The Baseball Name Hall of Fame

Sometimes, even the loquacious NotGraphs staff is rendered speechless. Sometimes, a writer so thoroughly destroys an idea that there’s little to add. Sometimes, we can just stand back and golf clap for a well-executed and funny idea.

That, my friends, is the case with SBN editor Jon Bois’ latest piece about the best names in baseball history. Not only did he find such greats as the pictured Cannonball Titcomb (the most famous of the Titcombs), but he added such gems as the following conversation in the Balfour family:

MRS. BALFOUR. What should we encourage him to be when he grows up?
MR. BALFOUR. A pitcher.
MRS. BALFOUR. A major league pitcher? Do you know how astronomically unlikely that is?
MR. BALFOUR. We must find a way.
MRS. BALFOUR. Okay, well, what should we name him?
MR. BALFOUR. Grant. Grant Balfour.
MRS. BALFOUR. Hmm, that’s a nice… wait. That would be a terrible name for a pitcher to have! Why do you want to name him that?
MR. BALFOUR. I hate him.
MRS. BALFOUR. How can you hate him? He’s just a newborn baby!
MR. BALFOUR. I hate babies.

Really, is there any way to add to this discussion? Some names fell through the cracks – Tris Speaker is notable, we can wish prospect Ray Liotta had made the majors, and Jimmie Foxx has two X’s, which is two more than I’ve got – but he really hit this one out of the park. So we’ll quit writing now and just bask in the glow. Bravo Mr. Bois, bravo.




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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


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Mac
Guest
Mac
5 years 4 months ago

Admittedly a pitcher named Beer wins the “named after alcohol” award, but how could a guy named Bud Weiser not make it?

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/weisebu01.shtml

SAmmy
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Always been partial to Bip Roberts…

SAmmy
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Not to mention Quentin McCraken, Tim Spooneybarger, Wade Boggs, & Delino Deshields.

Bryz
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Clearly not a ballplayer, but there’s a hockey player at my college named Tim LaBombard.

jordan
Guest
jordan
5 years 4 months ago

Is Doug Fister too dirty?

joser
Guest
joser
5 years 4 months ago

Fister? I hardly knew her!

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 4 months ago

I happen to think that (Josh) Outman is the PERFECT name for a pitcher, though clearly, not as funny of a story behind it as Grant Balfour has.

Best fictitious baseball name has to be Willy Mays Hayes.
“Willie Mays Hayes. I hit like Mays, and I run like Hayes.”
“You may run like Hayes. but you hit like shit.”

joser
Guest
joser
5 years 4 months ago

Outman and Balfour on the same team: do they cancel each other out, or explode in a particle-antiparticle release of energy?

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt
5 years 4 months ago

Bean Stringfellow.

joser
Guest
joser
5 years 4 months ago

I’m sorry, but Ugly Dickshot takes the thing by a landslide.

writer
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

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21st birthday balloons
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

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Blueyays
Member
Member
Blueyays
4 years 1 month ago

You may not have any Xs, but at least you’ve got one Sirras…

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