Playing LOL-ball: Funniest names in baseball history | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Playing LOL-ball: Funniest names in baseball history

What’s in a name? A great many syllables, if you’re Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish. But while the former journeyman pitcher’s title is impressively weird, it has many rivals – most of them old-timey – for the goofiest name in professional baseball history.

I’ve compiled a brief, unordered list of those names. Who is the funniest? And whom, as I quickly scoured over a century of data, did I unjustly overlook?

Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, 1944-64 – Indians/Phillies/Cubs/Reds/Dodgers/White Sox

McLish’s father played for keeps. He wasn’t allowed to name his other seven children, so he made Cal’s name count – a title reminiscent of everyone’s favorite fictional U.S. President, Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

Tony Suck, 1883-84 – Augusta Browns

Tony may have the most amazing name of all – not just because it would suck to be named Suck, but because that surname aptly described the catcher’s lack of baseball prowess. Take a gander at the eye-popping stat line from his two year career:  205AB, .151BA, .205 OBP,.161 SLG, .864 FP.

Luckily for Tony, he probably wasn’t ever razzed about his name. An old, but still insightful piece at Futility Infielder points out that the use of “suck” as derogatory slang didn’t enter into American lexicon until 1971.

Skeeter Barnes 1983-1994 – Reds, Expos, Cardinals, Tigers

From the window to the wall, Skeeter rarely hit a longball. He had just 14 in his career.

Rusty Kuntz, 1979-85 – White Six, Tigers, Twins

With a name that sounds risky to Google image, Kuntz retired with just a .650 OPS and 5 home runs in his seven seasons as a backup outfielder.  

Dick Pole, 1973-78 – Red Sox, Mariners

Calling him Richard would be too formal.

Urban Shocker, 1916-28 – Browns, Yankees

If Shocker were still around, perhaps he would pursue a hip-hop career in his native Cleveland.

Razor Shines, 1983-87 – Expos, first base coach for the Mets 2009-2010

Shines didn’t get much playing time, but with a sweet name like that, does it matter?

Stubby Clapp, 2001 – Cardinals

Clapp’s given name is Richard, which prompts the question: why didn’t Dick ever stick as his nickname? It would have excellently complimented his last name.

Pussy Tebeau, 1895 – Cleveland Spiders

Charles Alston “Pussy” Tebeau’s career was short and sweet: He went 3-6 with two walks, one RBI, and one stolen base in two old-timey games. But he led the league in the percentage of sentences he ended with “See.”

Johnny Dickshot, 1936-45 – White Sox/Pirates/Giants

His full name was John Oscar Dickshot, but his teammates called him “Ugly.”

A nice tidbit from his obituary:

Upon retirement, Mr. Dickshot opened a tavern in Waukegan, called the Dugout, which he ran for the next 20 years. His granddaughter, Michelle McDermott, said he would often call his wife at home from the bar, demanding that she look in his encyclopedia to settle a dispute over baseball trivia.

A made-up tidbit:

His batting song was Bon Jovi’s Shot through the Heart.

Butts Wagner, 1898 – Senators, Bridegrooms (Brooklyn)

Albert “Butts” Wagner wasn’t quite as successful as his younger brother, Honus, but his name inspired at least one Sir Mix-a-lot hit.

Also of note from his Wikipedia page: “Wagner is depicted as a eccentric inventor during a boy’s long dream sequence in the book The Mystery of the Wagner Whacker. Wagner invents an automatic bat machine, and the boy helps defend him from organized crime figures who want to steal the invention.”

That’s supposedly fiction, but it sounds like a true story from old-timey times to me.

Boob Fowler, 1923-26 – Reds/Red Sox

Hehe…Boob.

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A former teammate at Grinnell College, Jim is currently working towards a Masters in journalism at the University of Iowa and is assistant editor at IowaWatch.org.  Be sure to check out Jim’s work at Iowa Environmental Focus, and also his blog, How To Train A Watchdog: (Mis)Adventures in Non-Profit Journalism. Unfortunately, none of these sites have anything to do with America’s pastime.

10 Comments

  1. Fun! How about Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb. A look into that surname might prove interesting. Charles Fuqua Manuel might get a few comments if his team in Philadelphia didn’t play so well. How can you resist Fukudome or Kasua Fukumori? Ed Head was a great name as was Ralph Head. I love the name of that minor league player, William Sucky. And of course, there’s always Doug Fister.

  2. Jim Malewitz says:

    Those are all great names too! I’m partial to Ed Head – not just a sexual innuendo, but one that rhymes. Maybe we’ll need to do another list with these names and other additions.

  3. William says:

    That would be fun.

  4. Barry B. says:

    What about J.J. Putz?

  5. Paul says:

    Isaac told me about a great one. Grant Balfour. Seriously. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=718&position=P – note his high BB/9

    Also, Jeff Manship.

  6. Dave says:

    How bout Dick Suchs. Minnesota pitching coach.

  7. Bruce says:

    Can’t believe Pete LaCock was left off this list!!

  8. mark says:

    ah Dave it’s Dick Such………………what about Woody Held????????

  9. Dan says:

    Razor Shines was a well-known player to those living in Indy, since he spent a lot of time playing for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.

    The announcer would always call out his name as ‘RRRRRRRRRRazor Shines!’

  10. Jim Malewitz says:

    Oh man, Pete LaCock might take the cake! I can’t believe I never came across him (There’s probably a “that’s what she said” joke in here somewhere).

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