Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to amuse me. And after all this heaviness of the past few days, you know, steroids and all, I’m in need of a little levity.
I have a fascination with names. Silly names, strange names, nicknames, why-would-anyone-name-their-child-that kind of names.
A few years ago, while wandering the brand-spankin’-new (at the time) Citizens Bank Park, I glanced into the visitors’ bullpen and saw this:
“Poor guy,” I thought, “I bet he was the butt of a lot of jokes while growing up.” Yeah, I know, really bad pun, but it does lend itself to that. But you can’t do much about your last name, you’re kind of stuck with it, unless you want to go the whole name-changing route.
One thing led to another (in my mind), and I came across this name:
Heinie! Apparently this was a common nickname in the early part of the 20th century, especially among German-Americans. It was usually used as a nickname for Henry. I guess “heinie” didn’t have the same connotations back then that it does now, as there were 23 Heinies in the big leagues at one time or another. This particular Heinie is in the Hall of Fame, in fact. But it must have eventually fallen out of favor, as the last big-league Heinie played in 1944.
This next poor soul not only had an unfortunate surname, but a less than flattering nickname as well:
In case you can’t read the signature, his name is Johnny Dickshot. According to Baseball-Reference.com, his nickname was Ugly. I’m not sure which one is worse.
Sometimes, parents inadvertantly choose a name which has a whole ‘nuther meaning they knew nothing about. I’m hoping that was the case here:
Merkin Valdez. Believe it or not, a merkin is a pubic wig. Now why there even exists such a thing as a pubic wig, I’m not sure I want to know.
I coudn’t resist these final two, even though they’re not baseball related:
Dick Trickle. Why not Richard, or Rich, or Rick? With a name like this, when ESPN Sports Center showed race results, he got mentioned every time, no matter where he finished in the race. I imagine Richard Trickle would not have.
Charles “Boobie” Clark. I guess when you’re a 6’2”, 240 lb football player, no one’s going to make jokes about your nickname no matter how odd it seems.
I’m sure there are other great/funny/strange names out there. Leave a comment and let me know about them!