• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...

The Atlanta Braves used to have lots of players with cool nicknames. But according to Thomas Stinson of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, those days are long gone.

Fred From the AJC:

So what happened? Who are Huddy and Yatesie and Thormie and what did they do with the past? Sounds like roll call for the Mickey Mouse Club.

To be honest, it’s not just the Braves. It has happened all over baseball. Stylized noms de guerre have been replaced by a formula: take the first syllable (first or last name will do) and add a “y” or “ie.” It’s quicker. It’s cuter. It’s kinder.

It’s also nondescript, homogenized and disconnected to a time when Rico Carty was Beeg Boy and proud of it.

I think Stinson is dead on with his assessment of the state of nicknaming in the MLB. When “Big Papi” qualifies as the coolest moniker around, you’ve got a problem. And we’ve got a serious over-abundance of Rods (A-Rod, K-Rod, etc.) and Gonzos (Juan Gonzalez, Alex Gonzalez, etc.).

I don’t expect that baseball’s spate of boring nicknames will go away overnight. But it’s not like there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ve got the power of the internets on our side, after all. So let’s start assigning some cool nicknames!

As a little inspiration, here’s a list of nicknames belonging to Braves players past, as compiled by Stinson:

BEST OF BRAVES OLD-TIMERS

Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky

Terry Hank “The Hammer” Aaron

Darrell “Howdy Doody” Evans

Ralph “Road Runner” Garr

Orlando “Cha Cha” Cepeda

Larvell “Sugar Bear” Blanks

Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff

Greg “Mad Dog” Maddux

Andres “Big Cat” Galarraga

Phil “Knucksie” Niekro

Dale “Murf” Murphy

Terry “The Big Tub of Goo” Forster

Rico “Beeg Boy” Carty

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I think the first player we need to nickname is Ryan Howard. No fat baseball player should go nicknameless. The Philadelphia Inquirer sponsored a contest to choose a name for Howard a while back, but the winner, “The Broad Street Bomber,” didn’t really stick.

And no wonder. Like El Guapo, Big Papi and other portly players who have come before, Howard’s moniker should be a tribute to his heritage. And it should make reference to the fact that, you know, he’s wide.

So let’s pick a nickname for Howard. Who’s got an idea?

12 Responses to “In my day, candy was a penny, we walked five miles to school, and player nicknames were bad ass.”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    I don’t think it’s a conspiracy at all. I think that he was genuinely voted in for several reasons.

    1. His numbers merited it.
    2. People want to see the guy.
    3. He is still the face of baseball.
    4. The fans were not told by the media en masse NOT to vote for the guy (and yes, I do believe that most people claim they don’t want Bonds to break the record because that’s what they were told to feel).

    And I don’t think it’s much of a contradiction. Most fans don’t want him to break the record. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they hate him. Even if he is booed by a large crowd, it doesn’t mean that they all despise the guy. When fans in the crowd do the wave, not all of them want to. They do it because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. There’s a difference.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    You’re bringing me down, Paul.

  3. It wasn’t rigged, it’s just that every single person can, with a little effort, vote something like 90,000,000 times.

    So if enough people care to vote one of “their guys” in, they will. Remember AJ Pierszysnskdisdsida last year? With the whole White Sox “Punch AJ” nonsense? He got something like 300,000 votes in a week, pretty much all from White Sox fans, and voila, he got to go to the All-Star game, despite the fact he had no business being there, and there’s about six catchers in the AL better than he is.

    SF fans just kept voting for him, and now he goes. *shrug*

    At least once he breaks the record he’ll quit – hopefully – and we’ll be rid of the cheating windbag.

  4. Paul, I think your first comment hits the nail on the head. To add a bit, I would go so far as to say that many fans love to hate Bonds – hence the All-Star inclusion (all press is good press – even if they hate the guy, they see his name on the all-star ballot and are intrigued to punch it).
    Also, fans love to hate Selig. And to have Bonds participating in front of his hometown crowd in the All-Star game during the year in which he will break the all-time home run record is a slap in the face for Selig. Seriously.

    JUST IMAGINE IF BONDS WINS THE ALL-STAR M-V-P! What will Bud’s face look like during the trophy presentation??

  5. The reason Bonds was voted in?

    San Francisco is hosting the All Star game and he is the only one with a prayer of playing.

    Who else are you going to vote for? Zito? Molina? Durham? Aurilia?

    Hometown fans want somebody to cheer.

  6. Publius says:

    How about Ryan “The St. Charles Train” Ryan – being that he is fromSt. Charles, Missouri.

    OR Ryan “Flarin’ nostrils” Howard

    Homerin’ Howard

    Ry-Ry

    RY-noseroius Howard

    Hip-Hopotomus (oh wait, thats the Flight of the Conchords)

  7. I always remember Maddux being called “The Professor” by Braves commentators for his extremely focused style of play and nerdy spectacles.

  8. Dante Bichette says:

    Howard was and will forever be known as “BIG NOSE.” Short, simple, memorable. Nuff said.

  9. Stephen says:

    In Philly he\’s known as Rhino or The Howitzer.

  10. http://leftyjeb.blogspot.com/2007/07/fun-with-nickname-generator-on-slowest.html

    Kind of a silly post, but relative! Keep up the good work- Umpbump is one of the best baseball sites going.

  11. You neglected my favorite Brave’s name: Jim “Kerosene” Clancy…’cause that’s what he threw on every fire he came into.

  12. Ryan Howard is known in Wilmington, DE as either “Boom Tube” or “Soul Pole”.

    Ok??

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