Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Where have you gone, Bow Wow Arft?

There are not enough great nicknames anymore.  Especially in baseball.  Oh yes, we have Coco Crisp but back in the "good old" days the sport was filled was players with colorful ridiculous nicknames.   So, with pitchers and catchers reporting later this month, I thought this would be a good time to salute some of the greatest names in the game.   These are all real.  You can look 'em up.

Bow Wow Arft
Spitz Applegate
Rattlesnake Baker
Desperate Beatty
Jittery Joe Berry
Hill Billy Bildili
Goobers Bratcher
Goober Zuber
Turkeyfoot Brower
Ding-a-Lig Clay
Whoops Creeden
Crunchy Cronin
Ding Croucher
Daffy Dean
Peaceful Valley Deizer
Bullfrog Dietrich
Buttermilk Dowd
Pea Soup Duont
Piccolo Pete Elko
Slippery Ellam
Sleuth Fleming
Suds Fodge
Suds Sutherland
Inch Gleich
Gabber Glenn
Snags Heidrick
Bunny High
Bunny Brief
Bootnose Hofmann
Herky Jerky Horton
Twinkies Host
Highpockets Hunt
Bear Tracks Javery
Whoop-La White
Swamp Baby Wilson
Sweetbreads Bailey
Humpy McElven
Boob McNair
Spinach Melilo
Earache Meyer
Peach Pie O'Connor
Truckhorse Pratt
Shucks Pruett
Raw Meat Rodgers
Horse Belly Sargent
Silk Stocking Schafer
Vinegar Ben Mizell
Blab Schwartz
Twinkletoes Selkirk
Spook Speake
Fish Hook Stout
Razor Ledbetter
Razor Shines
Cuddles Marshall
Beauty McGowen
Cotton Pippen
Pid Purdy
Van Lingle Mungo
Icicle Reeder
Tink Riviere
Lady Baldwi
Skeeter Scalzi
Socks Seibold
Mule Shirley
Urban Shocker
Colonel Bosco Snyder
Inky Strange
Sleeper Sullivan
White Wings Tebeau
Adonis Terry
Cannonball Titcomb
Turkey Tyson
Dixie Upright
Peak-a-Boo Veach
Mysterious Walker
Mother Watson
Mule Watson
Stump Weidman
Podgie Weibe
Icehouse Wilson
Chicken Wolf
Chief Moses Yellowhorse
Zip Zabel
Noodles Zupo
Oyster Burns

...and last but certainly not least:

Pussy Tebeau


Johnny Walker said...

Working the video games industry I remember getting the business card of one Mr. Chip Bumgardner. I wonder what his nickname is.

Robert E. Graves said...

Reminds me of the Dave Frishberg song, "Van Lingle Mungo" - no need for nicknames here, the names alone speak/sing volumes.

15-Seconds said...

Let us not forget Pumpsie Green.

Dennis Hartin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis Hartin said...

Here's a poem by William Wallace made up entirely of baseball players' nicknames:

Curt Alliaume said...

There's a list like this in "The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book" (sadly, now out of print) - glad to see you've updated it.

benson said...

Other than Coco Crisp, Big Papi and The Big Hurt, Capt. Chaos and El Caballo from the White Sox , I can't think of any others from the past 20 years.

And the last three probably came from Hawk Harrelson, who was a teammate of Catfish Hunter.

One of my favorites comes from football. The Bears players' nickname for William Perry was "Biscuit" because he seemed to be a biscuit short of 350.

Mark said...

Lest we not forget Bob "Death to Flying Things" Ferguson

RCP said...

"That's MR. Boob McNair, and you'll address me as such."

Oh, not that guy again said...

How could you leave off Cubs Hall-of-Famer, Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown, aka Three-Finger Brown?

RS Gray said...

As a kid, "Shake n Bake" McBride was my favorite player because of his nickname. He also finishes a close second to Oscar Gamble in "Best MLB Afro".

Brian Phillips said...

The last entry puts an entirely different spin on "Tebeau-ing".

Brian Phillips said...

Also, according to this site,

Charles Tebeau was the player that you are referring to. The one pictured here is Oliver Tebeau, who, in contrast, had the rather masculine nickname of "Patsy".

YEKIMI said...

And the Cleveland Indians, Fausto "INSERT REAL NAME HERE" Carmona.

Phillip B said...

Some baseball nicknames came from that wonderful subtle humor you often find in men's locker rooms -

At least 8 players were known as "Dummy" As far as I know only Dummy Hoy was actually deaf...

All the players known as "Specs" wore glasses, and most of them known as "Stretch" were rather tall. Or at least Willie McCovey was...

Hundreds of players have been known as Lefty - including Lefty Grove and Steve Carlton - I'm betting all were left handed...

And it took a decade for Richie Allen to be known as Dick, although we knew he always was...

Marovitch said...

The pride of Chestertown, Maryland: Bill "Swish" Nicholson! (Great statue of him there)

james said...

How about Stubby Clapp? Played for the Cardinals as recently as 2001. He was a little spark plug for a few games that summer, got the love of the fans, even though his name sounds like a bad case of VD

DLG said...

Boof Bonser

Cap'n Bob said...

You have Daffy Dean but not Dizzy (or did I miss it?). When I first watched ESPN and Chris "Keep the Home Fires" Berman was doing the baseball scores, his clever nicknames kept me highly amused. Tom "Leave It To" Seaver, Bert "Be Home" Blylevin, and the various guys named Cruz.
I recall William "The Refrigerator" Perry, too. I guess he was big enough for two nicknames.

AlaskaRay said...

How could you mention Daffy Dean and not his more famous brother Dizzy? I have very fond memories of Dizzy Dean.


VP81955 said...

You forgot Coot Veal, infielder for the expansion 1961 Senators.

vicernie said...

and don't forget "Who's" on first.

BobMastro said...

How could you forget Rusty Kuntz??? The greatest name in all of baseball...

Tom Michael said...

"Van Lingle Mungo" was his real name, not a nickname. Also, let's not forget Bonehead Merkle.

D. McEwan said...

"Humpy McElven"

I stopped usng that nickname years ago.

Anonymous said...

Vinegar BEND Mizell, which sounds cooler than Vinegar Ben, but loses points for being the name of his hometown.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

"Other than Coco Crisp, Big Papi and The Big Hurt, Capt. Chaos and El Caballo from the White Sox , I can't think of any others from the past 20 years."

Goes back a bit more than 20 years, but there's also Bill Spaceman Lee. And I don't know if it qualifies as a knickname since his own parents saddled him with it, but I get a kick out of Milton Bradley.

jbryant said...

Phillip B: Yeah, my grandpa and his Navy buddies were quite fond of that "subtle," literal-minded nicknaming. The short guy was "Shorty," the one-eyed guy was "One Eye," and the guy with the crooked arm was (my favorite) "Crooked Arm."

Sue said...

In the last 20 years we have had:

David Wells-Boomer
Reggie Jackson-Mr.October
Randy Johnson-The Big Unit(make of that what you will and I know someone will)
Ryan Braun-The Hebrew Hammer
Tony Gwynn-Mr Video
Greg Maddux- Mad Dog

and I am sure there are many more.

Craig M said...

My brother and I loved staying up late perusing our 1974 Baseball Encyclopedia looking at the weird names. One of our favorites: The Only Nolan.

Dale Paynter said...

I attribute the decline of the Mariners to the practice of just adding a "y" to part of every players name to form a nickname. I wonder if Chone Figgins would be an all-star if he was called Bow Wow instead of Figgy.

Ken Copper said...

A few years back I had high hopes for a young Padre with the handle: Stubby Clapp

JED said...

It was "Vinegar Bend" Mizell - because he was born in Vinegar Bend, AL.

LouOCNY said...

The old Raiders had a TON of great nicknames:



Mad Bomber


The Assassin

Lester The Molester

Ghost (as in 'Ghost to the Post'

Mad Stork

Old Mother Hubbard

Hell, even the COACH had a great nick: Big Red

iain said...

Pussy Tebeau: Baseball legend & rejected Bond Girl.

RS Gray said...

Phillip B. - Don't forget the several guys named "Rube", too. At least three of them are in the Hall of Fame - Albert Bishop "Rube" Foster (of Calvert, TX), Richard William "Rube" Marquardt (from Cleveland, OH (I guess when you play for the Giants, everyone not from NY is a Rube), and George Edward "Rube" Waddell.

Cap'n Bob - Berman's shtick has gotten tired, mostly because he evidently hasn't seen a new movie or heard a new song since Bob Seger had dark hair (and if I have to hear his shitty John Facenda impersonation one more time...), but back in the early 90s I liked his nicknames so much I used to write a list of the best ones. My favorites were always Scott "I Want to Take You On a" Secules, Carlos "One If By Land, Two If By Sea, Three if" Baerga, and Jamey "If Lovin' You Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be" Wright.

Jamee said...

Lou H. said...

Lately there's been a photo being passed around of soon-to-be Mets infielder Chin-lung Hu, standing on first base.

Dan Tedson said...

Bow Wow does resemble a basset hound.

Dan Tedson said...

If you're ever broadcasting a throwback game, you should give all the players names from this list. Particulary Turkeyfoot, Sweetbreads, and Pussy. Mmmm...


DwWashburn said...

I like that phrase "pitchers and catchers reporting later this month". We can finally get back to a real game. You can have your "big game" this Sunday (I don't call it it's real name because I haven't paid multi millions to overpaid players and owners). Give me the crack of the bat and the slap of cowhide (or whatever they use now) in leather. Can't wait for the Cardinals to try and defend their world championship.

Dan H. said...

Ken - you missed Choo Choo Coleman, who was recently featured in an article in the NY Times...

Hope you are enjoying your trip.

Dan H. (Yes, that one).