Also Read: Whats In a Baseball Name?
All About (sort of) B in Baseball Names
By Dr. Harvey Frommer
For all of you who enjoyed All About A here is All About B.
With the season upon us and baseball in the air and on the tongue, herewith a primer for novices and super experts. Enjoy, and keeps those letters and suggestions coming.
BABE George Herman Ruth leads off
the list and paces the list in most nick-names acquired. First called "Babe"
by teammates on the Baltimore Orioles, his first professional team because
of his youth, G.H.Ruth was also called
"Jidge" by Yankee teammates, short for George.
He called most players "Kid," because he couldn't remember names, even of
his closest friends. Opponents called him "The Big Monk" and
Many of Babe Ruth's nick-names came from over-reaching sports writers who attempted to pay tribute to his slugging prowess:
"The Bambino", "the Wali of Wallop", "the Rajah of Rap", "the Caliph of Clout", "the Wazir of Wham", and "the Sultan of Swat", The Colossus of Clout, Maharajah of Mash, The Behemoth of Bust, "The King of Clout."
Other Yankee nick-names, expressions, bon mots of note for "Babe" and "Ruth." In spring training 1927, Babe Ruth bet pitcher Wilcy Moore $l00 that he would not get more than three hits all season. A notoriously weak hitter, Moore somehow managed to get six hits in 75 at bats. Ruth paid off his debt and Moore purchased two mules for his farm. He named them "Babe" and "Ruth."
BABE RUTHS LEGS Sammy Byrd was used as a pinch runner for Ruth.
BAM-BAM Hensley Meulens could speak about five languages and had a difficult name to pronounce.
BANTY ROOSTER Casey StengelS nickname for Whitey Ford because of his style and attitude.
BAT DAY In 1951, Bill Veeck ("as in wreck") owned the St. Louis Browns, a team that was not the greatest gate attraction in the world. (It's rumored that one day a fan called up Veeck and asked, "What time does the game start?" Veeck's alleged reply was, "What time can you get here?") Veeck was offered six thousand bats at a nominal fee by a company that was going bankrupt. He took the bats and announced that a free bat would be given to each youngster attending a game accompanied by an adult. That was the beginning of Bat Day. Veeck followed this promotion with Ball Day and Jacket Day and other giveaways. Bat Day, Ball Day, and Jacket Day have all become virtually standard major league baseball promotions.
BIG POISON and LITTLE
Pittsburgh lineup. Paul was 5'8l/2'' and weighed 153 pounds. Lloyd was 5'9"
and weighed 150 pounds.
Paul was dubbed Big Poison even though he was smaller than Lloyd, who was called Little Poison. An older brother even then had privileges. But both players were pure poison for National League pitchers. Slashing left-handed line-drive hitters, the Waners collected 5,611 hits between them. Paul's lifetime batting average was .333, and he recorded three batting titles. Lloyd posted a career average of .316. They played a combined total of 38 years in the major leagues.
BILLYBALL the aggressive style of play utilized by Billy Martin
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball, 1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium was published in 2008 and his Remembering Fenway Park was published to acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on WHEN IT WAS JUST A GAME, AN ORAL HISTORY OF SUPER BOWL ONE.
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