the first time Swisher had joined a noble cause as he and teammate Joe Blanton took a tour of U.S. Naval bases in Italy, Spain and Greece in the fall of 2006. The two were showing support for American troops and are involved in Barry Zito's program, Strikeouts for Troops.

"He's done a lot of things like that and I think he really means well with what he does," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He's a genuine guy."

Matt Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.