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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Sports Reference: Changing Player Identification Names from Player Nicknames to Given Names

On Baseball-Reference.com we have begun the process of evaluating the identifying names and nicknames for historical players. The genesis of this process is the long overdue reckoning on our part with a substantial number of the names we use to identify players (identifying names). In many cases, they are based on a player’s real or perceived ethnicity, a player’s disability, or a trait the media decided to call attention to.

As a first step, we are discontinuing the use of nicknames that are racially or ethnically influenced, such as “Chief,” “Jap,” or “Darkie,” and names based upon a player’s disability, such as “Dummy.” They will no longer appear as identifying names, page titles, on team pages, or on leaderboards across the site, but will be noted for completeness of records on the player’s main page. This figures most prominently for baseball, but we will likely have some changes on our other sites as well.

The fact that we’ve used these identifying names for the last 20 years without concern is a mistake that I have made. I apologize for that error. For most of that time, I have told myself that the identifying names were out of our hands and that we’d be rewriting history by changing them. That self-imposed restraint was wrong and further study has shown that many nicknames were not as deeply entrenched in history as I had assumed. Identifying people with these names was a choice, and the history of their use in the media shows inconsistent adoption that is far from canonical validation.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 09:35 AM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6016801)
Is this going to affect Johnny "Ugly" Dickshot?
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:33 AM (#6016807)
Welp, better go pop some popcorn.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:37 AM (#6016808)
Dick Pole welcomes his rechristening as Richard.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6016810)
The change doesn't bother me.

The groveling apology does.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:48 AM (#6016811)
Shitty Batter Dugan will just be Walter Dugan now.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6016813)
I think this is a really good way to maintain history but also keep current with society. You can still do a search for Nig Clarke and it will take you to the player's page it will just show you the given name. Below that is a quick blurb explaining how the player is often listed.
   7. The Duke Posted: May 04, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6016822)
How long will the Seinfeld Nip episode last at this rate ?
   8. The Duke Posted: May 04, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6016824)
Barbeau is known as “Jap' owing to his swarthy appearance and he got his nickname from the pen of a Columbus newspaper man.

That strikes me as odd. He was only 5’4”. I have to assume that has more to do with the nickname

And on Chief Bender: The innovator of the slider is debated, but some credit Bender as the first to use the pitch, then called a "nickel curve", in the 1910s.

I love the nickel curve nomenclature - never heard that.
   9. Jeff R. Posted: May 04, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6016829)
The change doesn't bother me.

The groveling apology does.


Tie an onion to your belt and move on, then, grandpa.
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6016840)
This shouldn't affect guys like George Ruth or Larry Jones. Who do you think is the most well known player it will affect?
   11. GregD Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6016842)
I remember Bill James raising a question about Hoy as opposed to other players nicknamed Dummy. His point was that the other players with that nickname seem to have had it forced on them and never embraced it so dropping it seems like the least we could do to show respect. Hoy though by many accounts embraced the name and passed out cards with it and corrected people who called him William. Sometimes James’ contrarianism takes him into a ditch, but I will say this question of Hoy is confusing to me. If our concern is respect for peoples feelings today, which is a very valid concern, then our actions are clear. If it is too show respect for the person who lived, then Hoy presents a potentially confusing case.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6016843)

Hazen Cuyler?
   13. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:48 PM (#6016845)
The change doesn't bother me.

The groveling apology does.

i never heard him grovel.
   14. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#6016846)
Hazen Cuyler?


I just checked: he's still listed as Kiki. Which, yeah, would seem to fall into the same bucket as the various Dummys of yore.
   15. JJ1986 Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#6016848)
What are they doing with Enrique Hernandez?
   16. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 04, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6016849)
Never knew it was pronounced "kye-kye" till just a few years back.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6016850)
Never knew it was pronounced "kye-kye" till just a few years back


Me either. It's still kee-kee in my head (same first syllable as my screen name, repeated). But if the issue is trying to eliminate nicknames based on a player's "disability", the story of why he was called Kiki is pretty problematic.
   18. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6016852)
Steve "Adolf Hitler" Garvey welcomes this new policy.
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6016853)
they still list NBAer Ray Scott's nickname as "Chink" (which is what he was called)
   20. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:13 PM (#6016854)
they still list NBAer Ray Scott's nickname as "Chink" (which is what he was called)


Actually, they now show him as Ray Scott (and probably always have given his ID - https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/scottra01.html). Likewise, "Dummy" still shows up as a nickname on Hoy's page - https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hoydu01.shtml - his name is just listed as "Billy Hoy". Whereas Larry Jones is still shown with the primary name Chipper - https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jonesch06.shtml.
   21. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:15 PM (#6016855)
Me either. It's still kee-kee in my head (same first syllable as my screen name, repeated). But if the issue is trying to eliminate nicknames based on a player's "disability", the story of why he was called Kiki is pretty problematic.


I thought the story was that it was based on the pronunciation of his last name. Is that not the case?

What are they doing with Enrique Hernandez?


This does remind me that BBRef has dealt with this before in a fashion with Kevin Youkilis. The BBRef convention is first five letters of the last name then first two of the first name which meant for Youkilis, who is Jewish, it was "youkike" which is more than a bit unfortunate. They changed it which seems like a pretty reasonable thing to do.
   22. PeteF3 Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:15 PM (#6016856)

Steve "Adolf Hitler" Garvey welcomes this new policy


The problematic portion of his name has been eliminated and he will now be listed simply as Adolf Hitler.
   23. PeteF3 Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6016857)
Kiki Cuyler was a stutterer, which is where the nickname comes from.
   24. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6016858)
I thought the story was that it was based on the pronunciation of his last name. Is that not the case?


The story I heard is that Hazen Cuyler had a stutter, so when he introduced himself, he said his last name as "Cuy-Cuy-Cuyler".
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:26 PM (#6016861)

Never knew it was pronounced "kye-kye" till just a few years back.


I never knew that until one minute ago.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:42 PM (#6016864)
What a fucking joke. If I'd have made the jump from the sandlots to the Big Leagues, I'd have been proud to own my moniker of "The Manhattan Madman".
   27. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6016868)
I can't wait to finally learn what Specs Toporcer's given name was.

Will br also be tearing down the names of all the Southern players who went by Dixie?
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6016871)
did Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons, Fatty Fothergill, and Hippo Vaughn just get e-liposuctions?

Three-Finger Brown an interesting one
   29. Phil Plantier's Famous Toilet Seat Stance Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6016873)
Hoy was the first one that came to mind for me...If the attitude towards contemporary players is that we should refer to them according to their wishes then the same should be true for historical players when that information is available. My impressions are that Hoy embraced 'Dummy', referred to himself as such, and was quick to correct anyone who used his given name.

When it comes to 'Chief' and 'Nig', my first thought is that while these are distasteful, they are also important. A person who isn't well read on baseball history might scroll through the 1910 Philadelphia Athletics team page and coming across Charles Bender think nothing more than "nice numbers, must have been quite the picture", but when they come across 'Chief' Bender it's an important signifier that marginalized groups were a part (and an important one at that) of baseball history. The nickname both helps Bender to stand out and (as the nickname is distasteful) highlights the attitudes towards American Indians at that time. If the player was commonly referred to as such, then there is value in keeping the nickname as the identifier.

My second thought after looking at the players affected is that a surprisingly high number of 'Chiefs' and 'Nigs' had neither American Indian nor African ancestry.

This isn't a change I can disagree with, but if bbref is intended to be a database of baseball history there may be some (very) marginal value lost in not identifying players as they were commonly identified during their career.
   30. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6016874)
This shouldn't affect guys like George Ruth or Larry Jones. Who do you think is the most well known player it will affect?

Mordecai Brown?
   31. Ron J Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#6016875)
#28 I think you'll find he was more commonly called "Miner" by the people in the game.
   32. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6016876)
This isn't a change I can disagree with, but if bbref is intended to be a database of baseball history there may be some (very) marginal value lost in not identifying players as they were commonly identified during their career.

It will continue to note the name on the page
   33. PeteF3 Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6016878)
The full blog entry also notes that a lot of these nicknames weren't actually as commonly used as you might think, going by contemporary newspapers.com search results.
   34. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6016879)
This isn't a change I can disagree with, but if bbref is intended to be a database of baseball history there may be some (very) marginal value lost in not identifying players as they were commonly identified during their career.


It will continue to note the name on the page


Also a search for players (e.g. "Chief Bender") is still going to take you to that player's page.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6016880)
Part of the issue here is that many of these players were referred to by their given names much more than their nicknames, but it's the more colorful nicknames that survived in print. Look at this poster, which advertises "Three-Fingered" Brown but quotes Joe Tinker as calling him "Mordecai."

If you look through some of these SABR biographies, you'll see teammates referring in direct quotes to "Bob Fothergill" and "Jim Vaughn." Or that during his career he was usually called "Hazen Cuyler." Or see that he always signed his name "Charles Bender." It's like listing him as "Big Unit Johnson."
   36. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6016881)
Regarding players embracing nicknames that are viewed as unflattering today, most of the pictures of authenticated Cuyler autographs on the PSA website include "Ki Ki" (or just "Ki" in one case), and they don't all include "Hazen," even if there was room for it. Really distinctive looking K's too.

Brown always signed as just "Mordecai" but it looks like he ran a gas station after retiring from baseball and a signed advertising card for it has a picture of him where he's identified as "MORDECAI (Three-Finger) BROWN".

Bender typically signed as "Chief".
   37. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6016884)
Bender typically signed as "Chief".


I don't know if your source is any better than this, but here's what his SABR bio says:

Though his manager called him Albert, prevailing stereotypes rarely were absent from baseball coverage and bench jockeying. Bender didn’t publicly protest, but he signed his autograph as “Charles” or some derivative. Eventually, he was called “Chief” so often (and so often with affection) that he allowed the name to be etched into his tombstone.
   38. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6016887)
The full blog entry also notes that a lot of these nicknames weren't actually as commonly used as you might think, going by contemporary newspapers.com search results.

I would have a hard time believing players of the 1870's were regaling sportswriters with tales of the fielding exploits of good old Death to Flying Things Ferguson.
   39. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6016893)
I don't know if your source is any better than this

My source was Bender's page on the PSA website.
   40. Phil Plantier's Famous Toilet Seat Stance Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:48 PM (#6016895)
Bender typically signed as "Chief".


I don't know if your source is any better than this, but here's what his SABR bio says:

Though his manager called him Albert, prevailing stereotypes rarely were absent from baseball coverage and bench jockeying. Bender didn’t publicly protest, but he signed his autograph as “Charles” or some derivative. Eventually, he was called “Chief” so often (and so often with affection) that he allowed the name to be etched into his tombstone.


Tom Swift's bio says the same:

Children who loved to "play Indian"...often approached Bender when he was in public and greeted him by mimicking Indian gestures. Bender didn't become angry with them, but supposedly he always signed his name on their baseballs and bats as Charles or Charley.

of course he then goes on to say that:

He was called Chief so often - and so often with affection - that he allowed the name to be etched on his tombstone.

It's been a long time since I read it, but the impression I was left with is that Bender resented the identification, feeling it was a caricature and wanting to be identified on his own merits, but came to reluctantly accept it as he aged.

I had always heard/read that he signed as Charley, but now that I look (and I didn't look particularly hard) every example I can find is signed as 'Chief'.

   41. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6016898)
Tom Swift's bio says the same:


The SABR bio is by Tom Swift as well, so I guess that's only one source.
   42. Phil Plantier's Famous Toilet Seat Stance Posted: May 04, 2021 at 03:03 PM (#6016900)
The SABR bio is by Tom Swift as well, so I guess that's only one source.


Didn't realize that, in any case Chief Bender's Burden is well worth reading, I swiped those two quotes from the first few pages.
   43. McCoy Posted: May 04, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6016902)
Goodbye Hippo Vaughn and Hack Wilson
   44. McCoy Posted: May 04, 2021 at 03:24 PM (#6016903)
Wither Heinie Zimmerman?

All these poor Cubs losing their names.


Solly Hofman
Three Finger/Miner Brown.
   45. sanny manguillen Posted: May 04, 2021 at 03:45 PM (#6016911)
But will they change The Grey Eagle to the Gray Eagle? That's the tough one.
   46. Traderdave Posted: May 04, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6016920)
   47. Traderdave Posted: May 04, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6016924)
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 04, 2021 at 04:45 PM (#6016935)
I had always heard/read that he signed as Charley, but now that I look (and I didn't look particularly hard) every example I can find is signed as 'Chief'.

That's all that I could find, too. I supposed putting quotation marks around "Chief" was his way of saying that wasn't his real name.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6016938)
that's helpful by Bender. until now I had assumed "Chief" was the nickname for his given "Chieftain."
   50. Walt Davis Posted: May 04, 2021 at 06:15 PM (#6016950)
I had a similar debate 30 years ago on a paper I co-authored on minor-league baseball that had to explain why we weren't able to include the Negro Leagues (if the data we needed existed at the time, I don't know where it was and the HoF said so as well). One of my co-authors worried that was offensive and wanted to refer to them as the African-American Leagues. I pleaded the history case and that, by that point, the Negro Leagues were viewed legitimately within baseball. (viewed legitimately? you know what I mean.) We stuck with Negro Leagues which I still consider correct.
   51. Perry Posted: May 04, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#6016959)
I love the nickel curve nomenclature - never heard that.


I remember some announcers calling it that as late as the late 1960s.

My second thought after looking at the players affected is that a surprisingly high number of 'Chiefs' and 'Nigs' had neither American Indian nor African ancestry.


Nig Clarke popped into my head after reading the original story so I looked him up to see if the nickname had a racial connotation. His Wikipedia page says he was called that for his dark complexion, so yes, but I also learned that he was in fact Canadian and a member of the Wyandot of Anderdon First Nation.
   52. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: May 04, 2021 at 07:11 PM (#6016961)
Coincidentally enough, I had started doing this in my OOTP historical leagues not too long ago. For similar reasons - not only did I not want to see guys called Nig or Chief or Rube, but they weren't necessarily called that by their friends or fans either. So my team now happens to employ Charles Bender. For just the second reason I tried to eliminate most of the pointless (but not necessarily offensive) nicknames too - Lefty, Red, Tex, Kid, Heinie, Dutch, etc. And the Cleveland ballclub will always and forever be nicknamed after their best player. They have been the Cleveland Noodles (Hahn) and the Cleveland Crabs (Evers).

Like most things, it's been educational too. My team has Rube Oldring - did you know his nickname is Rube because his given name was Reuben? And did you know that Donie Bush spells his name correctly, you have just been pronouncing it wrong the whole time? (It's pronounced like Own-ee, not Donnie.)
   53. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: May 04, 2021 at 07:50 PM (#6016967)
Dizzy Dean? Pee Wee Reese?
   54. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 04, 2021 at 07:54 PM (#6016969)
And did you know that Donie Bush spells his name correctly, you have just been pronouncing it wrong the whole time? (It's pronounced like Own-ee, not Donnie.)
How is that spelled correctly then?
   55. Zach Posted: May 04, 2021 at 07:56 PM (#6016971)
Wait, you're telling me "Mets" *isn't* derogatory?

   56. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: May 04, 2021 at 08:16 PM (#6016975)
Gabby Hartnett?
   57. Brian C Posted: May 04, 2021 at 08:18 PM (#6016976)
All these poor Cubs losing their names.

Yeah well the PC police will never take Jose F***ing Macias from us.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6016982)
Bucky Fuc k ing Dent also will never go away.
   59. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 09:18 PM (#6016988)
Cleveland Crabs (Evers)

Perhaps Evers merely suffered from an undiagnosed case of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
   60. Cblau Posted: May 04, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6016989)
Looks like they didn't approve my comment, which is that it is racist of them to change the use name for people nicknamed Blackie but for people nicknamed Whitey. I suggest we all cancel that site.
   61. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 04, 2021 at 09:48 PM (#6016992)
Three-Finger Brown an interesting one

I hadn't checked his page recently until today, but I believe B-R already listed him primarily as Mordecai Brown even before this change.
   62. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: May 04, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6017007)
How is that spelled correctly then?


His name was pronounced Doh-nee (Donie), not Dah-nee (Donnie), which is the only way I ever heard it pronounced. Now how often have I heard someone say that name out loud in my life? Not many...
   63. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 04, 2021 at 11:29 PM (#6017008)
His name was pronounced Doh-nee (Donie), not Dah-nee (Donnie)
Oh, I took your prior post to mean that the D was silent. My mistake.
   64. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 04, 2021 at 11:58 PM (#6017011)
Looks like they didn't approve my comment, which is that it is racist of them to change the use name for people nicknamed Blackie but for people nicknamed Whitey.

Well they generally do not publish the idiotic comments.
   65. PeteF3 Posted: May 05, 2021 at 12:50 AM (#6017013)
Looks like they didn't approve my comment, which is that it is racist of them to change the use name for people nicknamed Blackie but for people nicknamed Whitey. I suggest we all cancel that site.


Ford and Herzog were nicknamed Whitey for having light blond hair, moron.
   66. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 05, 2021 at 07:26 AM (#6017021)
Looks like they didn't approve my comment, which is that it is racist of them to change the use name for people nicknamed Blackie but for people nicknamed Whitey. I suggest we all cancel that site.

Ford and Herzog were nicknamed Whitey for having light blond hair, moron.

True, but try to find a player named "Blackie" who got the name for his complexion. And then look at their pictures and try to convince yourself that that was the reason.

Next topic in this conversation: Who is this "Trotsky" person? And what's he doing in our history books?
   67. Rally Posted: May 05, 2021 at 08:26 AM (#6017028)
Next topic in this conversation: Who is this "Trotsky" person? And what's he doing in our history books?


He had 405 total bases in 1936?
   68. Rally Posted: May 05, 2021 at 08:32 AM (#6017029)
Let me see if I can recognize the real names of some notable managers:

George Anderson
Dorrel Herzog
Johnnie Baker
William Showalter
Alfred Martin (Billy isn't even his middle name)
Eddard Yost
Albert Shoendienst
   69. Zach Posted: May 05, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6017066)
Bill Skowron just doesn't sound the same.
   70. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6017072)
If you pronounce it wrong it does.
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:35 PM (#6017076)
Bill Skowron just doesn't sound the same.

The unofficial 1960 Yankees yearbook lists his name as William Joseph Moose Skowron, with no parenthesis or quotation marks around Moose.
   72. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6017078)
George Anderson -- science fiction writer
Dorrel Herzog -- Weimar-era German nobleman
Johnnie Baker -- main character in 50s sitcom
William Showalter -- big-band leader from the 1930s
Alfred Martin -- high-end British sports car
Eddard Yost -- Game of Thrones
Albert Schoendienst -- mathematician, proved the Dedekind-Schoendienst theorem
   73. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6017080)
The unofficial 1960 Yankees yearbook lists his name as William Joseph Moose Skowron, with no parenthesis or quotation marks around Moose.


Wikipedia claims Moose was short for Mussolini, and that he was called that by his 7 year old friends after a bad haircut. Really? His grandfather supposedly buzzed his hair so short that he looked like a bald guy? And that 7 year olds in Chicago knew enough about global politics and associated bald men with Il Duce so much so that they called their friend that? Skowron's Polish family shortening the name from Mussolini to Moose I can believe. The rest, not so much.
   74. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6017082)
Harry Black
   75. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 05, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6017098)
Harry Black African-American
   76. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 05, 2021 at 03:11 PM (#6017100)
And that 7 year olds in Chicago knew enough about global politics and associated bald men with Il Duce so much so that they called their friend that?


Pshaw. His 7-year-old friends regarded the little brownshirt as a fascist.
   77. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 05, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6017116)
Harry Black African-American


That reminds me of Olympic coverage identifying a British athlete as an African-American. As seen in baseball, dark skin does not equal African-American.
   78. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 05, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6017120)
Ralph is better than Pete.....


But not nearly as good as Pierre. "Pierre LaCock." Now that's a name.
   79. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:45 AM (#6017247)
George Anderson -- science fiction writer
Dorrel Herzog -- Weimar-era German nobleman
Johnnie Baker -- main character in 50s sitcom
William Showalter -- big-band leader from the 1930s
Alfred Martin -- high-end British sports car
Eddard Yost -- Game of Thrones
Albert Schoendienst -- mathematician, proved the Dedekind-Schoendienst theorem


Just wanted to give you a hat tip for this, I thought it was pretty good.
   80. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:42 AM (#6017296)
The unofficial 1960 Yankees yearbook lists his name as William Joseph Moose Skowron, with no parenthesis or quotation marks around Moose.

Wikipedia claims Moose was short for Mussolini, and that he was called that by his 7 year old friends after a bad haircut. Really? His grandfather supposedly buzzed his hair so short that he looked like a bald guy? And that 7 year olds in Chicago knew enough about global politics and associated bald men with Il Duce so much so that they called their friend that? Skowron's Polish family shortening the name from Mussolini to Moose I can believe. The rest, not so much.


Skowron's SABR Bio backs up the part about the haircut, but it says that the Mussolini resemblance was first picked up by his father's semi-pro teammates, not by Skowron's 7 year old friends.
William Sr. played on a semi-pro baseball team, the Cragin Merchants. Young Bill played on the Cragin Juniors. His father’s teammates thought that Bill’s crew cut (given by his grandfather) made him look like Benito Mussolini, the Prime Minister of Italy. He was soon given the nickname Mussolini, later shortened to “Moose.”

Oh, and the resemblance to Il Duce wasn't just in the haircut. They both had prominent jaws and chins.

   81. Howie Menckel Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6017299)
"Pierre LaCock." Now that's a name.

although "Peter LaCock" is up there with the classic porn star name of "Peter North."

+1 to 79's + 1 to 72
   82. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2021 at 01:02 PM (#6017302)
although "Peter LaCock" is up there with the classic porn star name of "Peter North."


Surely there's a Pete LaCock, Peter Marshall, Paul Lynde joke that's sitting around in here.
   83. GregD Posted: May 06, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6017304)
Alfred Martin (Billy isn't even his middle name)


He wrote in his memoir that his father had abandoned the family (eventually for Kauai I think. I don’t know why but there’s a very large Portuguese population there and on other islands so wouldn’t be surprised if he had family.) I assume the family name was Martín though I don’t know if he pronounced it that way privately. [ed: Wikipedia says his dad was born on Kauai.]

Italian grandmother refused to call him by departed fathers name (Billy was either a junior or an Americanized junior—in my head his father may have been Alfredo)

Called him a diminutive of bellisimo

Goes to first day of elementary school—can’t remember which one but obviously he went to Berkeley high eventually—and the teacher calls the name and he looks around for the other Martin kid. At end of class went to teacher and said you didn’t call my name

She said yes I did

And that’s how he learned his given name
   84. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 06, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6017305)
The change doesn't bother me.

The groveling apology does.
Awwww. Poor you.

Suck it up, snowflake.

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