Saturday, March 12, 2016

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 spring training now underway, 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


Richard Y said...

The result of becoming too PC in this world.

LouOCNY said...

Urban Shocker was his real name:

As was Van Lingle Mungo - Although I bet the only person who ever referred to him as such was Dave Frishberg:

it's hard to give a good nickname to someone who's worth 50 billion dollars...

VP81955 said...

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

Elf said...

Was today's column ghost-written by Keith Olbermann?

Mike said...

To save embarrassment, Lady Baldwi changed his name to Anida Merkin.

Anonymous said...

Vinegar Bend Mizell

Alan C said...

Van Lingle Mungo was his real name, but it's still a great one.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Boy, these would have been great names for '60's Top 40 jocks, too!

CRL said...

The New York Mets recently had a minor league pitcher named Lefty Febrillet.

Who threw right-handed.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Of course, we can't forget Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones," Elwin "Preacher" Roe, or Charles Albert "Chief" Bender.

Maybe closer to Opening Day, you can list favorite baseball movies -older ones that you watched as a kid. It's about time for "Pride of the Yankees," "The Stratton Story," "It Happens Every Spring" and "Angels in the Outfield" - the original with the great Paul Douglas, who was also the catcher in "It Happens Every Spring." We can skipping "The Winning Team," and "The Babe Ruth Story," even though I love William Bendix.

Interesting item about Douglas was that Billy Wilder had reportedly selected him for the part in "The Apartment" that Fred MacMurray eventually played, but Douglas died of a heart attack two days before filming was to begin. He also had just completed a baseball-themed TWILIGHT ZONE episode called "The Mighty Casey," that Rod Sterling decided to re-shoot with Jack Warden.

Tim W. said...

This is something I've been lamenting about in basketball for years. Dr. J. Larry Legend, Magic Johnson, Air Jordan, Karl "The Mailman" Malone, The Mound Round of Rebound, Charles Barkley, Gary "The Glove" Payton, etc, etc. And that's just in the 80's and 90's.

Now, you've got CB4 (the player's initials and jersey number), CP3 (yes, there is more than one with a similar nickname), KG (again, initials). You know what the reigning MVP and possible best player in the league, Stephen Curry's nickname is? Steph. That's a nickname, apparently.

Michael said...

It brings to mind the time an editor at The New York Times noticed a byline: Isadore Barmash. He sent a memo to the executive editor that said, "That's not even a good rhetorical question."

Ken could have mentioned two of the greatest broadcaster nicknames: The Gunner and the Possum, Bob Prince and Jim Woods. Woods became The Possum when Enos Slaughter noticed his crew cut and said he'd seen better heads on a possum. Woods tagged Prince The Gunner after he offered to buy a woman a drink and her husband pulled a gun on him. Somehow, I think Vin has led a much less interesting life.

LouOCNY said...

Then there's William Frawley, who is ubiquitous in baseball - actually sports movies in general - in the period from the mid forties all the way through 1962's SAFE AT HOME, starring those great thespians Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. One of note is KILL THE UMPIRE, where he runs an umpire school that William Bendix attends.

Frawley was a huge sports fan, who had a clause in his Lucy contract in which if the Yankees were in that year's World Series, he would be given off so he could attend it! Of course, that was when the Yankees were in the Series almost every year! He also owned a piece of the old Hollywood Stars of the PCL (back when the Pacific Coast League was actually on the Pacific Coast!),and was generally welcomed in locker rooms everywhere.

Smilodon said...

Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

BobinVT said...

I think it boils down to the fact that nicknames have mostly disappeared in the general population. When I was growing up, most of my crowd had nicknames: runt, cheetah, worm, fish pole, etc. For some of them, these nicknames WERE their names. To this day I cannot recall worm's real first name. I have two kids, both in their 30s, and none of their friends go by nicknames. Sports just mirrors the culture.

tb said...

I'm gonna steal Boob McNair, that's my name from now on

Cap'n Bob said...

Daffy Dean but not Dizzy? Maybe he is too well known to make the list. How about Luke "Old Aches and Pains Appling? And I have to admit that when I first got cable and heard Chris "Keep the Home Fires" Berman do his player nicknames I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Don K. said...

The Cubs played the Reds yesterday in Mesa, AZ. The Reds had a pitcher named Rookie Davis, real first name William. His dad named him at birth.

Hank Gillette said...

Who could forget Arlie “The Freshest Man On Earth” Latham?
Bob “Death to Flying Things” Ferguson?
And the immortal Hugh “Losing Pitcher” Mulcahy?

Anonymous said...

You left out Abbott and Costello's infield: "Who," "What," "I Don't Know," and "I Don't Care."


Blair Ivey said...

I'm pretty sure 'Fish Hook Stout' is a microbrew in Portland.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Hands-down the best mascot in sports - not just baseball. No matter how bad the game, the Phillie Phanatic alone is worth the price of admission. From yesterday's Phillies-Blue Jays pre-game.

noway said...

Love the blog.. As to your baseball nickname list, just thought I'd add Tommy "Buckshot" Brown. Played 10 years for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cubs and Phillies. He witnessed firsthand Jackie Robinson's history making, color barrier breaking first season as his teammate. Still alive and well, 1 of only a few from that team.

noway said...

I should add Tommy "Buckshot" Brown is the youngest player in major league history to hit a homerun.

David G. Whitham said...

I'm disappointed that no one mentioned Walt "No Neck" Williams

Ed Dempsey said...

What! No Boog Powell. Just curious, were you responsible for one of Sam Malone's best moment in the Majors when he retired Boog in both games of a double header.

Bob Sharp said...

Don't forget the Georges: "Frenchy" Bordagaray and "Shotgun" Shuba

How about Leon "Daddy Wags" Wagner

and the immortal Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra

Alan C said...

One more: Johnny Dickshot (whose real name is already a hoot) was nicknamed "Ugly."

Phineas Farquhar said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

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