Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Great Baseball Nicknames - Updated


On another baseball-related post we got into a discussion on good baseball nicknames. These days there are a lot of bad nicknames (A-Rod, I-Rod, Dice-K) "creatively" derived from name shortening or initials. Here are some better nicknames I remember from my 40+ years as a baseball fan. Please help me add to the list.

Animals
Ron "The Penguin" Cey - Cey's body shape made this nickname a natural
Greg "The Bull" Luzinski - Likewise for Luzinski
Andres "The Big Cat" Galarraga - For his catlike fielding moves at first base
Andre "The Hawk" Dawson - an outstanding fielder early in his career
Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson
Mark "The Bird" Fidrych - Fidrych's flighty behavior was probably the source of this one
Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock - sound alike with last name
Jim "Mudcat" Grant
Dave "The Cobra" Parker
Larvell "Sugar Bear" Blanks
Whitey "The White Rat" Herzog
Ralph "The Roadrunner" Garr

Aeronautics/Astronomy
Roger "The Rocket" Clemens - Fastball velocity to be sure
Bill "Spaceman" Lee - Lee had a "spacy" view of life in the minds of some
Bob "Whirlybird" Walk - Like Lee, but closer to Earth
John "Blue Moon" Odom

Other Transportation
Nolan "The Express" Ryan - there was a WWII movie "Von Ryan's Express" in the '60s. This nickname is a takeoff.
Dontrelle "D-Train" Willis


Nationality
Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky
Darren "Dutch" Daulton
Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez - means "the leader" in Hernandez's native Cuba


Tools and Weapons
Hank "The Hammer" Aaron
George "Boomer" Scott
David "Boomer" Wells
Phil "Scrap Iron" Garner - for his scrappy play
Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd - there must be a story
Jimmy "The Toy Cannon" Wynn

Enterainment Characters
Al "Mr. T" Holland - a self-assigned nickname. He "pitied the fool" who stepped in against him
Frank "Hondo" Howard - I'm guessing that this big player resembled John Wayne
Willie "Three Dog" Davis - for love of band Three Dog Night.

From the Baseball Field
Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose - at first a derisive nickname for Rose's penchant for running out walks
Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson - after three homers in one 1977 World Series game
Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas - for the pain he inflicts on thrown pitches
Don "Full Pack" Stanhouse - managers went through a full pack of cigarettes while he pitched
Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks

Cartoon / Fictional Characters
Steve "Popeye" Garvey - big forearms
Ozzie "The Wizard of Oz" Smith - amazing play at shortstop
Dave "Kong" Kingman - from King Kong
Tom "Tom Terrific" Seaver
Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart - could also fit under "From the Baseball Field" as the nickname saluted Stuart's terrible fielding, bad even for a first baseman.

Dance
Orlando "Cha Cha" Cepeda

Fathers and Sons
Willie "Pops" Stargell
David "Big Papi" Ortiz
Ken "Junior" Griffey, Jr. - son of Ken Griffey, Sr. of course
Song Lyrics
Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams - Even as a closer, Mitch walked a lot of hitters and threw a lot of wild pitches.

Physical Characteristics
Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson
Carlton "Pudge" Fisk
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - a good nickname that has been somewhat supplanted by the boring I-Rod.
Jose "Papa Grande" Valverde - unwittingly, D-Backs' announcer Jim Traber nicknamed Valverde after a potato.
Rusty "Le Grande Orange" Staub - from his orange hair and his playing days in French-speaking Montreal.
Don "Big D" Drysdale
Mark "Big Mac" McGwire - these last two aren't too original
Walter "No Neck" Williams

Inanimate Objects
Tim "Rock" Raines

Geography
Ollie "Downtown" Brown - for the length of his infrequent home runs.

Previous Nickname Adaptations
Don "Stan the Man Unusual" Stanhouse

Rhyme Time
Will "The Thrill" Clark
Sayings
Willie Mays "The Say Hey Kid"



Nickname as First Name
Larry "Chipper" Jones - "chip off the old block"
Arnold "Bake" McBride
Lawrence "Yogi" Berra
Richard "Goose" Gossage
Edward "Whitey" Ford - blond-headed
John "Boog" Powell
Jim "Catfish" Hunter
Covelli "Coco" Crisp - nicknamed by siblings as a child
Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker
George "Sparky"Anderson

Entries in blue were suggested by a reader.

4 comments:

drebbles said...

Coco's grandmother used to call him "Co", his siblings started calling him Coco. At some point in his career, he was asked if he had a nickname and he said Coco and it's been his baseball nickname ever since. He said if he had known it was going to stick, he might not have used it.

dadlak said...

Coco is lucky to have a fan like you. Maybe he'll get his big payday from a cereal company some day at which time he'll like the nickname more.

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