The Old Curmudgeons Are Right: Baseball Nicknames Useta Be Way Better

If you’re anything like me, you despise the dearth of imagination in the nickname-industrial complex, which nowadays requires that every nicknameless athlete be referred to by their first initial and the first three letters of their last name. From time to time, a decent nickname will slip through the cracks — Carlos “El Caballo” Lee, David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Covelli “Coco” Crisp — but this relative paucity only highlights their general absence. Many of the nicknames that break the paradigm are derivative of previous ones: Francisco Rodriguez’s “K-Rod” is a takeoff on Alex Rodriguez’s A-Rod, just as Jason Heyward’s “J-Hey Kid” recalls Willie Mays’s “Say Hey Kid”, and Derek Jeter’s “Mr. November” recalls Reggie Jackson’s “Mr. October.”

I was reading Robert Creamer’s terrific biography of Casey Stengel (born Charles, nicknamed “Casey” and “The Old Perfessor”), and I was struck by just how weird yet pervasive and evocative the nicknames used to be. The following passage about the 1913 Brooklyn Dodgers really did it for me:

Best of all, Robby [manager Wilbert Robinson] found an impressive young pitcher named Ed Pfeffer to take Rucker’s place as ace of the staff. Pfeffer, a big strong right-hander, was nicknamed Jeff after his brother Frank, who had pitched in the National League some years earlier and had been called Big Jeff after Jim Jeffries, the heavyweight boxing champion. His kid brother inherited the name.

Just marvel at that flight of fancy: because of a prizewinning boxer who’d retired in 1905, two brothers named Edward and Francis wound up being named “Big Jeff” and “Jeff.” Nowadays, they might have been called Eddie and Frankie, or maybe Ed and Frank; anything but Big Jeff and Jeff. Robby Robinson himself had a nickname so well-known that during his entire managerial tenure with the club, the Dodgers were known as the Robins. (Other players on that squad included George “Nap” Rucker, Ross “Tex” Erwin, James “Red” Smith, and, best by far, Fred “Mysterious” Walker.)

Of course, plenty of old-time nicknames were hackneyed, too, as SABR member Rick Solensky discovered hundreds of baseball players named “Lefty,” “Dutch,” “Doc,” “Deacon,” “Bull,” “Moose,” “Rabbit,” “Red,” and “Kid.” But even those could have their moments. Two of Stengel’s early mentors were Charles “Kid” Nichols and one of my personal favorites, Norman Elberfeld, the Tabasco Kid. So maybe, once upon a time, those names got worn out from overuse. But I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of them return. I certainly doubt Johnny “Big Cat” Mize minded when Andres Galarraga dusted off his nickname and wore it well. It’s such a good name it would have been a shame to use it just once.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic. But I think it’s a shame that, with a few notable exceptions — Chipper, Boof, and Joba, bless your hearts — players are nightly announced to bat with the first names their mothers gave them. Look up and down any major league lineup, and you’ll see nary a Preacher nor a Schoolboy, neither a Dizzy nor a Dazzy, nor a Duke nor a Skoonj. Instead, you might find a V-Mart or an F-Mart, a K-Rod or an A-Rod or an I-Rod. Without question, the baseball that’s been played in this Year of the Pitcher has been truly transcendent. It’s just a shame we lack nicknames to match.



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Alex is a writer for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times, and is a product manager for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @alexremington.


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Dick Whitman
Guest
Dick Whitman
5 years 10 months ago

If he was worth following anymore Pronk Hafner would be pretty good.

Tom
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Agreed.

Where are the Oil Can Boyd’s and Catfish Hunter’s of the world? Even in the 90s, we had some good ones. The Big Unit, The Big Hurt, Kid Dynamite, Big Daddy. But part of baseball’s heritage is built on the lore of the game and guys named Shoeless Joe Jackson or The Yankee Clipper. It seems silly that someday I will tell my kids about Albert Pujols and the only nickname I can think of associated to him is “Winnie the Pooh-jols.”

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 10 months ago

Dude! Albert has one of the coolest nicknames in baseball right now: The Machine! Tell your kid about a guy name The Machine vs a guy named Winnie the Pooh-jols and he’ll be much happier to listen. (really? Pooh-jols?)

War2d2
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

“The Machine”? Seriously? A) This is the first time I’ve ever heard that nickname for him, and B) it’s not that good. I prefer to call him “Poo Holes” or just “Pooper.”

Why yes, I am a Cubs fan. Why do you ask?

Adam
Guest
Adam
5 years 10 months ago

Panda Sandoval?

don
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don
5 years 10 months ago

I liked Fat Ichiro better, but it doesn’t work so well when he’s hitting .276.

matt
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matt
5 years 10 months ago

Not to mention his teamates the Freak, Buster, Pat the Bat, and Huff Daddy.

Tom
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Tom
5 years 10 months ago

How could you leave out “Cactus” Gavvy Cravath?

StatBoy
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StatBoy
5 years 10 months ago

You refer to Ivan Rodriguez as I-Rod but left out his far superior nickname, Pudge.

Llewdor
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Llewdor
5 years 10 months ago

I-Rod is the one that irritates me the most, because he already had a decent nickname (Pudge) when the whole *-Rod thing came about.

Matt Zakrowski
Member
5 years 10 months ago

Carlton Fisk was the first Pudge, so we need to find a worthy heir for that one.

Ari Collins
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Ivan’s pretty worthy of Pudge. I mean, the guy’s a future HOF.

Related to calling Pudge I-Rod is “Man-Ram”. The guy’s already Manny. He’s just so very… Manny.

Man-Ram? Really?

dutch
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dutch
5 years 10 months ago

Brooks Conrad has been dubbed Raw Dog by Chipper Jones since he doesn’t wear batting gloves. It sounds really awkward when Chip Caray says it.

Anon
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Anon
5 years 10 months ago

Yikes. “raw dog” doesn’t have the best connotation..

moving on-Big Hurt and Crime Dog are two great nicknames as well

Mike
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

I am going to just start making up nicknames for players when I refer to them from now on. Like Ben “Gooch” Zobrist.

Scooter
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Scooter
5 years 10 months ago

Zobrist already has a good one born out of his 2009 power spike: Zorilla.

Mike
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

The power is already gone, so he should lose the nickname, just like “Big Game” James should lose his. So Zobrist is now Gooch.

jrogers
Member
jrogers
5 years 10 months ago

I liked “The BZA”, as if he were a Wu-Tang member.

skippyballer486
Member
skippyballer486
5 years 10 months ago

Anytime we can combine baseball and the Wu-Tang Clan, we owe it to our children and our children’s children to do it.

Pitcher
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Pitcher
5 years 10 months ago

Never got to the bigs, but my baseball nickname was Planet. I was a pitcher. You can imagine how that came to be. My current nickname at work is Tumbleweed.

You just need to find someone that is good at giving nicknames. Or follow the Kobe route and give yourself a nickname.

geo
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geo
5 years 10 months ago

The Royals had a self-nicknamed minor league pitcher, Chris “Disco” Hayes, a name he hung on himself because he’s a submariner whose ball “doesn’t get out of the ’70s.” Sadly, he was released in July. I hope somebody else gives him a shot.

SteveS
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SteveS
5 years 10 months ago

I was just thinking of this the other day when some trivia question popped up that included “Sudden” Sam McDowell. There are scattered examples of good ones these days, but it does seem like there were infinitely better nicknames in the past; a lot of that is certainly selective memory (the bad ones, after all, vanish to the mists of time), but you don’t get a lot of ‘3-Finger’s these days. Mostly, you just get announcers (I’m looking at you here, Dave Sims) shortening a name and adding ‘ie’ to the end of it. I swear, if I have to hear ‘Lopie’ one more time…

(Also, Doug ‘Eye Chart’ Gwosdz. That is all.)

JMHawkins
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JMHawkins
5 years 10 months ago

We could go back to the mid-90’s when the M’s had nicknames (Big Unit, Junior, A-Rod, Bone) that were all plausible references to a particular piece of anotomy.

Ice Box Chamberlain
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

I have the best nickname.

Jamee
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Jamee
5 years 10 months ago

It is Peanuts Lowrey’s birthday tomorrow. (Born Harry Lee) http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lowrepe01.shtml

Sam
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Sam
5 years 10 months ago

At least we don’t call people “Chief” and “Dummy” anymore.

yuniform
Member
yuniform
5 years 10 months ago

Dave Niehaus (the Mariners’ announcer) called Freddy Garcia the Big Chief because he looked like the character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Double06
Member
Double06
5 years 10 months ago

I didn’t know how that nickname came about but now that I do I’m a big fan of it.

JMHawkins
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JMHawkins
5 years 10 months ago

Speaking of Niehaus, when he called Franklin Gutierrez “Death to Flying Things” I was puzzled. Seemed like such a modern thing for Dave to say.

Then I found out it was the nickname of two different guys (Bob Ferguson and Jack Chapman) who played over 100 years ago.

It’s a little unweildy and not quite in the same mold as “Chief” or “Pudge” but it’s evocative.

Chris
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Chris
5 years 10 months ago

Jim Tracy refers to Ubaldo as Chief too.

microwave donut
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microwave donut
5 years 10 months ago

There are more decent ones out there than you think. People have already mentioned Pronk and Kung Fu-Panda, but there’s Big Donkey, The Flyin’ Hawaiian, and The Greek God of Walks. Even O-Dog and Pat the Bat are decent nicknames.

Recently retired there’s El Duque, and a favorite of mine (the name, not the player) “The Mayor” Sean Casey.

quint
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quint
5 years 10 months ago

The Mayor has to be the best of the generation, its funny, different and actually means something.

jrogers
Member
jrogers
5 years 10 months ago

At Razzball they call Mark Reynolds “Mini-donkey” and Ian Stewart “Mini-mini-donkey”. I don’t think those are in wide usage, though.

DonCoburleone
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DonCoburleone
5 years 10 months ago

Mini-Donkey!!!

pounded clown
Member
pounded clown
5 years 10 months ago

I take a Mini-Donkey over the Eeyore that has been milling around on my fantasy team’s roster

Rut
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Rut
5 years 10 months ago

Choooooch

Mike K
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Mike K
5 years 10 months ago

I’m surprised he wasn’t mentioned earlier

Bryz
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

With how much my new friend loves Ruiz, Chooch was the first nickname I thought of.

Adam D
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Adam D
5 years 10 months ago

my favorite current nickname is Derek Holland regularly being referred to as The Dutch Oven.

Lesser Texas Ranger nicknames include Josh “Hambone” Hamilton, Colby “Cobra” Lewis, Tommy “Big Game” Hunter (after the video game), and Elvis “Tiny E” Andrus

MikeS
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MikeS
5 years 10 months ago

Currently I am partial to “The Mexicutioner.”

Adam D
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Adam D
5 years 10 months ago

of course, I didn’t hear that one until tonight :-)

War2d2
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5 years 10 months ago

“The Mexicutioner” has always been one of my favorites. It’s got the perfect cross-section of being both bad-ass and racially insensitive.

Lucas
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Lucas
5 years 10 months ago

I’m fond of Chairman Mauer, although it hasn’t really caught fire yet. (courtesy TwinkieTown)

Adam D
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Adam D
5 years 10 months ago

I though he was Baby Jesus?

Nick
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Nick
5 years 9 months ago

Sticking with Twins player: Liriano’s “Franchise” nickname is pretty good.

Nick
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Nick
5 years 9 months ago

Or a former player: Kent “Can I buy a Vowel” Hrbek. I think that one is from Chris Berman.

jrogers
Member
jrogers
5 years 10 months ago

“Nowadays, they might have been called Eddie and Frankie, or maybe Ed and Frank.”

Wouldn’t they be called “E-Pfeff” and “F-Pfeff” now? Say that second one five times fast.

The Bunk
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The Bunk
5 years 10 months ago

Everyone is forgetting the best modern day nickname for a ballplayer, The Freak.

Torgen
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Torgen
5 years 10 months ago

The commercial ruined that one. He’s now either the Freaky Franchise or Big Time Timmy-Jim.

ChuckO
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ChuckO
5 years 10 months ago

My favorite for current ballplayers is “Big Donkey” for Adam Dunn, mainly because it seems to fit so well. It’s probably just me, but Dunn looks like a big donkey. I think “Pronk” is the cleverest nickname in recent years.

jtwood426
Member
jtwood426
5 years 10 months ago

My nominee for the worst nickname I saw today: LoMo.

Jaik Jarrkjens
Guest
Jaik Jarrkjens
5 years 10 months ago

Hey, if we’re discussing great nicknames we can’t leave out Terry “Fat Tub of Goo” Forster.

Bleachers
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Bleachers
5 years 10 months ago

How do you write an article about baseball player nicknames and not mention perhaps the best of them all, Oil Can Boyd?

PS….Buster Posey’s name is Gerald Demp Posey III. Buster, indeed, is a nickname.

JMHawkins
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JMHawkins
5 years 10 months ago

Oil Can Boyd is probalby my favorite nickname of all time.

Recent, the Mariners have established a tradition of honoring Oil Can Boyd by having one reliever each season earn the nickname “Gas Can.”

Or at least that’s the best explanation I can come up with for Julio Mateo, Rick White, Sean White…

Brandon T
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Brandon T
5 years 10 months ago

That must be in honor of Heathcliff Slocumb — who shall always have the nickname “firestarter” in my head, after his performance in the bullpen. To think that Mariners traded both Derek Lowe AND Jason Varitek for that glob of napalm…

johnnycuff
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johnnycuff
5 years 10 months ago

pirates fans seem to save their best nicknames for terrible relievers. ryan “the white flag” vogelsong and franquelis “wreck specs” osoria come to mind.

what else… jose “slowpoke rodriguez” castillo. “joggin ronny” paulino. jose “joey bats” bautista. salomon “sully” torres. “smilin’ joe” randa.

recently there was also brandon “mossome” moss (sadly undeserved) and adam and andy laroche being known as mario and luigi.

Bruce Bochy
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Bruce Bochy
5 years 10 months ago

What about Gerald Dempsey Posey III? aka Buster.

rbenchley
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rbenchley
5 years 10 months ago

My all-time favorite nickname is probably Losing Pitcher Mulcahy. Not very kind, but pretty funny.

lance berkman
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lance berkman
5 years 10 months ago

fat elvis!!!!!

Kriz
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Kriz
5 years 10 months ago

Who says great nicknames are dead? LMAO!

Kyle
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Kyle
5 years 10 months ago

The Big Puma(Berkman) and Vlad the Impaler are great nicknames… in basketball you got Dirk Diggler and the Big Aristotle.

As stated, Big Donkey is also a classic.

Torgen
Guest
Torgen
5 years 10 months ago

Considering how the internet has changed our ability to communicate, it’s weird that the nicknames small groups devise can’t become widespread, but maybe that’s because the communities that come up with nicknames are insular. In the past the MSM could dictate the nickname, and who were the readers to come up with their own?

yuniform
Member
yuniform
5 years 10 months ago

I’m not sure about your question mark, but I think your statement is correct. “King Felix,” for one, came from a blog, and is now ubiquitous. After reading the comments, I now sincerely hope Chairman Mauer catches on.

Brandon T
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Brandon T
5 years 10 months ago

I just don’t think it will — it’s too Chinese. The NBA already has Chairman Yao and Chairman Yi — that latter being particularly funny because of that famous scouting video that went around where his “sparring partner” was a chair…

Alex Remington
Guest
Alex Remington
5 years 10 months ago

I think you’re absolutely right. In most cases, the most florid nicknames were the exclusive creation of one writer’s pen, some Grantland Rice or Damon Runyan whom everyone read. With the blogosphere in full bloom, it’s certainly a lot harder for a complicated nickname to catch on.

The Mexicutioner and Kung Fu Panda are both recent examples of a nickname beating the odds and gaining public acceptance, or at least relatively public acceptance, but it’s not easy.

Still, ESPN has even greater reach than the New York sportswriters had back in the day. If they actually came up with good nicknames — and no one other than Chris Berman bothers to try, and don’t get me started — they’d have a pretty good chance of spreading those nicknames.

Bryz
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Well, the reason the Mexicutioner caught on is because the Royals held a poll to see what nickname should be Soria’s nickname. If your fan base votes on it, it would be kind of hard for it to not catch on.

microwave donut
Guest
microwave donut
5 years 10 months ago

The Mexicutioner is a weak rip off from Manny Paquiao, who made his name beating up latin fighters. It fits him better.

respecknuckles
Guest
respecknuckles
5 years 10 months ago

I used to call Johnny Damon “Unfrozen Caveman Outfielder”, but that never got as much steam as plain ol’ “Caveman”. Which is a shame. Also, Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson gets double credit, as both his nickname and real name could easily belong to porn stars.

Other favs include “The Yankee Clipper”, a whole passel of “Babe” Ruth’s silly nicknames, and of course… George “High Pockets” Kelly.

BJ Upton
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BJ Upton
5 years 10 months ago

Bossman Junior.

Lombard
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Lombard
5 years 10 months ago

I was under the impression that was his given name.

brentinKorea
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brentinKorea
5 years 10 months ago

E5 for Edwin Encarnacion, thanks Cinci fans!

Eric P
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Eric P
5 years 10 months ago

I’m partial to Edwin Scissorhands, though E5 is admittedly a whole lot easier to type.

Best nickname around is Big League Choo, IMO.

pounded clown
Member
pounded clown
5 years 10 months ago

Big League Choo…first time I’ve heard it. awesomesauce

Jamee
Guest
Jamee
5 years 10 months ago

The Flyin’ Hawaiian.

BlackOps
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BlackOps
5 years 10 months ago

Dicktorino.

tgaudette
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tgaudette
5 years 10 months ago

The Dutch Oven may be the funniest nickname I’ve ever heard. On a slightly less than related note, Bill Simmons nicknamed then Milwaukee Bucks’ draft choice Yi JianLian the “Chairman” because there was very little footage of him actually, you know, playing basketball. The official scouting tapes on him had him dribbling and shooting around chairs that were placed on the court. This has to be my favorite all-time sporting nickname just due to the bizarre circumstances leading to it.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 10 months ago

I actually like Yi-6 (pronounced like E-6), another Simmons-dubbed nickname for Yi.

Ray
Guest
Ray
5 years 10 months ago

My favorite that no one has heard of (mostly because a buddy came up with it and only myself and two friends kick it back and forth): Carlos Gonzalez, also known by the boring and uninventive CarGo, has since been nicknamed Shorts.

CarGo Shorts, or just Shorts, which has the ring of an oldschool curmudgeon-loved nickname, right? It helps that he’s been Dirty McNasty this season.

Bryz
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

While he was with the Twins, some of my friends and I also called Carlos Gomez “CarGo.” Some were slightly more creative and changed it to “GoGo,” due to his ridiculous speed.

Paul Thomas
Guest
Paul Thomas
5 years 10 months ago

He was dubbed “Patrol Craft” for a long time at the Athletics Nation blog, as a consequence of a particularly ill-translated “leak” by a Venezuelan news article which (wrongly) predicted that the “Marabino patrol craft” would begin the year in the “central garden” for the A’s…

Barry
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Barry
5 years 10 months ago

Don’t forget The Bird.

Not David
Guest
Not David
5 years 10 months ago

Dennys Reyes, “The Big Sweat.”

Barry
Guest
Barry
5 years 10 months ago

The Mad Hungarian

Dave
Guest
Dave
5 years 10 months ago

My favorite forgotten nickname of all time is Darrell ‘Kool FM’ Akerfelds, who had a 94.5 ERA one spring for the A’s. I don’t think it actually stuck, or maybe it was just Akerfelds that didn’t.

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 10 months ago

It’s impossible to beat “Ugly” Johnny Dickshot.

TexasRanger
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TexasRanger
5 years 10 months ago

Dickshot is enough in itself

CedarA
Member
CedarA
5 years 10 months ago

Michael “THE CONDOR” Saunders

Low and In
Guest
Low and In
5 years 10 months ago

I like The Toddfather for Todd Helton, Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay, Fred ‘The Crime Dog’ McGriff and of course the Wizard for Ozzie Smith. I was surprised to find out that one of the all time great nicknames ‘The Iron Horse’ wasn’t really used for Lou Gehrig his teammates used the more ubiquitous ‘Biscuit Pants’

Josh
Guest
Josh
5 years 10 months ago

Vlad the Impaler

Josh
Guest
Josh
5 years 10 months ago

…and Ryan “The Riot” Theriot

Chase Utley
Guest
Chase Utley
5 years 10 months ago

what about…
CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH
for Carlos Ruiz of course.

Chase Utley
Guest
Chase Utley
5 years 10 months ago

And Antonio Alfonseca
el pulpo/the octopus.

Peter
Guest
Peter
5 years 10 months ago

A newly popular one this year, here in Boston, has been Dustin “Laser Show” Pedroia.

Also, one of the Red Sox’s top prospects, Ryan Westmoreland, already received his perfect nickname courtesy of the blogosphere: Manifest Destiny.

Jack Weiland
Guest
Jack Weiland
5 years 10 months ago

-1

TomG
Member
TomG
5 years 10 months ago

Minus one? Hell, that may be one of the most clever nicknames around.

Bryz
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Agreed, I approve of Manifest Destiny.

Peter
Guest
Peter
5 years 10 months ago

Not sure whether you’re -1ing me about the historical connotations or an assumption you’re making about what Sox fans think of Westmoreland’s likely impact (although, to be fair, we expect great things from him). But that’s not why he’s Manifest Destiny.

Hint: It’s about the pun.

fjkagreklg
Guest
fjkagreklg
5 years 10 months ago

Travis Snider has been christened as Moonraker by the Jays blogosphere.

Brian Tallet's Moustache
Guest
Brian Tallet's Moustache
5 years 10 months ago

Or, The Great Pasty White Hope.

Sean
Guest
Sean
5 years 10 months ago

Adam Jones is Dr. Jones (which, I think, is an Indiana Jones reference)
Jeremy Guthrie is just plain Guts
Kevin Millwood is The Mentor (because every Baltimore Sun article talks about how he mentors the young Orioles pitchers)

Also, check out this article: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2010/5/14/1471888/nicknames-from-around-the-game

JR
Guest
JR
5 years 10 months ago

I would agree that the nicknames given to players has diminished, if not in numbers, but also in creativity. However, in this age, we are blessed with the Internet, and nicknames on message boards are fairly prolific. Players can have multiple nicknames, depending on their performance that particular game, so it’s no wonder that perhaps the players may not want some particular names to stick

A couple of others off the top of my head – mostly off message boards

Placido “Beldar” Polanco
Jamie “Gas Can” Walker
“Officer” Ron Karkovice
Edgar “Rent-a-Wreck” Renteria
John “E-I-E-I-O” McDonald
Will “LeDismal” Ledezma

Josh
Guest
Josh
5 years 10 months ago

Rich Garces: “El Guapo”

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 10 months ago

I always liked Matsui’s nickname Godzilla. It’s not only catchy but it’s a carry over from his Nippon days if I’m not mistaken.

pounded clown
Member
pounded clown
5 years 10 months ago

He’s alittle more Mothra these days.

Omar
Guest
Omar
5 years 10 months ago

The Hammer of God, 42 (though he takes it from an older player, but wears it extremely well), and The Sandman.

‘Nough said.

Jacks-Off
Guest
Jacks-Off
5 years 10 months ago

I don’t know why it’s my all-time favorite. It’s not that original. I don’t think it’s because it’s almost like porno, but I just love Jimmie “Double X” Foxx……

Love the Crime Dog, of course…..Is it too easy and inappropriate to call him Casey “Tits” McGehee…….Bob Uecker always said that Chad Fox had an electric slider back in the day. My friends and I thought it would be great if his warm-up music was the Electric Slide. So we sort of called him “Electric”….What about Jim “Hit One” Thome?…….OK, I’m done….

Nick
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Nick
5 years 9 months ago

I have heard “Gentleman Jim” used a few times. I think it is because he is so well liked by players and fans.

John
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John
5 years 10 months ago

I bet there aren’t any up and coming players that want Mordecai Brown’s nickname dusted off for them.

Brandon T
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Brandon T
5 years 10 months ago

IIRC, didn’t Lastings Milledge once give two fingers to the crowd? That would be a great nickname for him :D.

mechanicalTurk
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mechanicalTurk
5 years 10 months ago

What, no mention of my all time favorite pre-1900 pitcher Charles Frederick Koenig? You may know him by his totally awesome nickname, Silver King.

mechanicalTurk
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mechanicalTurk
5 years 10 months ago

Also, I should mention one of my more favorite nicknames of the current age, Alexei “The Cuban Missile” Ramirez.

Alexei, like many others, got his nickname from polarizing broadcaster Hawk Harrelson. Here’s a copypasta’d bit from wackypedia:

Harrelson coined many nicknames for popular Sox players, including “Black Jack” McDowell, Carlos “El Caballo” Lee, Lance “One Dog” Johnson, Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas, Craig “Little Hurt” Grebeck, “The Deacon” Warren Newson, “Big Bad” Bobby Jenks, “The Silent Assassin” Javier Vazquez, Herbert “the Milkman” Perry, Jake “The Jake-Meister” Peavy, Dayan “The Tank” Viciedo, and Magglio “Maggs” Ordóñez, along with fan favorite “Big Dick” Richard Dotson. During a broadcast, Harrelson attempted to nickname partner Darrin Jackson “The Squirrel” because of the quantity of peanuts his partner ate, to which Jackson replied, “No.” He calls his current partner Steve Stone “Stone Pony.” The Stone Pony is one of the world’s most popular music venues, but the term’s connection to Steve Stone is unclear.

Some of those are obviously not as good as others (Jake-Meister? Really, Hawk?) but it seems like Hawk himself (so named for that big beak of his) deserves a mention.

Also he has taken to comparing John Danks to a mongoose lately. I’m not sure I see the similarity, but it is kind of a cool sounding name.

Pete
Guest
Pete
5 years 10 months ago

As a non-Sox fan, Hawk is nigh-unbearable. Plus, everyone knows that The Silent Assassin is Willie Boomquist.

Bryz
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Good job on reminding us of The Tank.

IwearMsHats
Guest
IwearMsHats
5 years 10 months ago

I sooooo want Michael Saunders to make it for the mariners so I can start calling him “Colonel”!

TomG
Member
TomG
5 years 10 months ago

Yeah, he’s already got a better nickname than that.

pounded clown
Member
pounded clown
5 years 10 months ago

Ichiro, I heard goes by Ichi but I like Zatoichiro in hommage to Zatoichi, Blind Swordsman. In the Zatoichi series, Zatoichi also goes by Ichi.

Moon
Guest
Moon
5 years 10 months ago

Ichi means “one” in Japanese.

GK Larsen
Guest
GK Larsen
5 years 10 months ago

If it hasn’t been mentioned already, Matt Kemp is known in and around the Dodger blogosphere as The Bison. I always felt it was a good one.

Rob in CT
Guest
Rob in CT
5 years 10 months ago

It’s not so bad. The real problem, I think we can all agree, is the I-Rod/A-Rod/F-Rod, etc. phenomenon. Though F-Lop is pretty amusing.

Vlad the Impaler is probably my current favorite.

Kung-Fu Panda
Doc Halladay
The Flyin’ Hawaiian
Big Papi
Godzilla
The Mexicuitioner
Pat the Bat
Death to Flying Things
Big Donkey
Phat Albert/Prince Albert
King Felix
Pronk
Mo/Sandman

All solid.

I like the “Chairman Mauer” idea.

bill
Guest
bill
5 years 10 months ago

El Guapo is definitely the best modern-day nickname.

TtD
Guest
TtD
5 years 10 months ago

Jays have a few odd ones;

RR Cool J
North of Steeles
Minister of Defence
Jedi
Moonraker
Scrabble
Pope
Boo!

etc…

Chase Utley
Guest
Chase Utley
5 years 10 months ago

And Joey Bats of course

lifewontwait
Member
lifewontwait
5 years 10 months ago

The giants this year even have a nickname for their defense as a whole given to them by pat the bat: the wild kingdom defense. A panda at 3rd, a gazelle in center (tores), and 2 water buffalo in the corners (burrell and huff)

Bryz
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Despite all these nicknames, very few of these players have legally changed their names to incorporate their nickname, i.e. John Bonser to Boof Bonser and (football) Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco.

Sox27
Guest
Sox27
5 years 10 months ago

Freddy Garcia is often referred to as “Sweaty Freddy” by many of us Sox fans…for obvious reasons. It’s about the only thing I find enjoyable about him.

Nick
Guest
Nick
5 years 9 months ago

enjoyable?

Socrates
Guest
Socrates
5 years 10 months ago

Please use Pudge instead of I-Rod. Also, lets not leave the Big Hurt (Frank Thomas) out. At this time we should aslo recognized Roger “The Rocket” Clemens. In addition to other things, he was one of the most dominating pitchers over a 20 year span that has ever pitched.

But most of all lets not leave out the guys who are SO good, that they are know by their first names. Johan, Ichiro, Pedro. Their is clearly something special when their first name without deviation is enough to distinguish them from EVERYONE else.

Also, the shortest of all nicknames… Mo (Mariano Rivera). There is something to that simplicity.

Also, wasnt Greg Maddox “The Professor” and wasnt Sean Casey “The Mayor”.

Alex Remington
Guest
Alex Remington
5 years 10 months ago

Maddux was The Professor to some, but Bobby Cox only called him one thing: Mad Dog.

Great name.

Socrates
Guest
Socrates
5 years 10 months ago

Also Hanley (Ramirez of course) as another first name only player.

Carcillo
Guest
Carcillo
5 years 10 months ago

And Manny.

shane
Guest
shane
5 years 10 months ago

i know this is harping on the “recalling old nicknames” idea, but i like that since joey votto is canadian everyone at redreporter has been calling him the “say eh kid”

jay “boss” bruce
edinson volquez is “the wagon”
johnnie b. (dusty) baker calls his catcher ramon hernandez “clutch man monie”

and thats all i got from the reds side.

The Nicker
Guest
The Nicker
5 years 10 months ago

How could we forget Tony Plush?

Brian K
Guest
Brian K
5 years 10 months ago

Brett Gardner: GGBG (Gritty, Gutty Brett Gardner)
Melky Cabrera: The Melkman Delivers
Curtis Granderson: Granderslam, Grand Central
Jeff Franceour: Frenchy
Joey Votto: Votto-matic
CC Sabathia: Cheeseburger Cheeseburger
Jorge Posada: Hip-Hip Jorge
Angel Pagan: The Crazy Horse or Religious Oxymoron

The Doc
Guest
The Doc
5 years 10 months ago

Does anyone else call the newest Tigers rookie “Ving” Rhymes? I think I’m the only one.

Soria's Unibrow
Guest
Soria's Unibrow
5 years 9 months ago

No, because the only acceptable nickname for Will Rhymes is “Busta.”

Chase Utley
Guest
Chase Utley
5 years 10 months ago

Best of them all Joey Bats

PillsburyFlowboy
Member
PillsburyFlowboy
5 years 10 months ago

How about Bill “Spaceman” Lee. Could not come up with a better name for him

Nick
Guest
Nick
5 years 9 months ago

Classic, and so fitting…

cajuncook
Guest
cajuncook
5 years 10 months ago

Can’t believe nobody has mentioned Super Meek. Watched the end of a Pirates game a few days ago; whoever came up with that deserves a cookie or a punch in the face, I can’t figure it out.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 10 months ago

It may be derivative and I can’t take credit for it, but Votto as the “Say Eh” kid is brilliant.

Moon
Guest
Moon
5 years 10 months ago

Lou Pinella tried to give Kosuke Fukudome the nickname “The Fook”, but nobody was willing to use it.

:D

/Hawk Harrelson has given a lot of players their nicknames – The Big Hurt, El Caballo, One Dog, the Cuban Missile, Tank, etc.

Free Stuff
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5 years 10 months ago

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Bruce
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Bruce
5 years 9 months ago

Eric “the Red” Davis
John “Way Back” Wasdin

Just a couple of my favorites not mentioned so far.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
5 years 9 months ago

I agree that the smashed-name nickname (ARod, CarGo) is a lame way to go. But so is the pun on a name that has no relation to player.
Vlad the Impaler (though I’m not a fan of the name) works because Vlad, in fact, impales, metaphorically.
Kung Fu Panda works because his body and personality match up with the name.
Chairman Mauer? Clever, yes…but pointless. He’s a Midwestern golden boy, what does that have to do with Mao? It just doesn’t make sense. Now, if he were an overpowering clubhouse presence it might work.
Phat Albert? Prince Albert? please, let’s make The Machine stick.
Also, let’s make Trickey Dickey happen. Great nickname there.

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5 years 7 months ago

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myheritage
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5 years 6 months ago

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Windu
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Windu
5 years 6 months ago

Nitram Odarp for Martin Prado because of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZWjdDTjtXw

Tdub
Guest
Tdub
5 years 6 months ago

Let’s be honest–the best current nickname goes to one of the most annoying players: Blastings Thrilledge.

As others have mentioned, Chooch is also brilliant, and I love Mex for Keith Hernandez. One I haven’t seen mentioned: The Big Puma, for Lance Berkman.

Sully
Guest
5 years 1 month ago
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