Baseball is a sometimes great, sometimes funny, sometimes weird game. It is a place where a single act of athleticism can make a large group of independently thinking human beings that can never agree on anything, all react the same way. It is a place where at-bats from a 265-pound pitcher is appointment viewing. It is a place where a player can intentionally drop a pop out, just to make sure a fast runner already on base can get thrown out (this literally happened a couple of days ago.)
In that spirit, and with the 2016 MLB season in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to honor some of the great, funny, weird names in baseball history, by creating a lineup for a fake team made up entirely of players with such names.
Three things to note before we begin:
- In the interest of fairness, each player selected at their respective position, for the most part, comes from a different era than their respective teammates. This was to facilitate more creativity, and to ensure the lineup would not solely rely on the truly amazing names from the deadball era. Otherwise, this list would be full of Jack Glasscocks. This leads nicely into…
- Obvious bathroom humor has also been avoided (with one notable exception,) lest this whole list be filled with penis innuendo (Apologies to “Ugly” Johnny Dickshot and Dick Pole.)
- This lineup is by no means comprehensive of every single great name in Major League Baseball history. I can tell you right now, I left off Cannonball Titcomb and it is killing me inside. That is a damn phenomenal name (both for a baseball player and a mid-1980s professional wrestler.) So, if you have got your own choices of great/funny/weird baseball player names that should be mentioned in this post (and of course you do, this is the Internet!) leave them down in the comments.
And with that out of the way… THE STARTING LINEUP FOR YOUR (named after the first city name and plural noun to pop into my head,) PADUCAH RABBLE-ROUSERS.
CF) Cool Papa Bell
A guy that would be the ideal lead-off man for any team, let alone this one that does not actually exist. But, set aside that this Hall of Famer was reportedly so fast that he once scored from first on a sacrifice bunt, or that he could hit a light switch and be in bed before the light actually turned off. Were he around in today’s MLB, not only would nobody step to the guy called Cool Papa Bell, but nobody in the league would have as much swag as the guy called Cool Papa Bell. You could even abbreviate his name as “CPB” and it would sound just as dope. Man, Cool Papa Bell is a name with a timeless greatness.
2B) Jedd Gyorko
An active St. Louis Cardinal, who only three days ago hit his second home run of the season, Jedd Gyorko sounds like the name of one of those random Jedi from the Star Wars prequels, or like a character name Douglas Adams almost went with in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, before opting for Zaphod Beeblebrox instead. Jedd Gyorko is not science fiction though, nor regular fiction for that matter. Jedd Gyorko is a real person, and Jedd Gyorko is his real name.
1B) Lu Blue
Get a load of this guy! Unconventional first name spelling, and a last name that rhymes? Dynamite! Plus, he has the 49th best On-Base Percentage of all-time (per Baseball Reference,) ahead of Ricky Henderson, Chipper Jones, and several more guys you have actually heard of. Clearly Lu Blue did what he could to take a base… or two… But yeah, mostly the whole spelling of his first name that also rhymes with his last name thing that I mentioned earlier.
C) Clyde Kluttz
His one job is to catch the ball, and his name is Kluttz! I mean, come on. Almost too perfect.
RF) F.P. Santangelo
How many other human beings do you know, let alone Major League Baseball players that have gone by F.P.? Just as I thought. When it comes to being known as F.P., F.P. Santangelo is probably the only person known as F.P. Bonus points for having the same last name as a character from one of the greatest television shows of all-time, The Wire, albeit one of the most inconsequential of all the recurring characters on the show.
SS) Mario Mendoza
It is not every day that the guy whose name is for some reason the one synonymous with terrible batting averages gets recognized for something other than being the guy whose name is for some reason the one synonymous with terrible batting averages. Today is not that day. Mendoza is only on this list for the persistence of his name in the annals of baseball history as the one that is for some reason the one synonymous with terrible batting averages. (Especially since Mendoza himself has a lifetime batting average of .215, above the “Mendoza Line” of .200. As was mentioned at the top of this post, baseball sure is weird sometimes.)
3B) Butts Wagner
Butts Wagner is the older brother of Honus Wagner. How do you think it feels to have your little pip squeak of a brother go on to be recognized as one of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball, one of the first five Hall of Famers, with one of the rarest baseball cards, while you wash out of the league after one season split over two teams that no longer exist? Butts Wagner needs this win.
LF) Rusty Kuntz
If you do not understand why this name is so perfect, please just ask your slightly older cousin the next time that side of the family visits from out on Long Island. I am sure he can explain it for you.
P) Al Alburquerque
Sure he is not really a starting pitcher (in fact, he has never started a game,) but Al Alburquerque is the single best name among currently active players in all of Major League Baseball, and he needs to be on this fake team. Like, what is the origin of Alburquerque? I would guess that maybe his family was one of the first to settle Albuquerque, New Mexico, except that completely falls apart when you look back a handful of words ago and realize that his surname and the city are actually spelled differently. An amusing mystery. Then there is the fact that on Alburquerque’s jerseys, his 12-letter name legitimately goes around like, half of it. An amusing sight. But what puts this name above the rest is this: Al Albuquerque allows all an astounding attempt at alliteration always. An amusing alliteration.