Ranking MLB's Greatest Player Nicknames Today
It seems like just yesterday that the San Francisco Giants hoisted their World Series trophy, yet here we are less than two weeks away from MLB Opening Day.
Every team will have it's share of new faces when Opening Day finally arrives, but the fan favorites that have been leading their teams for years now are no doubt a focal point for the casual observer.
We all give our favorite figures their own nicknames as we watch them take the field day in and day out, though some of these namesakes are far more notable than others.
Here are some of the best nicknames in the game today.
12. Chris Perez
Nickname: Pure Rage
Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez may be a force to be reckoned with on the mound, but his rage isn't always limited to the game.
Just last season in a game against the Oakland Athletics, Perez got into a heated shouting match with a fan—rage at it's finest.
11. David Ortiz
Nickname: Big Papi
It's hard to find a player in the league that has more fun than David Ortiz.
Since being released by the Minnesota Twins a decade ago, Ortiz has been a superstar for the Red Sox, making eight All-Star appearances and averaging 34 home runs per season along the way.
His nickname may not be the most unique in MLB right now, but it's certainly one of the most widely known.
10. Torii Hunter
Torii Hunter first made a name for himself with the Minnesota Twins, frequently making even the most acrobatic of plays in center field look routine.
He may have lost a step since then, but Hunter still has plenty of range in the outfield and is capable of changing a game with his glove.
9. Felix Hernandez
Nickname: King Felix
As the cornerstone of a franchise that's struggled in recent seasons, Felix Hernandez is a player whom the Mariners simply couldn't afford to lose.
The contract extension he signed this offseason will give the fans in Seattle plenty of hope for the future and will ensure that the league sees one of the game's best pitchers for years to come.
8. Todd Helton
Nickname: The Toddfather
Since his debut in 1997, Todd Helton has played in 2,123 games over 16 seasons. The 2008 season, in which Helton appeared in only 83 games, and this past season, when he played only 69 times, are the only significant blemishes on an otherwise reliable resume.
He's been with the Rockies for nearly as long as they've been in existence, so it's easy to see how he's a Godfather of sorts in the clubhouse.
7. Tim Lincecum
Nickname: The Freak
With his exaggerated delivery and formerly shoulder-length hair, Tim Lincecum definitely walked to a different beat compared to many other MLB aces.
He's struggled on the mound in recent seasons, but is still a dangerous presence and can change a game at any moment.
6. Derek Jeter
Nickname: Mr. November
Derek Jeter's consistency has led the New York Yankees to multiple World Series rings and has put him up there with some of the best shortstops to play the game.
After appearing in only 15 games in 1995, Jeter found a permanent home with the team the following season and has since been one of the most consistently strong performers in Yankees history.
5. Ryan Braun
Nickname: Hebrew Hammer
Ryan Braun's name and reputation may have taken a hit last winter when word broke that he was facing a 50-game suspension for violating the PED policy in MLB, but the overturning of the suspension cleared his name and brought massive expectations.
Nevertheless, the Hebrew Hammer answered in a big way last season, hitting a career-high 41 home runs and playing a big part in Team USA's run through this year's World Baseball Classic.
4. Aroldis Chapman
Nickname: Cuban Missile
Aroldis Chapman isn't the first player to own this nickname, as White Sox infielder Alexei Ramirez also carries the Cuban Missile namesake along with him.
Chapman is, however, a more electrifying and well known player, and with Ramirez only stealing 20 bases once during his career, it's hard to see exactly how he picked up his moniker.
3. Shane Victorino
Nickname: Flyin' Hawaiian
Rhyming is a surefire way to come up with a catchy nickname, so giving the Flyin' Hawaiian moniker to Shane Victorino is definitely fitting.
2012 marked a career high in stolen bases for Victorino, as he swiped 24 with Philly and another 15 after heading west to Los Angeles.
2. Adam Dunn
Nickname: Big Donkey
The nickname Big Donkey is definitely one of the funniest in baseball, though I'm not sure I'd want to be given that namesake if I were Adam Dunn.
After struggling mightily during his first season in a White Sox uniform, the nickname was probably too kind, though he came back in a big way last season to the tune of 41 home runs and 96 RBI.
1. Pablo Sandoval
Nickname: Kung Fu Panda
Pablo Sandoval has gained somewhat of a cult following in San Francisco, as the Kung Fu Panda faithful love their third baseman and everything the overweight star brings to the field.
As long as his weight continues to be a concern of Giants' management we'll continue to see Sandoval referred to as the Panda. But if he continues to put up solid numbers, it's hard to have a problem with the way he goes about his business.