From A-Rod to Webby: Nicknames in the MLB

Glenn DarbySenior Analyst IMarch 26, 2008

My wife and I have a habit of writing in player's nicknames as we fill out our scorecard.  We don't always assume the popular nickname either.  There are times that we find it un-original or just out of character.

Arizona Diamondbacks Roster—As Written by Me

Chris "The Gloveless Wonder" Young
Justin "J-Up" Upton
Jeff "Sally" Salazar
Eric "Byrnsie" Byrnes
Chad "Princessa" Tracy
Mark "Tin Man" Reynolds
Augie "AUGIE!" Ojeda
Conor "CoJack" Jackso
Orlando "Black Hole" Hudson
Stephen "Dreeeeeeewww" Drew
Chris "Snydley Whiplash" Snyder
Miguel "Monte" Montero
Robby "Ham-hock" Hammock
Brandon "Webby" Webb
Doug "Slate" Slaten,
Yusmeiro "Yusi" Petit
Tony "Pena Colada" Pena
Jailen "J-lin" Peguero
Micah "O-wings" Owings
Dustin "Dusty Nipps" Nippert
Brandon "B.Med" Medders
Brandon "Lyon's Roar" Lyon
Randy "Big Unit" Johnson
Doug "Hourglass" Davis
Juan "Cruizin" Cruz

Of course, this year the D-backs have added Juan Gutierrez, Chad Qualls, and Chris Burke.  I have yet to come up with anything for these guys.

Do the Houston fans have nicknames for these guys?  How about Danny Haren?  Does anyone in Oakland pride themselves on a nickname for Danny Haren?  

Nicknames are an interesting part of baseball.  There are some players who are notorious for their much so that the average fan may not be able to tell you the player's real name.

George Herman Ruth was not quite as famous as his nickname—"Babe."

George Lee Anderson was one of the greatest managers of his time, but you will get blank stares unless you call him by his nickname—"Sparky." 

Lawrence Peter Berra caught some of the greatest Yankee wins in history under the name "Yogi."

These sorts of nicknames are not quite as common today, but Ivan Rodriguez surely gets mistakenly called "Pudge" by someone who thinks it is his real first name.  Surely Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones and Covelli "Coco" Crisp can attest to that.

Then there are the clever nicknames.  The ones that make you laugh, have marketing tie-ins, or just sound good.


"The Hebrew Hammer" Ryan Braun, "The Flyin Hawaiian" Shane Victorino, "The Greek God of Walks" Kevin Youkilis.


"Speed Limit" Russell Martin because he throws out runners,  "K-dro" Pedro Martinez, "K-Rod" Fransisco Rodriguez, because they strike out players.

Stupid Gay Jokes

"Man-Ram" Manny Ramirez, "Gay-Rod" Alex Rodriguez are my favorites.

There are tons—every player out there needs a nickname.  It's a way for you to identify with the player, a way to connect.

Players without nicknames are just not that good.  Even sub-par players who have cult followings have nicknames like "Boof Bosner."

There are certain situations that can create a nickname (see: Joel "Guitar Hero" Zumaya), and then there are performances that warrant them (see: Derek "Mr. November" Jeter). 

Do your team a favor and start working on nicknames.  They can be as creative as Nick "Swisher-Sweet" Swisher, or as boring as "Richie" Rich Harden. 

But please, let's stop the hyphenations of first and last names (A-Rod, J-Roll, and the like will thank you later).  Oh, and for god's sake, adding a "-y" or "-ie") to a person's name is not acceptable. 


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