“All American Out” and
other Yankee Nicknames
for the greatest baseball franchise ever have run the gamut. Some of them are asinine. Some others are
insulting. There are even a few that have gone down in history and are
remembered for their relevance and insights. You
“All American Out” –
What Babe Ruth called Leo Durocher because of his limited hitting
“Almighty Tired Man” - Mickey Rivers, for his slouching demeanor
Idle" - Carl
Pavano was known as this because he could never stay on the field and
“An A-bomb from A-Rod” –
home run call, John Sterling
"Battle of the Biltmore" -
1947 World Series celebration in Manhattan's Biltmore Hotel was a time
place where Larry MacPhail drunkenly fought with everyone ending his
Ruth's Legs" - Sammy
Byrd, employed as pinch runner for Ruth and "Bam-Bam" for Hensley
Meulens, able to speak about five languages, but had a challenging name
some to pronounce.
"Banty rooster" - Casey Stengel’s nickname for Whitey Ford because of
his style and attitude.
“Barrows” – Jacob Ruppert’s corruption of Ed Barrow’s name
- the aggressive style of play favored
by Billy Martin.
Pants" - Lou Gehrig, reference to the way
he filled out his trousers.
Ryne" - Ryne
Duren’s vision, uncorrected -20/70 and 20/200.
Angel" - During 1923 season the space between the bleachers and
right-field foul line at Yankee Stadium was very asymmetrical causing
bounces. It was eliminated in 1924.
the Gob" - Bob Shawkey in 1918 served in the
Navy as a yeoman petty officer.
- David Wells, for
his in your face personality.
–George Steinbrenner and that he was. Reggie
had labeled the owner "the big guy
with the boats" long before he became the "The Boss"
"The Boston Massacre" -
Red Sox collapse in 1978 and the Yankee sweep of a four game series in
"Broadway" - Shortstop Lyn
Lary was married to Broadway star Mary Lawler.
"Bronx Bombers" - For the
borough and home run power of Yankees.
"Bronx Zoo" - A derogatory reference to off color Yankee behavior on
and off the playing field through the years and especially in the 1970s.
Waite Hoyt had starred at Brooklyn’s Erasmus High School.
– Hank Bauer, for his burly
- Jim Bouton was
Bob" - Bob Turley, for
the pop on his fastball.
“Bullet Joe” – Joe Bush, for the pop he also could put on his fastball
Steve Balboni, the primary DH of the 1990 Yankees, 17 homers but .192
Captain" - Derek
Jeter - was such an icon that the Yankees have yet to name a new
since his retirement.
Clutch” - Derek Jeter that he was
of the Board" -
Elston Howard coined it for Whitey Ford and his commanding and take
manner on the mound.
''Carnesville Plowboy'' - Spud
Chandler, for his hometown of Carnesville,
CAT-a-lyst" - Mickey
Rivers given this name by Howard Cosell.
Catfish" - James
Augustus Hunter was his real name but the world knew him as “Catfish,”
primarily because of Oakland A's owner Charles O. Finley.
ran away from home when he was a child, returning with two catfish. His
called him Catfish for a while. Finley decided that Jim Hunter was too
name a star pitcher and revived Hunter's childhood nickname.
"Columbia Lou" - Lou
Gehrig, for his collegiate roots.
Comet" - Mickey Mantle, out of Commerce,
Count" - Sparky
Lyle, handlebar mustache and lordly ways
Count" – John Montefusco, because his name reminded people of the Count
Jeter and Jorge Posada were
all drafted or signed as amateurs by the Yankees in the early 1990s.
playing in the minors together they made their debuts in 1995.
the four as a nucleus, the Yanks in next 17 seasons missed the playoffs
twice, played in the World Series seven times, won
five world championships.
Crow" - Frank Crosetti loud voice and chirpy
of the Bambino" - Since 1920 and the selling of Babe Ruth to the
by Boston owner Harry Frazee in 1920, the Yankees have won all those
championships. The Red Sox have won a few.
Longlegs" - Dave Winfield, for his size and long legs.
"Danish Viking" - George Pipgras,
for his size and roots
"Deacon" - Everett Scott,
for his not too friendly look.
Valley" - the old deep centerfield in Yankee Stadium.
- Gabe Paul, for
his telephone trading habits.
Baseball" - Don Mattingly’s nickname. Some say it was coined by Yankee
broadcaster Michael Kay; others say it came from Kirby Puckett. Kay
credit; Mattingly gives the credit to Puckett.
- affectionate abbreviation of Elston Howard's first
"El Duquecito" – Adrian Hernandez because of a pitching style
similar to Orlando "El Duque."
of the Emory Ball"
- Rookie right-hander Russ Ford posted a 26-6 record with 8 shutouts,
using that pitch.
“Figgy” – Ed Figueroa, short for his
surname which was tough, for some, to pronounce
"Five O'clock Lightning" -
At five o'clock the blowing of a whistle at a factory near Yankee
signaled the end of the work day in the 1930s and also the power the
were displaying to the opposition on the field.
- Johnny Murphy, the first to have this nick-name was the first great
pitcher. Joe Page picked up this nick-name for his top relief work
- Joe Gordon was fast, slick
fielding and hit line drives.
Ears” - Julie Wera. Was dubbed that by Babe Ruth. A backup infielder,
earned $2400, least on the ‘27 Yankees
Johnny" - for the
college Johnny Murphy attended.
manager" - Bucky Harris, who put his time in at the game and was
"Friday Night Massacre" -
April 26, 1974, Yankees Fritz Patterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene, Tom
and half the pitching staff were traded to Cleveland for Chris
Tidrow, and Ceil Upshaw.
"Gator" - Ron Guidry, for his hailing from Louisiana alligator
"Gay Caballero" - Lefty Gomez, for his Mexican roots and fun loving
"Gay Reliever" - Joe Page, for his night owl activity.
– The old
Bleachers in right-center at Yankee Stadium.
"The Godfather" - Joe Torre, for his Italian roots and his leadership
skills on the baseball field.
“Godzilla” - Hideki Matsui, his power earned him the moniker after the
packed film creature.
"Goofy" or "El Goofo" - Lefty Gomez, for his wild antics
"Gooneybird" - Don Larsen,
for his late-night behavior.
"Goose" – Richard Michael Gossage, for his loose and lively
- Johnny Murphy, for his pitching motion, rocking chair style. Another
explanation is that fellow Yankee Pat Malone gave him the name because
complaining nature especially as regards food and lodgings.
"The Great Agitator" - Billy
Great Debater" –
Tommy Henrich, for his sometimes loquacious and argumentative ways.
- Jack Chesbro, for his time as an attendant at the state mental
Middletown, New York where he pitched for the hospital team and showed
very pleasant disposition.
"Holy Cow" - One of Phil
Rizzuto's ways of expressing awe
(also “M & M Boys”) - Mickey Mantle and Roger
Maris, phrase coined in 1961.
Nose" - Pat Collins
via Babe Ruth, a reference to a facial feature.
Horse" - Lou Gehrig, for his power and
Joe" - Joe DiMaggio, for the jolting shots he hit.
Joe" - Joe Dugan, for being AWOL from his first big league club as a
Man" - Eddie Lopat, for frustrating hitters and keeping them off stride
with an assortment of slow breaking pitches thrown with cunning and
Colonel" - Earl
Combs, for his Kentucky roots.
King and the Crown Prince" - Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, self-evident.
Kong" - Charlie Keller, for his
muscular body type and black, bushy brows. Keller hated the
When Phil Rizzuto used it, Keller would pick him up in one hand and
stuff “the Scooter” into locker.
of Kennett Square" - Herb Pennock, for his raising of thoroughbreds and
hosting of fox hunts in his hometown of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
- Phil Niekro, for his knuckleball.
Lou" - Lou
Gehrig - Named by the press for his hitting, he also used the name for
barnstorming team he ran during the off-season.
Lip" - Leo Durocher, for his mouth.
George" - George Weiss, for his aloof ways.
Carrier "- Earle Combs,
for his speed and base stealing skills.
- Ralph Houk, for
rank held in the Armed Forces and demeanor.
nobody knows" - Bill Dickey, for his blandness.
of a Thousand Curves" – for Johnny Sain and
his assortment of curve balls.
in the Iron Hat" - Captain Tillinghast
L'Hommedieu Huston, for the same squashed derby hat he wore over and
Joe" - Joe McCarthy, for his commanding
Builder in Baseball" - Jacob Ruppert, and
that he was.
Merry Mortician" -Waite Hoyt, for his cheery
soul and off-season mortician work.
Mick" - short for Mickey (Mantle).
the Quick" - Mickey Rivers, for his speed.
Mouth" - for Mickey Rivers and his motor mouth.
Mite" - Miller Huggins, for his size and
- Jim Turner, for an off-season job
Automatic" - Mariano Rivera, for his
virtually unflappable behavior and special skills as a Yankee stopper.
May" - George Steinbrenner's sarcastic jibe
at Dave Winfield because of his postseason struggles as compared to
Jackson's successes and Mr. October nick-name.
Consistent” – Roy White, and that he was
November" - Derek
World Series home run, the first of November, 2001.
October" - In Game Five of the 1977 ALCS
Billy Martin benched Reggie Jackson. In a comeback win against Kansas
Jackson returned to slap a single. Thurman Munson sarcastically called
- Mariano Rivera, a shortening
- Bill Skowron’ s, grandfather called him
Mussolini because of a resemblance to Mussolini. As the story goes, the
shortened the nickname to "Moose."
Row" - Yankee lineup boasting powerful
batters: standard version was the meat of the 1927 lineup of Tony
Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Earl Combs and Bob Meusel. Backup
was the 1919 entry of Ping Bodie, Roger Peckinpaugh, Duffy Lewis and
- Many in the
press referred to the Mick as "muscles" because of his huge arms.
writers" - Casey Stengel's phrase for
journalists he was close to.
Harvey Frommer, a professor at
Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing
noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42
including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball,
best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed
Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park.
praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was
Frommer Baseball Classic –
Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports
effort. A link
to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/
prolific author is at work on
THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017) http://frommerbooks.com/advance-praise.html