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.

13 Responses to “The Baseball Name Hall of Fame”

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  1. Mac says:

    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

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  2. SAmmy says:

    Always been partial to Bip Roberts…

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  3. SAmmy says:

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

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  4. Bryz says:

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

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  5. jordan says:

    Is Doug Fister too dirty?

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  6. Chris says:

    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.”

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    • joser says:

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

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  7. Bronnt says:

    Bean Stringfellow.

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  8. joser says:

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

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  9. writer says:

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  11. Blueyays says:

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

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