Old friend Kenneth “The Page” Morgan chimes in to help us through the January doldrums with a nice semi-HOF related post.
I’m a sucker for nicknames and I’m very liberal when it comes to these attachments. While others may groan after Chris Berman reaches for yet another potential gem, I eat it up every time. While doing some Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame research I came to the realization that our current pool of sluggers and hurlers are grossly under-represented in the nickname department.
If you take a walk down Hall of Fame lane you’ll notice many of the members have one thing in common: at least one nickname. Browsing the list of current stars, I couldn’t help but wonder ‘Where’s the Beef?’ Albert “The Machine” Pujols, Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval, and Kevin “The Greek God of Walks” Youkilis are all very fitting choices. But why haven’t we addressed many of the other probable future legends of this era? Joe Mauer, Ichiro, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley are a few examples of those left out. _(Now that I think about it, maybe we should just officially adopt the example from Rogue’s Baseball Index and refer to him as “The Joe Mauer” (ed note: that plug was completely unsolicited). Do we need to wait until late in their careers before we can properly Knight our heroes?
Let’s look at a few trends:
1) Alliterations always aids (Joltin’ Joe, Hammerin’ Hank, Sultan of Swat, The Splendid Splinter)
2) The goofier the better (The Bird, Spaceman, Yogi, El Guapo)
3) Robust phrases (The Big Unit, Nails, The Iron Horse, The Rocket, Death to Flying Things)
To properly preserve the legacy of players from this era we need to pick up the pace with naming. Although I can tolerate nicknames in many form, I cringe when I hear Hanley Ramirez referred to as “H-Ram”, or Jimmy Rollins as “J-Roll”. This is the ultimate in laziness and we cannot settle on these choices. There’s a reason we don’t hear “T-Will” attached to Ted Williams; it just sounds silly.
I have a few ideas of my own. Brian Bannister would make a good “SABR-tooth Tiger”. As for my favorite player, sure “Gar” and “Papi” are decent options but I feel like I should channel my inner George Costanza and we should now call Edgar Martinez “Eleven”.
1) What are some of your favorite nicknames?
2) Have you created any nicknames for current players?
3) How worried are you about the lack of nicknames in today’s game?