Seems like there is no end to the number of nicknames there are in baseball.
Here is a list of some of these dandies.
The animal nicknames. Some are fierce and make you quiver or some just make you take notice. Like “The Big Cat” for Johnny Mize, “Godzilla” for Hideki Matsui, “Moose” for Bill Skowron, “The Iron Horse” for Lou Gehrig, or “King Kong ” for Charlie Keller. Other animals are not so scary. Like “Ducky” for Joe Medwick, or “The Mule” for Yankee Killer Frank Lary., and “The Penguin” for Ron Cey. Goose Goslin was better known as “Goose” than his real name of Leon. Maybe “The Bird” ( Mark Fidrych) and “Mickey Mouse” for Cliff Melton were names that tried to trick us. Who would be scared to bat against a bird? Before he got hurt “The Bird” used to mow ‘em down. And then there is one of my favorites – “The Silver Fox” for Duke Snider.
Then there are the Royal nicknames. Names of Nobility. These names are fitting to baseball immortals, Like “The Sultan of Swat” (Babe Ruth), “Prince Albert” (Albert Pujols), “Rajah” (Rogers Hornsby),” Prince Hal” ( Hal Schumacher), “King Carl ” (Carl Hubbel). “Duke” for Edwin Charles Snider is more recognizable than his first name of Edwin. And another one of my favorites “The Count” – John Montefusco. Do you think the person that was anointing these greats with their nickname was thinking majestically?
You know where they are from nicknames like “Memphis Bill” for Bill Terry, “Dominican Dandy” for Jaun Marichal, “The Reading Rifle” for Carl Furillo, “The Fordham Flash” for Frankie Frisch, “Country” for Enos Slaughter, “Commerce Comet” for Mickey Mantle, “The Kentucky Colonel” for Earle Combs and of course “The Georgia Peach” for Ty Cobb. Hey who’s from Jersey? “Jersey Joe” Stripp that’s who.
“The Old Professor” (Casey Stengel ), “The Little Professor” (Dom DiMaggio) “Teddy Ballgame” ( Ted Williams ) and ” Donnie Baseball” ( Don Mattingly ) seem to indicate that these men knew something about the game. While names like Dizzy Dean, Daffy Dean, Dazzy Vance or “The Brat”for Eddie Stanky, seem to tell another story about these guys. Maybe they were a head case?
Names that depict respect. “Mr Cub” (Ernie Banks) , “The Man” (Stan Musial) , “The Yankee Clipper” ( Joe DiMaggio), “Mr October” ( Reggie Jackson) “Mr November” (Derek Jeter)and “The Master” for Mel Ott. And then there are names that do not illuminate respect like “Fat Freddie” for Freddie Fitzsimmons or “Crab” for Johnnie Evers or “The Sphinx” for Don Mossi.
And nicknames of strength – “The Iron Horse” (Lou Gehrig), “Iron Man” McGinnity, “The Iron Man” (Cal Ripken), “The Man of Steal” (Rickey Henderson), “The Wall” (Thurman Munson). These are guys I want on my team.
Some nicknames have fascinated me. Like “Jack The Ripper” What does this say about Jack Clark? Twinkletoes Selkirk the old Yankee infielder must have had a great time explaining that one. Leo Durocher had an interesting moniker – Leo The Lip. “The Big Hurt” for Frank Thomas started out as a name that told a story about how he destroyed the other team. Later on in his career does the name describe his ongoing state of his own physical condition? “Boog” What is a Boog Mr Powell?
And last but not least are names that I just enjoy. “Hammerin” Hank Aaron, The Kid
(Ted Williams), “Ryan’s Express” (Nolan Ryan),”The Rocket” (Roger Clemens),”The Vacuum Cleaner” (Brooks Robinson),”The Wizard of Oz” (Ozzie Smith). And of course there is my nickname ” Hoch Fleisch.
Pass this on to someone you think would get a kick out of reading it.