Nicknames and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly.
There are literally thousands of different nicknames that baseball players have acquired though their careers, and we all have our favorites.
Making a list of the top 50 nicknames is difficult, because there are some great players and nicknames that have to be left off the list. So I guess I'm apologizing in advance if I left your favorite off the list.
Here are the top 50 nicknames in MLB history:
A great nickname, but completely fabricated by legendary A’s owner Charlie Finley. Finley wanted Hunter to have a colorful nickname, so he made him memorize a story about catching a lot of catfish after running away as a child. The rest is history.
Say it ain’t so, Joe. Shoeless Joe Jackson is one of the fallen heroes of the game, and his nickname colorfully represented his playing career as one of baseball’s greatest ball players.
Both Sparky Lyle and Sparky Anderson had major contributions to baseball, ranking among the best closers and managers of all time, respectively. Anderson got his nickname as a player because he argued with umpires too much, a trend he would continue as manager of the Big Red Machine and the Tigers.
Speaking of Sparky Anderson, his other nickname, Captain Hook was well earned due to his willingness to use his bullpen if a pitcher faltered.
The Georgia Peach
Anyone who saw the film Cobb knows this is one of the more ironic names in baseball, but it still is one of the most long-standing nicknames of all time.
The Tall Tactician
Connie Mack was such a visionary for the game of baseball, he became known as "The Tall Tactician."
He still wants to play two...
When we think of Cubs, we think of the lovable losers and Ernie Banks. Banks was an all-time great who loved baseball so much, he started the popular “let’s play two” saying.
Before Babe Ruth, there was Frank "Home Run" Baker, a slugger so feared that "Home Run" became his nickname. He earned the moniker after hitting a clutch home run during the 1911 World Series.
Speaking of visionaries and great tacticians, John McGraw started the granddaddy of all managing trees that still exists today in the form of Don Mattingly, Buck Showalter and many others.
He was a brilliant manager that well earned the nickname "Little Napoleon" for both his on- and off-the-diamond maneuverings to forward his baseball career.
A lot of baseball men earned the nickname Buck, but none quite like "Buck" Showalter, who used to hang out in the locker rooms “Buck” naked. I hope that he doesn’t anymore.
Outside of Ty Cobb, who else means more to Tiger baseball than Al Kaline?
Harmon Killebrew killed the ball, and the first two syllables of his last name sounds like “killer.” This was simply a match made in heaven.
Bill Mazeroski was one of the best defensive second basemen ever, but he will forever be known as the man who hit the walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series to defeat the Evil Empire.
Few players struck more fear into the heart of pitchers like Yaz. Carl Yastrzemski represented Boston baseball for parts of three decades, and he is the most important person in team history outside of Ted Williams.
Stan “The Man” Musial is St. Louis Cardinals baseball, so it’s appropriate he is called “The Man” in St. Louis, and around the country.
One of St. Louis’ most beloved ballplayers, Ozzie Smith graced the diamond for decades, and his defensive mastery earned him the moniker, “The Wizard of Oz.”
How many people know Babe Ruth’s real name was George Herman Ruth? Babe was the greatest ballplayer of all time, and it’s only fitting his nickname makes this list.
The Iron Horse
Was there ever a nickname that better suited its owner? Gehrig was an iron horse, because he played for 15 years without missing a game, and was one of the best players of all time.
In fact, he was well on his way to breaking all of Babe Ruth’s records before he was tragically stricken with ALS.
The Yankee Clipper
Joe DiMaggio embodied the Yankee way like no one else. He was one of the greatest players and Yankees of all time, and he did everything to perfection.
DiMaggio’s commitment to excellence made it only fitting that he be called the Yankee Clipper.
Yogi Berra’s nickname was so good, a cartoon was made using his name: Yogi Bear. One thing’s for sure, Yogi was smarter than the average catcher.
Who was better than Reggie Jackson in October? Enough said.
Derek Jeter’s clutch performance in the 2001 World Series earned him the moniker of Mr. November.
Sure, he didn’t hit for a high average, but he got clutch hits when they counted, and it’s tough to dispute the awesomeness of five World Series rings.
The Splendid Splinter
Ted Williams could rake, and was possibly the greatest hitter of the modern era of baseball. No nickname could be better for such a great pure hitter.
Jimmie Foxx is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and XX went well for him because of the two X’s at the end of his last name.
The Kentucky Colonel
Earle Combs did not make fried chicken, but was known as one of the most gallant and gentlemanly players both on and off the field.
"They wouldn't pay baseball managers as much a salary if they all presented as few problems as did Earle Combs," said legendary Yankee manager Joe McCarthy.
The Big Train
Walter Johnson was at the forefront of baseball’s first crop of great pitchers in the modern era. He pitched at a high level for years and was unstoppable, like a train.
No one played harder on the diamond than Pete Rose, and no one lived harder off the field than Pete Rose, making it an appropriate nickname for the legend.
Did you know Whitey Ford gave Rose his nickname after seeing him attempt to steal a home run from Mickey Mantle?
Poosh ‘Em Up Tony
Tony Lazzeri was one of the key cogs in the Yankees teams of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
One of the game’s first Italian-American players, he was known for his five-tool talents, and he earned the moniker of Poosh “Em Up Tony.
Both Hank Aaron and Greenberg earned this nickname for their ability to hammer a baseball into the stratosphere. Aaron is more synonymous with the name, and rightfully so, as he is still considered by many the true and legitimate home run king.
Despite his small stature, Wee Willie Keeler made a ton of contributions to baseball. He coined the phrase “Hit ‘em where they ain’t,” as well as being the reason bunts that go foul with two strikes are considered outs.
Pee Wee and The Scooter
One of baseball’s all time characters, Phil Rizzuto was affectionately known as “The Scooter” to his fans because of his speed and short stature. A teammate said he looked like a scooter going around the bases, and the nickname stuck.
Another short yet brilliant ballplayer. Pee Wee Reese was a part of the Dodger teams that consistently won NL pennants throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
Albert Pujols' production is machine-like, as he has produced at least 30 HR and 100 RBIs every year of his career. All hail "The Machine."
Carlos Lee’s production throughout his career earned him the nickname “El Caballo,” which translates to the horse. Basically, Lee is so good, he can carry an entire team on his back, much like a horse.
Few pitchers had more hype than Felix Hernandez did when he entered the Major Leagues. He was so highly thought of, that his nickname became King Felix. His high level of production made the nickname stick.
Maybe the only other pitcher with as much hype as King Felix, Roger Clemens had ridiculous stuff, and a blistering fastball that earned him the nickname “The Rocket.”
He became one of the greatest players in baseball history, but would have his reputation marred by allegations of steroid use after his career ended.
The Chairman of the Board
Whitey may be Whitey Ford’s better-known nickname, but he is the best big-game pitcher in baseball history, earning him the nickname “The Chairman of the Board.”
Few players had a more publicized debut than the Cuban phenom Orlando Hernandez. He was such an elite talent, he earned the nickname of “El Duque,” which translates to “The Duke“.
El Duque would go on to be one of baseball’s best postseason pitchers.
Few pitchers were better during a given time period than Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. He dominated for one incredible season, but his eccentricities that earned him the nickname of The Bird.
In the 1980's and early 1990's, Don Mattingly was New York baseball. He was well on the way to a sure-fire Hall of Fame career before nagging back injuries sapped Mattingly’s strength.
He still accomplished enough to be affectionately remembered as Donnie Baseball.
David Ortiz's big-time heroics and production made him the big daddy in Boston. Despite steroid allegations, Papi is still a legend for the Red Sox.
In one of baseball’s most inspirational stories, Mordecai Brown managed to recover from a series of horrible injuries to have a Hall of Fame career.
Oh, and he did it with only three fingers on his pitching hand, hence the nickname, “Three Fingered.”
The Flying Dutchman
Honus Wagner became known as "The Flying Dutchman" for his stellar play, super speed and his heritage. He is also the subject of the world's most expensive baseball card.
Carlton Fisk was the original Pudge, and the greatest. His large frame and big-time production made him a legend in Boston, and the greatest catcher in Red Sox history.
A combination of “The Project” and “The Donkey,” Travis Hafner acquired this nickname for his inability to run the base paths effectively.
However, he was still able to hammer the baseball at the plate, and became all-world for a couple of years, making the nickname stick.
Tom Seaver was nothing short of terrific his entire career, and is remembered as the greatest pitcher in Mets‘ history. It’s only apropos he became known as Tom Terrific.
Quite a few great pitchers great pitchers have earned the nickname “Lefty” over the years. They’re always lefties, too.
The Say Hey Kid
Willie Mays played baseball how everyone should play it: with heart, joy and respect. He will forever embody the youthful enthusiasm that made baseball America’s pastime.
No player embodied an era like Mickey Mantle. Everyone wanted to be the Mick, who ruled New York for two decades of dominance. "The Mick" simply shortened his first name, but it was still a great way to address him.
The Duke of Flatbush
Duke Snider was the third in a triumvirate of great New York centerfielders, along with Mays and Mantle. Together they served as the inspiration for the classic song, "Talkin’ Baseball."
The Duke was one of baseball’s greatest players, and despite his death just weeks ago, represents the best of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.