Monday, March 17, 2014

Play Ball, Again!: More Baseball-Inspired Names

Image by Jim_Cox via Flickr

My list of baseball-inspired names is a favorite post of mine and still receives a lot of hits from people looking for names from baseball. This makes me so happy. :) In honor of the new baseball season approaching, I decided to post a new list of even more baseball-inspired names. The inspiration is never-ending, so this list could possibly be expanded on every year!


Buster - Gerald Dempsey "Buster" Posey III is currently the catcher for the San Francisco Giants. He was Rookie of the Year in 2010, has already won two World Series, is a two-time All-Star, and was batting champion in 2012. His nickname was his father's childhood nickname.

Christy - Christopher "Christy" Mathewson pitched with the New York Giants in between 1900 and 1916. He twice won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strike-outs and ERA.

Clayton - Clayton Edward Kershaw pitches for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2011, he became the youngest pitcher to win the Triple Crown and Cy Young since Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Cy - Denton True "Cy" Young pitched for five teams from 1890-1911 and still holds the record for most wins, most innings pitched, and most complete games. The award given to the best pitcher in each league is named after him.

Evan - Evan Michael Longoria is currently the third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2008, has been an All-Star three times, and Gold Glove winner twice.

Felix - Félix Abraham Hernández García "Felix Hernandez" plays for the Seattle Mariners and is currently one the game's best pitchers. He pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.

Hank - Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron played almost all of his career, from 1954-1976, as right fielder with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. He passed Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974, won three Gold Gloves, hit at least 30 home runs in 15 seasons, and holds the record for number of All-Star appearances, RBIs, extra-base hits, and total bases.

Jacoby - Jacoby McCabe Ellsbury is currently the center fielder for the New York Yankees, although he spent most of his career with the Boston Red Sox. He is a Gold Glove winner and has stolen a lot of bases.

Larsen - Donald James Larsen is the only pitcher to have pitched a perfect game in the World Series, doing so as a New York Yankee against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Maris - Roger Eugene Maris had his most successful seasons with the New York Yankees from 1960-1966. He broke Babe Ruth's record from 1927 for most home runs in a season in 1961.

Mickey - Mickey Charles Mantle played with the New York Yankees from 1951-1968. He won the Triple Crown in 1956, leading the league in RBIs, home runs, and batting average. He won seven World Series and holds the record for the most World Series home runs, RBIs, runs, walks, extra-base hits, and total bases.

Miguel - José Miguel Cabrera Torres "Miguel Cabrera" currently plays for the Detroit Tigers and is arguably one of the best hitters to play the game. He is the last player to win the Triple Crown, doing it in 2012, and the first player to do so since 1967.

Moses - Moses Fleetwood Walker is credited by some as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. He was a catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association league in 1884. Later that same year, his brother Weldy Wilberforce Walker also joined the league. Moses was injured and in the minors for a few years before he was let go in 1889, the year the color line was drawn, not allowing black players to play baseball until 1949 when Jackie Robinson broke the barrier.

Nomar - Anthony Nomar Garciaparra played for several teams, but most notably as shortstop for the Boston Red Sox for nine seasons. He was Rookie of the Year in 1997, two-time batting champion, and six-time All-Star. Nomar is his father's name, Ramon, spelled backwards.

Roberto - Roberto Clemente Walker "Roberto Clemente" played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955-1972. He won 12 Gold Gloves, was batting champion four times and All-Star 15 times, and had 3,000 hits. He is the first Latino player to win a World Series as a starter, receive an NL MVP and a World Series MVP award, and to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sandy - Sanford Koufax pitched for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers his entire career from 1955-1966. He was World Series Champion, league MVP, and Cy Young winner several times, pitched 4 no hitters, including one perfect game, and retired with more strikeouts than innings pitched. Needless to say, he is a Hall of Famer.

Stan - Stanley Frank Musial (or Stanisław Franciszek Musiał) played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals, from 1941-1944 and then again from 1946-1963 (the break was to serve in the Navy during WWII). Nicknamed "Stan the Man", he won the World Series three times, was an All-Star 24 times, and batting champion seven times.


Bob - Robert George "Bob" Uecker has been the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers since 1971. He is playfully known as "Mr. Baseball" and appeared as a broadcaster in the movie Major League.

Caray - Harry Christopher Carabina "Harry Caray" was a broadcaster for four major league teams from 1945-and most famous for his leading of the crowd in singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch in Chicago. Caray is pronounced like "Carrie".

Ernie - William Earnest "Ernie" Harwell was the broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers from 1960-1991 and again from 1993-2002, and is the only broadcaster to have been traded for a player in 1948.

Jon - Jon Wesley Miller currently calls games for the San Francisco Giants, but is more broadly known for his play-by-play of games broadcasted on ESPN from 1990-2010.

Mel - Melvin Allen Israel "Mel Allen" was the well-known play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees from 1938-1964 and again in 1976-1985.

Red - Walter Lanier "Red" Barber called games from 1934-1966, for the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. He is the originator of the now common "back, back, back" call for a ball hit far, describing the outfielder's motion instead of the ball's location.

Rex - Being a Baltimore Orioles fan, I would be remiss not to mention Rex Edward Barney, former PA announcer for the Orioles from 1974-1997. I can still hear his voice, and my brother and I still mimic his famous sayings "Give that fan a contract!" when a fan caught a foul ball and "Thank Youuuuuu" at the end of every game.

Vin - Vincent Edward "Vin" Scully has been the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers' play-by-play announcer for 65 years. He holds his own in the booth, calling games without a color commentator. Among the many special games he called was Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and Hank Aaron's 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth's record (the Braves were playing the Dodgers).

Baseball Fact and Fiction

Abner - The man mistakenly credited with the invention of baseball in 1839, Abner Doubleday has a field named after him in the "original location" of the invention in Cooperstown, New York.

Alexander - Alexander Cartwright established the fundamental rules of modern baseball in 1845.

Bowie - Bowie Kent Kuhn was the fifth commissioner of baseball, from 1969-1984. He was instrumental in holding the first night game of the World Series in 1971, resulting in much larger ratings than if the game were held during the day.

Bud - Allan Huber "Bud" Selig is the current commissioner of baseball and has been since 1992. He has made several changes to the league, including separating each league into three divisions instead of two, introducing the wild card game into the playoffs, regular season interleague play, combining the two leagues under the Office of the Commissioner and putting all umpires under one hat instead of separating them between the leagues, granting home field advantage for the World Series to the winning league of the All-Star Game, and instituting instant replay.

Casey - The poem Casey at the Bat was written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. Other names included in the poem are Flynn and Jimmy Blake.

Clark - Stephen Carlton Clark founded the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

Cooper - Cooperstown, New York is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The name came from Judge William Cooper, who purchased the land in 1785.

Fay - Francis Thomas "Fay" Vincent was baseball's eighth commissioner, from 1989-1992. Just a month after taking leadership, he was present at Game 3 of the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, when an earthquake hit the city. He also overturned the separation of rule books between the 154-game and 162-game seasons, allowing Roger Maris the title of single-season HR record-holder.

Ford - Ford Christopher Frick was the third commissioner of baseball, from 1951-1965. He is known for expanding the league, adding four teams and moving others to areas outside of the Northeast, which was where baseball was mostly concentrated.

Happy - Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler was baseball's second commissioner, from 1945-1951. He quickly erased the color line in the major leagues by allowing Jackie Robinson to play beginning in 1947.

Kenesaw - Kenesaw Mountain Landis was the first commissioner of baseball, from 1920-1944. He is the one who banned the players involved in the Black Sox scandal for life.

And finally, some goodies found when researching the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Written by Jack Norworth and set to music by Albert Von Tilzer, the song is now a classic and usually heard during the 7th inning stretch of baseball games. While we only sing/hear the chorus, there are actually two versions that included verses. In the full version, a beau calls his girl and asks her to a show, but the girl only wants to be taken to a ball game. The girl is named Katie Casey in the original version and Nelly Kelly in a later version. In the second version, the boy is named Joe. The lyrics talk about how the girl is a huge fan and knows about all the players, and sings the song to cheer them on. I especially love the part where she tells the umpire he's wrong. See the awesome things I learn while doing name research!?

Looking for more girl name choices inspired by baseball? Next week, I will post all about the AAGPBL (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League) and its players, so sit tight!

Some of the above information was gathered from Wikipedia.



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