Sunday, April 3, 2011

Awesome night card, pt. 106

A general perception exists that baseball has lost its ability to nickname its players. Once a colorful part of the sport's past, nicknames have either degenerated into Han-Ram, A-Rod, I-Pod style abbreviationisms, or come about because some people actually think Chris Berman is clever.

Although I tend to think the nicknames were better back in the day, I'm not totally convinced that people are nickname illiterate today. I mean "Pokey" is a perfectly ideal baseball nickname, and Reese was around as recently as 2004.

So this is what I'm going to do. Occasionally, I am going to post an all-decade baseball nickname team. I'll do one for the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s (I'll think about going back farther to the '20s, '30s and '40s). Then, once I'm done -- which will probably take about 7 years -- everyone can vote on which team is the best.

Meanwhile, I am taking suggestions for your favorite baseball nicknames. Leave them in the comments or in the comments on future all-decade nickname posts. Or just send me an email. There are lots of nicknames out there -- and they're not all as lame as "Tex" and "Longo."

So give me some examples. Go back 70 years if you like, or restore my faith in current players' ability to continue the fine art of nicknaming.


  1. I'll definitely go with "The Thrill" for Will Clark and how about "Pudge" for Carlton Fisk and Ivan Rodriguez.

  2. I agree with Play at the Plate on Clark. As a Red Sox fan, I'd like to nominate Oil Can Boyd and the Spaceman, Bill Lee.

  3. What a great idea for a series of posts. Mark "The Bird" Fidrych is one of my favorites.

    And you are right most of the old timers do have great nicknames from The Say Hey Kid to The Splendid Splinter to The Sultan of Swat. I will say there is one current one that I love and that is "The Hebrew Hammer" Ryan Braun.

  4. Good idea!

    1. "Luscious Luke" Appling -- which should be a combined wrestler-baseball name. (He was also "Old Aches and Pains.")

    2. "Hot Potato" Hamlin

    3. "High Pockets" Kelly

    4. "The Great Stone Face" (Fred Hutchinson)

    5. "The Human Rain Delay" (Mike Hargrove)

  5. You gotta have Yogi in there, and I'd also like to nominate "The Mad Hungarian" Al Hrabosky, Denis "Oil Can" Boyd, Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford, and Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage. Thats all for now, but I've got more hahah! Cool idea!

  6. I like the "Duke of Flatbush." That one always sounded great to me. I also agree that the "Hebrew Hammer" is a great nickname for Ryan Braun.

  7. I've always like Lou Gehrig's other nickname... Ol' Biscuit Pants.

  8. Someone already said Pudge and Splended Splinter so how about Spaceman, Oil Can, The Rocket, Greek God of Walks.

  9. If Pokey counts then I assume Coco Crisp does too?

    Also Butts Wagner, Corn Dogg Franks, Motor Boat Jones, Bud Weiser, Coot Veal, Pants Rowland, Scott Super Duper Cooper Scooper, Catfish Hunter, Cookie Rojas, Pumpsie Green, Cool Papa Bell, Chipper Jones, Peaches Nadolney, Pickles Dillhoefer, Stubby Clapp, Shooty Babbitt, Toe Nash, Woody Held, and Icicle Reeder.

    You know...just to name a few.

  10. I think it's worth noting that most of the older nicknames actually were coined by the media, not the players. Actually, that's true today as well for nicknames like "Big Hurt" and "Big Unit".

  11. Skeeter Barnes, Bobo Newsome (a favorite of my late grandma), Schoolboy Rowe, Joel 'Zoom-Zoom" Zumaya, Rock Raines, Juan "Shoulda-Taken-the-Money" Gonzalez

  12. Big unit was actually named by a fellow player, Tim Raines. Anyway, lincecum is "the freak". Point is, they are out there.

  13. Baseball nicknames are as old as baseball itself. There were "King" Kelly, "Parisian Bob" Carruthers and (my favorite) Bob "Death To Flying Things" Ferguson.

    I don't imagine Dave Winfield wanted to resurrect that one...

  14. Some oldies for you...

    Charles "Chief" Bender
    Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown
    Walter "Big Train" Johnson
    Honus "The Flying Dutchman" Wagner
    Christy "Big Six" Mathewson
    Ty "The Georgia Peach" Cobb
    Denton "Cy" Young
    Tris "The Grey Eagle" Speaker
    Gorgeous George Sisler
    Wee Willie Keeler
    Eddie "Cocky" Collins
    Rogers "Rajah" Hornsby
    Rube Waddell
    Pie Traynor

    I could go on and on for the old timers...

    Oh yeah, and BOOG!

  15. Don't forget CC Cheeseburger Sabathia

  16. I'll file away all-nickname suggestions above (and future ones) and review them when I do the all-nickname teams. Thanks!

  17. Don't forget the penguin, ropes, toy cannon, disco dan ford, bulldog, or the bison. Or the group collectively called the stuntmen.

  18. I always kind of liked Choo Choo Coleman. But I think my all time favorite baseball nickname is Sandy "The Left Arm of God" Koufax.

  19. gcrl mentioned it, but I'll repeat it:

    The Bison.

    And hasn't Broxton been called Ox a few times? And the SOSG guys call Kershaw The Minotaur, I think.