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Keister Button 1
My friend had a March Madness game going on her MLB blog in which the most fascinating and fun-to-say players' names ("Rusty Kuntz", for example) were voted upon.
Posted by Keister Button on April 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
Gerald Fnord 2
"Y'know the players have got all kinds of nicknames these days, like 'Dizzy Dean', and 'Daffy Dean'....

Who's on first?" This post.
Posted by Gerald Fnord on April 15, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this
@2 That shit is copyrighted, so I didn't go there. Saving it for a slow day. Or its anniversary!

@1 Mudcat Grant--one of the great nicknames ever--once insisted on an Indians TV broadcast, while reading the names of two fans who wrote the broadcasters, in calling them the "Kunts" sisters, rather than the "Koontz" sisters. . . American English is a great thing.
Posted by Chicago Fan on April 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
Go Bruins!
Posted by DOUG. on April 16, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this
Fnarf 5
The best nicknames are found well down the list, far from the Hall of Famers. My favorite is Johnnie "Ugly" Dickshot, which isn't the most poetic but is certainly eye-catching. Ping Bodie is pretty mellifluous. You could also make a case for natural given names; Van Lingle Mungo didn't NEED a nickname to achieve immortality.

The Mariners had a pitcher named Dick Pole on their first roster. Not a nickname.
Posted by Fnarf on April 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Fnarf 6
PS - Moses Fleetwood Walker deserves a mention here, on both accounts -- he had a great baseball name, and he was the first African-American to play major league baseball, for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. His brother played too. This is typical in American society; Jim Crow was not an extension of pre-Civil War attitudes but a new set of restrictions. The color line was drawn in the late 80s, early 90s. Remember that before segregation on New Orleans streetcars was imposed in 1890 (cf. Plessy v. Ferguson), blacks, whites and creoles could sit anywhere they wished.
Posted by Fnarf on April 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this

Absolutely on all counts. And who helped impose that color line in Baseball? HOFer Cap Anson, who managing the Cubs (then the White Stockings) refused to play Walker's Blue Stockings. The first year he tried it, the Toledo club stood up to him; the second year, they caved and within a couple of years all the minor leagues had color lines, and since the minors feed the majors, done deal.
Posted by Chicago Fan on April 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
TLjr 8
Hmm. Didn't Rachel often refer to him as Jackie? I need to dust off the Roger Kahn books.
Posted by TLjr on April 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
@8: Yes, she did (and still does).

I'm not sure where Chicago Fan comes up with the idea that his name was changed to "make him less threatening and more palatable to white audiences." I don't think he was known as "Jack" at UCLA.
Posted by DOUG. on April 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 10
@ 8 and 9, his wikipedia entry includes this paragraph, where Rachel Robinson refers to him as "Jack" twice, but not "Jackie:"

In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
DOUG. 11
@10: Interesting. I was reading a current SI article on Rachel Robinson last night. Indeed all the references to "Jackie" are by other folks, while the one time she uses his name, it's "Jack".

I'm still not sure that the name change was meant to appease a white audience. I've heard this about Louis Armstrong, but not Jackie Robinson.
Posted by DOUG. on April 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this

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