As I read about the promotion of Tigers prospect pitcher Buck Farmer, I found myself giggling ever so slightly.
“Buck Farmer?” I said to myself. “Now that’s a name. It almost sounds like a job. I’m Steve, I’m a buck farmer.”
I immediately realized that this wouldn’t be a job, as bucks do not really need farming. The forest is the only real buck farmer, when you think of it, which you shouldn’t.
But I made me wonder, with the thousands of players that came through the major leagues, certainly some of them had names that could also be construed as occupations. So I did some digging, and found the four best.
4. Steel Smith
Smith saw time with both Cleveland and Cincinnati, playing mostly shortstop and second base in the late 1930s. Initial research did not find if he indeed came from a family line of metalsmiths, but his great-great grandfather was rumored to have invented the iron pancreas — a device not unlike the iron lung except that it was made for the digestive system and didn’t actually work.
3. Stephen “Dog” Walker
According to reports, Walker got his nickname not for his love of dogs or even an aggressive demeanor, but for his penchant for urinating on things to claim them as his own. In 1982, while serving as a bench bat for the Yankees, Walker was said to have ended the season with eight of his own lockers in the clubhouse. Walker’s career ended in 1991, when a labor dispute kept him out of Spring Training with the Expos, as Montreal demanded he hire his own laundry attendant for the season.
2. Webb Scribe
Scribe, coincidentally, did not live in a time when the Internet existed. A glove-first third baseman for the Dodgers and Phillies in the late 60s, Scribe was known as being aloof, often forgetting to come to games and team meetings. He was famous for his telegrams to the team offices with messages such as “Sorry, forgot. Working on it now.” and “Oh, that was today? When’s the latest you need me by?” When Scribe was eventually let go by the Phillies in 1970, he went back to school to obtain a Master’s degree. He lives and works as a waiter in New York.
1. Brock Tologist
Tologist’s name doesn’t perfectly match up with an occupation, but this didn’t stop his teammates and visiting fans from making fun of him. A relief pitcher, Tologist retired in 1977 with a 3.87 ERA, 38 wins, and 14 court-mandated anger management classes. Tologist had a penetrating fastball, which left his opponents wincing. Along with his long-time friend, Phil McCrackin, Tologist started a very successful latex manufacturer in Butte, Montana.