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Old 08-27-2019, 01:53 AM   #10
3fbrown
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Join Date: May 2008
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Nicknames

I like to give players nicknames for any number of reasons, besides whatever historical nicknames they actually had. Does anyone else have interesting ways of assigning nicknames?

Puns:
Everyone likes making nicknames based on a player’s name. Like “The Grimsley Reaper” (Ross Grimsley), or George “SuperNintendo” Chalmers (for the Simpsons fans). My friends and I did this all the time as kids, and I occasionally do this with Replay League players as well.

Player bios:
If you read Baseball Reference bullpen wiki page or the SABR Bio page for many players, it will give you information about the player’s life and career. Many have interesting life stories or humorous anecdotes that make for good nicknames. I like these because their nickname reminds me of something about their life. You can figure out for yourself why Len Koenecke was nicknamed “Airplane!” or Len Dykstra is nicknamed “The Wizard of Finance.” Maybe my sense of humor is a bit dark sometimes, but many of those guys - especially the really old ones - lived interesting lives. This is definitely my favorite source of nicknames.

Adjusting real nicknames:
Some guys have perfectly good nicknames, but they don’t work in the new baseball world. For example, Joe Dimaggio was the “Yankee Clipper” but he played for Boston, so it doesn’t work. When he played for Boston, they were the Bees, so he became “The Beekeeper.” Likewise, Ernie Banks could not be “Mr. Cub” playing in Washington, so he became “The Honorable Senator.”

Performance:
Players can be nicknamed after something they did. As a real-life example, a friend and I once watched Miguel Batista pitch to three batters, and he hit two of them with a pitch. Ever since he has been “The Hit Man.” In Replay League, Andre Dawson started out as “Hawk” as in real life. But in his long career, he was extremely durable. He didn’t spend any time on the DL until his 15th season in the majors. So he became the “Iron Hawk.”

Teams:
I usually let teams keep their historical nicknames. But there is one exception - in the first decade of the 20th century, Cleveland named themselves the Naps after their best player, Napoleon Lajoie. But in Replay League, he spent his entire career with the Cardinals. Cleveland can’t name themselves after someone on another team! It turns out that their star player at that point in time was future Hall of Fame pitcher Noodles Hahn. So, they became the Cleveland Noodles for a time.
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