(By Mike Kuhn/courtesy Hagerstown Suns.)

Nats minor-league pitcher Bryan Harper, the older brother of Bryce, has been widely praised for his world-class mustache — including in this space, and especially after the MLB All-Star Game.

That adulation finally resulted in an appropriate recognition this week: the American Mustache Institute nominated the elder Harper as a finalist for its annual Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award, which recognizes “the person who best-represents or contributes to the Mustached American community during the prior year.”

And Harper, it would seem, has a worthy candidacy. From the AMI’s blurb:

A three-pitch Mustached American — striking out batters for Class A Hagerstown Suns of the Washington National farm system by day, and wholly embodying the Sexually Dynamic Mustached American lifestyle by night — Bryan Harper rose to national prominence by completely overshadowing younger brother Bryce’s All-Star performance with his dangerously rugged mouth brow. At 22 years old, Bryan is leading the charge for the next generation of Mustached Americans, particularly those in minor league baseball who wish to look really, really good and throw balls really, really hard.

A Goulet favorite, yes? The only problem? BRYAN HARPER SHAVED HIS MUSTACHE.

Yes, that’s right, the left-hander’s “dangerously rugged mouth brow” did not survive the end of Hagerstown’s season.

“It’s gone!!!” he tweeted, not long after his season ended.

Making matters worse, within the past few days, he posted this image of himself. Yes, there’s facial hair involved, but not Goulet quality, not the sort that would lead a repressed copy writer to gush over the welfare of the next generation of Mustached Americans.

Still, vote for Bryan. Bryce would want you to. Early and often, friends.