Players Weekends Past: A Whimsical Exercise in Nickname Creation

Ben Sheets could have had an awesome Players Weekend nickname. (via Barbara Moore)

Sonny Gray picked Pickles.

Javy Baez opted for El Mago (The Magician).

Dee Gordon? Varis Strange.

Each name, as you know, graced the associated player’s jersey during the inaugural Players Weekend on Aug. 25-27, a time when Josh Hader became Haterade and A.J. Griffith became the first player in history named Sweet Lettuce. But what if Griffith hadn’t been the first? What if, instead, Ross Grimsley had pioneered the synonym for a fabulous head of hair?

In the spirit of Sweet Lettuce, let us perform a thought experiment. Let us imagine Players Weekend began at the dawn of major league baseball, and, in so doing, invent nicknames to appear on the fictional jerseys of players from the past. But first, let us set forth two rules.

1) In creating these nicknames, we cannot use the player’s accepted moniker. Example: Bob “Death To Flying Things” Ferguson, who played in the late 1800s, cannot be assigned the aforementioned nickname, even if it is the greatest nickname in the annals of the American Pastime. (It is.) We must instead create a variation of the name, or an entirely new sobriquet, in efforts to honor the very essence of that player — whether he’d like it or not.

2) By kingly decree, the nickname must be contemporaneous with the time in which the player played. That is, we can’t give a player a name he couldn’t possibly have had. Example: Originally, I wanted to bestow upon Lenny “Dude” Dykstra the name Bill Past Dude, but then I realized Dykstra began ignoring invoices only after his career had ended.

Got it? Good.

As Bill “Wagon Tongue” Keister might have said, “Why are you calling me Wagon Tongue when my name is Keister? Oh, and let us begin!”

Hall Of Fame Players

Luke “Old Aches And Pains” Appling

Hy Pochondriac

Earl “The Earl Of Snohomish” Averill

Viscount Of Skykomish

Frank “Home Run” Baker

A Summer Palace in Grand Prairie: The Chinese National Team Joins the Texas AirHogs
An indie ball team in Texas is taking on a bold experiment.

Frankie Four Bags

Ernie Banks

That’s Mr. Cub To You

Yogi Berra

Lawrence Of Berrabia

Bert Blyleven

The Flatulist!

Frank Chance

The Guy At The End

Ty Cobb

A Reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaal Peach

Dizzy Dean

Airheaded Academician

Bill “The Man Nobody Knows” Dickey

Mr. Ree

Joe DiMaggio

The DiMaggio

Don Drysdale

The Chin Music Man

Dennis Eckersley

Eck As In Veeck

Johnny Evers

The Guy In The Middle

Rollie Fingers

Sir Stache-A-Lot

Carlton Fisk

The One And Only Pudge

Frankie “The Fordham Flash” Frisch

>The Rutgers Rash

Pud Galvin

Pud The Spud-Shaped Stud

Rickey Henderson

The First Third Person

Catfish Hunter

Jim, Actually

Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson

Autumn Honorific Owner

Randy “Big Unit” Johnson


Al Kaline

Battery Mate

Wee Willie Keeler

Wee The People Person

Ernie Lombardi

The Wizard Of Schnozz

Greg Maddux

Angry Waterfowl

Mickey Mantle

The Spavinaw Bolide

Bill Mazeroski


Johnny “The Big Cat” Mize

Feline Of Unusual Size

Kid Nichols

Juvenile Dimes

Phil Niekro


Mel Ott

Mel Should

Jim Palmer

The Complete Package

Gaylord Perry


Old Hoss Radbourn


Tim “Rock” Raines

A Gneiss Guy

Cal Ripken Jr.

Bill’s Brother

Brooks “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” Robinson

Centrifugal Fan Favorite

Ivan Rodriguez

The One And Only Pudge II

Red Ruffing

Vermillion Camping

Babe Ruth


Nolan Ryan

The Robinator

Red Schoendienst

Shane Deenst

Enos “Country” Slaughter

Agrarian Bloodbath

Ozzie Smith


Tris Speaker

The Elocutionist

Don Sutton

Perm Und Drang

Joe Tinker

The Guy At The Beginning

Pie Traynor

Pastry Tutor

Honus Wagner

Honus The Bonus

Lloyd “Little Poison” Waner

skull and crossbones

Paul “Big Poison” Waner


Zach Wheat

Gene S. Triticum

Early Wynn

Antecedent Victory

Carl Yastrzemski

Eye Chart

Explanatory Footnotes

Luke “Old Aches And Pains” Appling: Hy Pochondriac

Okay, let’s begin these explanations with one you probably don’t need. A lot of old-timey players had old-timey nicknames, and, like Appling, some had really good old-timey nicknames. I mean, as old-timey nicknames go, can you really beat “Old Aches and Pains?”

In all likelihood, the creaky infielder would have sported Old Aches And Pains across the back of his White Sox jersey had Baseball instituted Players Weekend in the 1930s through 1950s. He also would’ve complained that the stitching was “kinda itchy.” But again, we can’t pick Old Aches And Pains. What we can do is coin a nickname for the nickname.

Oh, and Hy really is a name. It’s kind of old-timey.

Don Drysdale: The Chin Music Man

Chin mu·sic (noun informal)

1. Used to refer to a pitch that passes very close to a batter’s chin.

With regard to Drysdale’s whisker acoustics, Pirates shortstop Dick Groat put it best: “Batting against Don Drysdale is the same as making a date with a dentist.” Not only did Big D lead the National League in hit by pitches in four straight seasons and in five overall, he almost certainly topped the informal category of holy-moly-that-nearly-removed-my teeth!

Just how dedicated was Drysdale to the cause of backing batters away from the plate? Well, he once dropped Willie Mays in the dirt with a first-inning fastball very near the man’s bicuspids … in an old-timers game in 1976.

Combine Drysdale’s history with the fact that Broadway in 1957 launched The Music Man and, well, we’ve got ourselves a nickname.

Side note: Given that Big D’s music amounted to a brief monotone hum, it would have been performed by a Broadway orchestra composed entirely of short-winded kazooists.

Dennis Eckersley: Eck As In Veeck

Remember Bill Veeck’s book Veeck As In Wreck?

Well, in our revisionist history, so does Eck.

Frankie “The Fordham Flash” Frisch: >The Rutgers Rash

A flash is preferable to a rash, just as an earl is superior to a viscount.

Pro tip: Viscounts with rashes are especially vexing.

Pud Galvin: Pud The Spud-Shaped Stud

Pud Galvin was among the greatest pitchers of his era. He won 20 or more games in each of 10 seasons, with a high of 46 wins in both 1883 and 1884. He would retire with 365 victories and a lifetime ERA of 2.85, accrued across 15 big league campaigns. But as he got deeper into his career, the righty began to pack on weight as readily as he picked up victories, putting as much as 250 pounds on his 5-foot-8 frame. The weight gain prompted contemporary observers to call him “short” and “fat.” So, let’s call it like we’d have seen it.

Pud might have been potato-shaped, but he did not throw meat.

Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson: Autumn Honorific Owner

Yep, it sounds like a New York Times Sunday Crossword clue. But darned if you wouldn’t read the clue, realize “Mr. November” contains one too many letters and then shout, “A-ha! It’s Mr. October!” while writing the answer with a black ballpoint pen, you genius.

Randy “Big Unit” Johnson: Gigaparsec

One gigaparsec is equal to one billion parsecs. Put differently, one gigaparsec is equal to 3.26 billion light-years. This is not something you’d measure in millimeters.

In other words, a gigaparsec is a really … big unit.

Greg Maddux: Angry Waterfowl

Mad ducks!

Mickey Mantle: The Spavinaw Bolide

Among the Mick’s many nicknames was The Commerce Comet. Why? Because he grew up in Commerce, Okla., and because he was fast and powerful and rare. Yet in truth, the Mick was born in Spavinaw, Okla. And a bolide is an extremely bright meteor that explodes in the Earth’s atmosphere.

No joke. The name is perfect.

It is true, however, that bolides rarely have bad knees.

Bill Mazeroski: Homer

Let’s be frank: Maz reached the Hall of Fame on the strength of one key homer — the one he hit off of the Yankees’ Bill Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series to give the Pirates their first title.

His Hall of Fame credentials otherwise amount to a 30.9 career WAR. For comparison, note that Lou Whitaker — also a second baseman but one who never hit a World Series-winning homer and who is not in the Hall — owns a career WAR of 68.1. So, let’s give Maz the mononym he merits.

Would Maz have worn the name Homer during his career, decades prior to his 2001 induction? Answer: Sure, why not? The homer, which came just five years into his 17-year career, rendered Maz legendary not only to a latter-day Veteran’s Committee but also to his contemporaries. His heroism was instantaneous. Indeed, radio announcer Chuck Thompson’s home run call ended thusly: “It is over the fence! Home run! The Pirates win! 3:36 p.m., Oct. 13, 1960!”

We would also accept Homeroski.

Johnny “The Big Cat” Mize: Feline Of Unusual Size

I cheated. Remember, these personalized nicknames are supposed to be contemporaneous with the time in which the player played. Example: Originally, I wanted to call Mario Mendoza — he of Mendoza Line infamy — The Line King. Hilarious, right? But guess what! The movie The Lion King came out in 1994, a dozen years after Mendoza’s final game. So, he couldn’t have had the nickname because the pun wouldn’t have meant anything.

Well, speaking of movies, the phrase “Rodent of Unusual Size” comes from the 1987 movie The Princess Bride. Johnny Mize retired after the 1953 season, his 15th in the major leagues. How do we reconcile these incompatible facts? Well, independent of The Princess Bride, Johnny Mize could have been called a Feline of Unusual Size. Inconceivable, you say?

As you wish.

Zach Wheat: Gene S. Triticum

What we have here is the world’s worst pun.

Wheat, you see, belongs to the genus Triticum. Gene S. Triticum.

I’ll show myself out.

Hall of Infamy Players

Dick Allen

Nick O. Tine

Albert Belle


Barry Bonds


Milton Bradley


Ryan Braun

Pointy McFinger

Jose Canseco

Sir Ringe

Roger Clemens

He Got Heat

Hal Chase

X. Ploiter

Dock Ellis

Lysergic Asset

Mike Kekich

Trade Partner

Mark McGwire

Abnormally Big Mac

Denny McLain

The Publisher

Fred Merkle

N. Cognito

Graig Nettles

Bo Ing

Joe Niekro

Chairman Of The Board

Rafael Palmeiro

Waggy McFinger

Jonathan Papelbon

The Sackmaster

Fritz Peterson

Trade Partner 2

A.J. Pierzynski

Advanced Jackass

John Rocker

Xeno: Warrior Prince

Alex Rodriguez

Centaur Of The Universe

Pete Rose

The Bettor Player

Curt Schilling

Blood Relative

Darryl Strawberry

The Last Straw

Explanatory Footnotes

Dick Allen: Nick O. Tine

Dude smoked cigarettes … in the dugout!

Albert Belle: Corky

Dude used a corked bat … in the batter’s box!

Hal Chase: X. Ploiter

Dude bet on baseball … in the midst of his big league career!

Dock Ellis: Lysergic Asset

Dude pitched a no-hitter … on lysergic acid diethylamide!

Mike Kekich: Trade Partner

In 1973, Kekich famously swapped wives with teammate Fritz Peterson.

Young readers, know this: It wasn’t part of a reality show.

Denny McLain: The Publisher

In the late 1960s, McLain initiated a bookmaking venture. In other words, he accepted and paid off bets. It did not go well. Still, “bookie” is such a loaded term, so freighted with seamy-underbelly connotations. So, for the sake of decorum, let us refer to the bookmaker as The Publisher.

Graig Nettles: Bo Ing

Upon breaking his bat during a game against Detroit, Nettles got busted for having six Superballs inside it. Boing! Umpire Lou DiMuro called Nettles out … but didn’t eject him.

Oh, 1970s, why did you leave us?

Joe Niekro: Chairman Of The Board

During a game in 1987, umpires famously busted Niekro with sandpaper and an emery board in, and then out of, his back pocket. It might be the funniest baseball scene of all time — physical comedy with its own visual punchline. Perhaps Niekro and Nettles should have performed a cheat-centric comedy routine called Who’s On First Watch?

Fritz Peterson: Trade Partner 2

See Mike Kekich.

John Rocker: Xeno: Warrior Prince

In a 1999 Sports Illustrated article, the Braves reliever decried the stateside presence of non-English-speaking “foreigners” and thereby outed himself as an unapologetic xenophobe — and a belligerent one, at that. Had Rocker been given a Xena: Warrior Princess-like TV show premised on the subject of his rant, it might have become a cult favorite. Or a Klan favorite.

Hall Of Very Good Players

Norm Cash

Standard Currency

Will Clark

Saturday Night Jail Face

Johnny Damon

Homo Brachium Noodle

Dom DiMaggio

The Other DiMaggio

Vince DiMaggio

The Other Other DiMaggio

Turkey Mike Donlin

L. Trip Tophan

Cecil Fielder

My Name Is Irony

Prince Fielder

Death To Frying Things

Bobby Grich

The Grich Who Stole Second

Harvey Haddix

Haddix But Lostix

Burt Hooton

Boot Hurtin’

Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky

The Hungry Madarian

Ron Hunt

Designated Hittee

Tommy John

L. Bowman

David Justice

Buford T.

Ted Kluszewski

Extremely Armed And Also Dangerous

Arlie “The Freshest Man On Earth” Latham

Herm Etic

Boog Powell

The Picker

John “Tight Pants” Titus

Johnny N. Fertile

Mookie Wilson

Bill Splitter

Michael Young


Explanatory Footnotes

Will Clark: Saturday Night Jail Face

Owing to his grievous expression, longtime major leaguer Jeffrey Leonard boasted one of the great nicknames in baseball history: Penitentiary Face. He was not alone, however, in featuring a physiognomy that communicated the very essence of incarceration.

Ladies and gentleman … Mr. Will Clark.

Johnny Damon: Homo Brachium Noodle

Not only was he called Caveman, he had an arm made of overcooked linguini.

Harvey Haddix: Haddix But Lostix

He had a perfect game in the 13th, and lost a perfect game in the 13th.

Burt Hooton: Boot Hurtin’

He’s from Texas, sure, but as Mama says, that don’t mean his boots fit right!

Ron Hunt: Designated Hittee

Hunt led the league in hit by pitches for seven straight seasons and still holds the all-time record with 243 HBPs. That’s a bunch of free bases — and bruises. Bear in mind that Hunt, whose major league career spanned from 1963 through 1974, played in the days prior to elbow guards, et cetera. Accordingly, we would also accept the nickname Bad A**.

Or Bombing Range.

Mookie Wilson: Bill Splitter

I don’t know if Mookie Wilson is a guy who routinely splits the dinner bill, even if he eats a salad while you dine on lobster thermidor. What I do know is that he split Bill Buckner’s wickets with an everlasting grounder.

Michael Young: Pasta

Longtime fans know that Young, a good hitter but slow-footed fielder, inspired an oft-used phrase: Past A Diving Michael Young. True story: If you order Pasta Diving Michael Young at your favorite Italian restaurant, it comes with a pitcher of bitterness.

Other All-Stars (American League)

Grant Balfour

Ben E. Factor

Joe Carter

The Phantagonist

Mark Clear

The Oxymoron

Walt Dropo

Will Pickupo

Toby Harrah

Paul N. Drome

Ross Grimsley

Chia Pate

Charlie Hough


John Jaha

That Jaha Moment

Jerry Lumpe

Bad Gravy

Don Money

Donny Raison D’etre

J.J. Putz

Initial Idiot

Joe Pepitone

Carpeted Individualist

Preacher Roe

Pastor Caviar

Jack Russell

The Terrier

Rusty “Le Grande Orange” Staub

Big Nehi

Virgil Trucks

Infernal Lorries

Robin Ventura

Fisty McFace

Frank “Sweet Music” Viola

Orchestral Manoeuverer In The Park

Gee Walker

Golly Four Balls

C.J. Wilson

Paul E. Math

Explanatory Footnotes

Grant Balfour: Ben E. Factor

A pitcher named Grant Balfour? Grant Ball Four?

Quite the benefactor, I’d say.

We await the debut of his spiritual heir, Walker O’Batters.

Joe Carter: The Phantagonist

Joe Carter homered against Phillies reliever Mitch Williams to win the 1993 World Series for Toronto. Phillies phans were phrustrated. The Phillie Phanatic had no phun at all. And so Joe Carter, he of the heroic pheat, had phulphilled the requirements of a Phils antagonist.

Mark Clear: The Oxymoron

A mark, by definition, is visible. That much is clear.

Charlie Hough: One-Pack

This one is both objective and subjective. Objective: Charlie Hough smoked cigarettes throughout his career, even in the dugout. Subjective: One night, many moons ago, I visited with Hough in the Rangers locker room. He smoked cigarettes and drank cans of beer the entire time. He also had his shirt off. Let’s just say he did not boast six-pack abs.

One-pack ab? Maybe.

Jerry Lumpe: Bad Gravy

Yep, Lumpe is pronounced “lump-ee.”

Don Money: Donny Raison D’etre

Big leaguers have always played for camaraderie and competition, but they will never play for free. You can’t buy food, or Maseratis, with love of the game.

J.J. Putz: Initial Idiot

“Putz,” in Yiddish, means “idiot.” For all I know, J.J. Putz is a Craig Breslow-level genius. Perhaps he wrote quadratic equations in the dirt. But that doesn’t change the fact that his name, alas, is J.J. Putz.

Joe Pepitone: Carpeted Individualist

Pepitone is known to have worn a toupee even during games. Accordingly, I nearly called him the Rugged Individualist — double entendre! — but, hey, let us agree to call him the Carpeted Individualist as we envision his fake hair flying while he, uh, shags fly balls.

Virgil Trucks: Infernal Lorries

In Dante’s Inferno, the ancient poet Virgil leads Dante through the underworld. Had combustion engines been invented in 14th-century Italy, perhaps they would have used a truck, or lorry, on their wearisome tour of Perdition’s concentric sectors. And had Ryan Braun been alive — and then, well, not alive — in 14th-century Italy, perhaps Dante and Virgil would have seen the outfielder in Hell’s Eighth Circle, reserved, of course, for frauds.

Frank “Sweet Music” Viola: Orchestral Manoeuverer In The Park

Are you familiar with the band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark? In 1986 they had a big hit called If You Leave. Maybe you danced to it. Maybe your parents danced to it. Or maybe, instead of attending the prom, they watched Viola surrender six earned runs without retiring a Boston batter on the night of May 20, 1986. In any case, Viola had time to watch the music video several times that night. He did leave, in the first inning, no ifs about it.

C.J. Wilson: Paul E. Math

Polymath (noun)

1. a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.

He races cars! He plays guitar! He writes novels, albeit unpublished! He’s a gourmand, a straight-edger, a Taoist and he married a Brazilian model! Ladies and gentlemen … Paul E. Math. No word yet on whether he’ll write a novel about writing a song about a Taoist model who races a customized McLaren P1 to a drug-free cooking class.

Other All-Stars (National League)

Joaquin Andujar

Joaquin N. Totrouble

Dusty Baker

Jobless Breadmaker

Ron Cey

The Hey Cey Kid

Jose Cruz

Joey Four-Day Three-Night

Mark Grudzielanek

Spell Check

Pedro Guerrero

Warrior Pete

Stan Hack

Stanley Grosskoff

Granny Hamner

Ben Gray

Corey Hart

The Other Corey Hart

Livan Hernandez

I Shall Be Livan

Tom Herr

Sir Thomas Of Lancaster

Howard Johnson

Moe Terlodge

John Kruk

Mullet Of Ceremonies

John “The Count” Montefusco


Paul O’Neill


Connie Ryan


Ben Sheets

Bygone Linens

Garry Templeton


Dickie Thon

The Fundraiser

Lee Walls

Load-Bearing Jean

Burgess Whitehead


Explanatory Footnotes

Joaquin Andujar: Joaquin N. Totrouble

Following his ejection from Game 7 of the 1985 World Series, Andujar grabbed a bat and went all rock-star on a toilet and sink in the visitors clubhouse at Royals Stadium. A year later, Commissioner Peter Ueberroth slapped him with a suspension for dealing cocaine to teammate Lonnie Smith. That’s trouble, and Andujar had walked right into it.

Dusty Baker: Jobless Breadmaker

Get dust in the pumpernickel, you’re gone.

Tom Herr: Sir Thomas Of Lancaster

In German, “herr” means “sir.” Tom Herr was born in Lancaster, Pa.

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s a bad idea: Though poetic, Sir Herr is redundant.

Paul O’Neill: Pele

Paul O’Neill boasted a famously hot temper. He went toe-to-toe with water coolers on numerous occasions, winning most of the time. He screamed at umpires and yelled at himself. He threw bats and hissy-fits. Once, when frustrated by his inability to field a ball cleanly in right field, he kicked the darn thing all the way to first base. So, what better name than that of soccer’s most famous scorer?

Per myth, Pele is also the name of the fire goddess who created the Hawaiian islands. Not surprisingly, she is famed for her power, passion and capriciousness. And somehow, she managed to win five rings.

Connie Ryan: Radar

On Sept. 29, 1949, at Braves Field in Boston, Ryan and his Braves teammates used newspapers and game programs to build small fires in front of the dugout as a signal to plate umpire George Barr that the game should be called because of the heavy downpour.

Still, the game went on.

Finally, in the bottom of the fifth inning and with his Braves trailing Don Newcombe and the Dodgers, 8-0, Ryan stepped from the dugout wearing a rain slicker as an even bolder indication of the deluge. Barr didn’t stop the game, but he did eject Ryan. Perhaps ironically, the umpires halted the game following the Braves’ scoreless half inning.

The rain had finally won.

So had Ryan, who had the sense to get out of the game.

Garry Templeton: GarrE6

Gary Templeton led NL shortstops in errors four times, with a career-high 40 in 1978, and placed in the top five in eight other seasons. Among shortstops, he ranks 43rd all-time, with 343 errors. Among shortstops born after 1918, he ranks first. Hence, the nickname.

If somebody weren’t using it, I might have picked Bootsy.

Various And Sundry Others

Sweetbread Bailey

Abraham Lincoln

Bald Billy Barnie

Cap Enthusiast

Whispering Bill Barnett


Moe Berg

Sir Rebral AKA Hy Lee Astute

Oyster Burns

Bivalve Bernie

Bruce Berenyi

Berenyi Own Beer

Angel Berroa


Parisian Bob Caruthers

Froggie Rob

Paul Casanova

N. Amorato

Joe Charboneau

I. Sockit

Pearce “What’s The Use” Chiles

N. Effective

Bob “Death To Flying Things” Ferguson


Oscar Gamble

The Afrodome

Cesar Geronimo

King Chief

Bob Hamelin

That Guy On That Card

Bill Keister

Backside Billy

Tobacco Chewin’ Johnny Lanning

Perry O. Dontaldisease

Bris “The Human Eyeball” Lord

Circumcision “The Human Eyeball” Liege

Steve Lyons

Burl Esque

Roger McDowell

Bernie McFoot

Mario Mendoza

Juan Ninety-Nine

Hugh “Losing Pitcher” Mulcahy

Dee Feated

Lou Novikoff

I.V. Phobe

Rawmeat Bill Rodgers

Sal Monella

J.T. Snow

The Bodysnatcher

Bill Stein

Utility Bill

John Smith

N.E. Nickname

George “Satan” Stutz

Lou Cifer

Ron Swoboda

The Divemaster

Bob Uecker

Uek As In Wreck

Explanatory Footnotes

Sweetbread Bailey: Abraham Lincoln

Why Abraham Lincoln? Why, that was his given name.

Angel Berroa: ROY

In 2003, Royals shortstop Angel Berroa earned AL Rookie of the Year honors. Within the span of three seasons, he had become another sort of ROY: an embodiment of the schoolyard acronym ROY, meaning the Rest O’ Y’all, reserved for ungainly kids chosen last for pick-up teams.

Of course, those kids often grow into another acronym: CEO.

Berroa? He grew into negative WAR.

Joe Charboneau: I. Sockit

Another AL Rookie of the Year whose star quickly faded, Charboneau performed his own dental work, repaired his broken nose with pliers and drank beer with a straw through his nose. Oh, and he often opened the beer bottle with his eye socket.

With 23 home runs in 131 rookie games, he could also sock it.

Steve Lyons: Burl Esque

Remember when Lyons performed an inadvertent striptease along the first base line? No?

Well, you will now.*

* Rated PG-13.

Roger McDowell: Bernie McFoot

Reliever McDowell had a gift for physical comedy. Prior to a 1987 game in Los Angeles, he stepped to the field wearing his uniform upside down. That same season, he performed a satirical take on ball scuffing by wearing a carpenter’s belt — complete with chisel, file and sandpaper — to the bullpen.

Above all, McDowell proved himself a skilled practitioner of “the hotfoot,” crawling beneath dugout benches to set teammates’ shoes aflame. Had he required an alias for his alias, he could have gone with N. Cendiary. Or perhaps R. Sonist.

Lou Novikoff: I.V. Phobe

Cubs outfielder Lou “The Mad Russian” Novikoff was nothing if not eccentric. One odd behavior centered on his irrational fear of the ivy on the outfield walls at Wrigley Field. Not only did the bizarre anxiety render him an ineffective outfielder, it also made him — wait for it — an ivy phobe.

George “Satan” Stutz: Lou Cifer

I nearly chose Deviled Goose Eggs. Why?

Because Stutz, in his six-game career, went 0-for-9. Hell of an effort, though.

Bob Uecker: Uek As In Wreck

With Mr. Baseball, there’s no reason for rhyme.

And One More

Dutch Zwilling

Z End

John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.
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OddBall Herrera
OddBall Herrera

I really wanted Pujols to wear a jersey reading “Incoming GIDP”


Is “Sir Stache-A-Lot” ok because Rollie obviously had the stache, or does it violate rule #2 because “Baby Got Back” hadn’t been recorded yet?

87 Cards
87 Cards

Paul Householder: “Foundation”

Larvell Blanks: “Embryonic O’s” (An aside, Blanks wore #14; if ever a player was destined to have a two-zeros on their back it was LB….Oh, the punny headlines if Blanks could have been a decent pitcher……)

John Paschal: “Triangle” or “Binomial Coefficient”


Since John lives in Cowboy country I’d go with “Blaise In Saddles”


In Kyle Seager’s spirit, Jose Molina could wear “Bengie and Yadi’s brother”.

Dennis Bedard
Dennis Bedard

What about Moe Drabowsky. “Han(s) D. Capp.” He once got hit by a pitch (or claimed he did) and to prove his point, he had a teammate bring a wheel chair out to the plate and push him to first base. He was summarily ejected. Must of been a late September game on one of Moe’s many losing teams


Wonderful Terrific Monds III: