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Sun Sentinel: Miami Marlins' Official Barber Keeps Players Looking Good


When the red-white-and-blue barber pole glows inside Marlins Park, it means Hugo “Juice” Tandron is in the house.

As the team’s official barber, he runs his own 200-square-foot shop inside the stadium. For decades, he has listened to players’ stories and developed friendships, all while making them look good.

Tandron started trimming hair for baseball players in 1993, after being recommended by former slugger Gary Sheffield. He didn’t officially join the team, however, until 1998.

“I love what I do. I love the transformation,” said Tandron, 46, as he wielded his scissors on visiting Tampa Bay Rays player Rickie Weeks Jr. on Tuesday. “The satisfaction of seeing guys on TV rocking my haircut … It’s the satisfaction that I get knowing that I did that right there … And now it’s on HD, so I got to be on point … I’m grateful to the Marlins for the opportunity they have given me.”

For home games, Tandron typically arrives at the park about three hours in advance. Marlins and visiting players line up inside the shop before they have to report to the field. Tandron said he averages anywhere from seven to 15 cuts per game.

During spring training, he visits the team in Jupiter. And he’s traveled even farther for some players.

He has no set price for a cut at the ballpark, although he averages $60 to $100 a cut. He asks players, “Give me what you think it’s worth.” But he admits, incredulously, “I’m going to say it, I got $5 one time,” said Tandron, though he doesn’t name the player.

When he’s not with the Marlins, the Miramar resident runs his own shop, Headz Up Barber Shop in Miami Lakes.

Score card

Biggest tip: $10,000. He received the tip five years ago, but he declined to name the player. “It was just a good gesture,” he said. “I will never forget that.” Tandron said the player told him, “Sometimes it feels good to help people out.”

Best gift from a player: Tandron has his very own “donk,” a customized 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible. He fondly calls it “Charlie Brown.” He only drives it on Sundays, when “there’s no fools on the road” and no rain, he said. The car was a gift from former Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis, also a friend.

Farthest he’s traveled for a player: Los Angeles, California. “For one day, one cut,” said Tandron. It was for Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who flew Tandron out there during the 2015 playoffs. Tandron has also traveled to St. Louis and Washington, D.C., for players’ cuts.

Fun request by a player: Tandron groomed the men for the 2014 Miami wedding party of Tampa Bay Rays player, Weeks Jr.

“Straight up, he can cut,” Weeks said. “Guys like us, we travel from place to place, and we need a good barber. And a lot of times, we get picky. [I] saw him last year when we came through. He cut my wedding, too. He’s done a lot for me.”

Most requested cuts: This season, anything goes as long as it’s well-kept. “I’m pretty fluent in doing any style of cut, with any type of texture of hair,” Tandron said. “Mohawks are in style. Pompadours are in style.”

Praise from players: Visiting team players learn about Tandron through word of mouth. “Guys in the clubhouse, they all told me, ‘If you need to get a haircut, you need to come to this guy because he’s one of the best.’ I’m following suit,” said Tampa Bay Rays’ player Rafael Valenzuela, sitting still in Tandron’s chair Tuesday.

“It’s perfect. Thank you. You’re an artist,” he later told Tandron, before preparing to report to the field.

The shop has a “Wall of Fame,” with dozens of signatures and messages from current and former players. Reads one: “To my man Juice, thanks for making us look good!”

Tat man: Dozens of tattoos bedeck Tandron’s body, from his arms and legs to his torso. He has “BLESSED” tattooed over one eyebrow. “I’m a tattoo junkie,” he said.

He also has a special commemorative tat: an orange #16 behind his knee for late Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

“I’m the only one who cut his hair since he was in the big leagues,” said Tandron, whose shop has a painting of the player in a corner. “When I first met him, I was like, ‘Who is this loud a-- kid, bro?’ … By the time he sat in my chair, and by the time he left my chair, he had my number, I had his number. I fell in love with him. He was a great dude. Infectious, bro. He was just that guy, you knew he was special … I know he’ll always be a Marlin. He passed away too quick.”

Family man: Tandron is married with two adult children and four grandchildren. His son, Willie Tandron, is also a barber and plans to open another Headz Up shop near Pembroke Pines later this summer.

Tandron’s work creed: “Nobody is going to beat me in my work ethic. My commitment and my name have to be outstanding at all times. I have to be on point.”

Who cuts Tandron’s hair: “You can see I got a bald head,” he said, teasing. “I do my own. I’m bald because I want to [be] not because I have to….You know we [barbers] are kind of obligated to do it for each other, but I always hated imposing on anyone. So I started shaving my head in 2005 and so I kept a bald head and a big beard.”


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