The Master of Disaster – Clay “Goulet” Zavada

One of the great feel good stories for the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks was the emergence of left-handed reliever Clay Zavada. I’ve previously written an article entitled Modeling Clay that described Zavada’s journey to the big leagues.

Although it is a great story of a kid who beat the odds and realized his dream, it would be rather meaningless if Zavada was unable to do the job. Instead he has shown a lot of promise and the Diamondbacks will be counting on him to be part of what they hope will be a resurgence of the Arizona bullpen.

It’s not just talent that captivates baseball fans; it is Zavada’s persona that makes you want to root for the guy. When the season ended Zavada was heading back to Streator Illinois to care for the family farm. It figured to be a quiet winter for Zavada as he worked around the farm and kept his pitching arm in shape at the local high school.

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. 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.

Clay Zavada

Little did anyone anticipate that Clay would soon be the center of attention and find himself on the speaking circuit accepting a national award. Shortly after the season ended we learned that Clay Zavada had been nominated for the illustrious Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award.

The Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award or RGMMAY for short is an award presented by the American Mustache Institute each year to the person who best represents the epitome of mustaches in the country.

Zavada was going up against some serious mustached heavyweights for this award. Other nominees included US Attorney General Eric Holder, US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger, CBS News reporter Bill Geist, and St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan.

During the annual ‘Stache Bash the American Mustache Institute announced Zavada as the 2009 winner of the RGMMAY. In typical Clay Zavada style, he was there in person to accept the award and gave a memorable acceptance speech.

It should be noted here that it was Clay Zavada’s grandmother who gave us some insight into Clay’s childhood when she stated that as a child he was a troublemaker and proudly wore a “Master of Disaster” T-Shirt.

I’m really hoping that someone in the Arizona Diamondbacks Team Shop is at this moment commissioning T-Shirts with Clay Zavada’s picture on the front with “Master of Disaster” below it. You just have to wonder what it must be like to be Clay this year.

He is quickly becoming a folk hero in Streator Illinois and now with his Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award can Hollywood be far behind?


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