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Also Read: Baseball Names and How They Got That Way! (Parts I - V)
Part VI Part VII Part VIII   Part IX  Part X  Part XI Part XII Part XIII Part XV Part XVI Part XVII Part XVIII Part XIX Part XX Part XXII

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

                Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports


Baseball Names and How They Got That Way! Part XXII (O)

      The words and phrases are spoken and written day after day, year after year - generally without any   wonderment as to how they became part of the language. All have a history, a story. For those of you who liked Part I, Part II, Part III, X, XV and all the others and wanted more, here is more, just a sampling. As always, reactions and suggestions always welcome. And bear in mind - - this is by no means a complete list. 

Oakland Athletics   The former Philadelphia Athletics franchise from 1901-1954 was the Kansas City Athletics. Then from 1955-1967 the team was the Oakland A’s, in 1968 then to the Athletics in 1987.  

OCTOPUS, THE  Marty Marion was a fine fielding shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1940s into the 1950s – he had long arms and legs. 

 OIL CAN   Former colorful hurler Dennis Boyd  grew up and learned to play ball in the deep south.  He would get so thirsty that the beverage drank in his phrase was”just like drankin' ole]." 

OLD FPX  Name given to pilot-manager Clark Grifith of the old Highlanders because of his cunning ways.  
OKLAHOMA KID  The young Mickey Mantle came from Oklahoma.

OLD ACHES AND PAINS Luke Appling performed for two decades with the Chicago White Sox. A .310 lifetime batting average was just one of the reasons he was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 1964. His nickname stemmed from the numerous real and imagined illnesses he picked up playing in 2,422 games, while averaging better than a hit a game. Appling was born April 2, 1907, and in 1950 was still playing major  league baseball, aches, pains, and all.

OLD HOSS Charles Radbourne was known as  Charles or Charley until his amazing 1884 season, when he pitched 678 innings and earned the nickname.                                  

OLD RELIABLE Tommy Henrich played for the New York Yankees from 1937 to 1950. His lifetime batting average was only .282, but the value of Henrich to the Yankees was in his clutch hitting. Time after time he would come up in a key situation and deliver. His nickname had its roots in his ability to function under pressure and to perform reliably with distinction.

OLE PERFESSOR  Hall of Famer Charles Dillon Stengel was an original. Born on July 30, 1890, in Kansas City, Missouri, he played in the majors for 14 years and managed for 25 more—with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves, the New York Yankees (10 pennants), and the New York Mets (four tenth-place finishes). He had seen it all, and in one of his more coherent statements, he said, "This here team won't win anything until we spread enough of our players around the league and make the others [teams] horseshit, too." The statement underscored the ineptitude of the early Mets. Loquacious, dynamic, vital, Casey could lecture on baseball and life for hours and hours, and that was just part of the reason for his nickname. Actually, in 1914 Stengel held the title of professor at the University of Mississippi, for he spent that year's spring-training coaching baseball at that institution. That's how he really came by his nickname.

ON DECK A term describing a player stationed in the batter’s  on deck circle in front of the dugout, preparing to be the next batter to come up and hit.

ONE AND ONLY Babe Ruth, he was.    

ONE-ARMED PETE GRAY Born Peter J. Wyshner (a.k.a. Pete Gray) on March 6, 1917, Gray was a longtime New York City semipro star who played in 77 games for the St. Louis Browns in 1945. He actually had only one arm and played center field with an unpadded glove. He had an intricate and well developed routine for catching the ball, removing the ball from his glove, and throwing the ball to the infield. Gray hit .218 for the Browns, not bad for a hitter with only one arm. 

$100,000 INFIELD That was the price tag and the nickname given to Eddie Collins, "Home Run" Baker, Stuffy McInnis, and Hack Barry, the players who composed the infield for Connie Mack's 1914 Philadelphia Athletics.


OPPOSITE FIELD The part of the field opposite the batter's box a hitter occupies. Thus, right field is the opposite field for a hitter who bats right, and left field is the opposite field for a hitter who bats from the left side of the plate.





Harvey Frommer is his 34th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 40 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." Frommer's newest work CELEBRATING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION is next.

Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.

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