Over the years, baseball has seen a plethora names show up in the box scores. There are Weathers, Raines and Snow; Whitehouse, Washington, and Lincoln; White, Black, Brown, Green, Gray, and Blue. Flowers, Daisy, and Rose. Shakespeare could make magic with just the last names of baseball players. There has been no shortage of nicknames, either. From the Babe to Big Boy, the Crime Dog and the Sheriff to the Capital Punisher, and the Big Hurt to Old Aches and Pains. Names are fun, and they keep comin’. Here are my current favorites.
Meet Marc Rzepczynski (REP-SHIN-SKEE). Traded to St. Louis midseason – great timing, no? – Rzep pitched well this year out of the bullpen between the Jays and Cards. He posted a 3.34 ERA and 3.14 FIP, but more importantly he scored 40 points. Points?!? Turns out if you add up the Scrabble point values for all the letters in his name, you’d get 40 points (pretend there are two Zs). And that’s before any double letters or triple words! Fittingly, Marc Rzepczynski’s nickname is “Scrabble.”
Braun is a somewhat fitting name for a guy who has hit 161 homeruns in his first five seasons. What could possibly make him more intimidating? Stepping up to the dish as “The Hebrew Hammer.” (Forget that Hebrew is a language, and a hammer that speaks only Hebrew is strange. The “Jewish” or “Israeli” Hammer wouldn’t be nearly as…alliterative). Parting seas and mashing bombs, the Hebrew Hammer has already eclipsed Moses’ power. I’m not even joking. The legend of the Hebrew Hammer may someday be found between Genesis and Exodus.
And, of course, The Beard. If a picture is truly worth 1000 words, then two pictures is like 1900 words (accounting for diminishing returns.)
La Gua Gua, Miggy Tejada’s nickname, means “The Bus.” According to Wikipedia, this is due to his ability to drive in runs. Once upon a time that was an apt nickname. Now he’s more La Bicicleta.
Contrasting his mediocre abilities, Coco Crisp’s name has the potential to be a fantastic breakfast cereal that would find its way onto my shelves in no time.
Todd Helton is…The Toddfather.
Adam Dunn goes by Big Donkey, and Matt Kemp, The Bison.
Everyone knows David Ortiz is Big Papi, but Mr. perfect-in-save-opportunities-this-season Jose Valverde is Papa Grande. Copyright issues pending.
*Thanks to Baseball-reference.com for the nicknames.