Whoop-La! Funny Baseball Nicknames, Part II

This week we’re turning on the way back machine for round two of funny baseball nicknames. While all of these men played many decades ago, they have all made a lasting mark on baseball history, in one way or another.

Burleigh Arland “Ol’ Stubblebeard” Grimes (1893-1985) – As if being named Burleigh Arland Grimes wasn’t enough, this Hall of Fame pitcher was saddled with the nickname Ol’ Stubblebeard for good measure. Grimes was a fitting last name for this man, who has the dubious distinction of being the last pitcher allowed to legally throw the controversial spitball (a pitch in which the baseball is covered by one or several foreign substances to create unusual, unpredictable motion). Ol’ Stubby was also known for his temperament, gaining the ire of many by once throwing a ball at the batter in the on-deck circle. However, he was also one heck of a pitcher with one hell of a name.

Will “Whoop-La” White (1854-1911) – One of my favorite baseball nicknames ever belongs to a man who holds two of baseball’s unbreakable records. Whoop-La threw an unbelievable 75 complete games during the 1879 season, amassing 680 innings pitched that year. Both are major league records which will never be broken (for perspective, a great pitcher might throw 5 complete games a year and amass perhaps 225 innings). Whoop-La was also the first man to wear eyeglasses on the field. And while he has been largely forgotten in the annals of Major League Baseball, I think there should be more hoopla for Whoop-La!

Whoop-La White – pitcher or frontiersman? They don’t make collars (or ballplayers, for that matter) like that anymore!

Charlie “Piano Legs” Hickman (1876-1934) – A well-regarded utility player and occasional pitcher, Piano Legs was so nicknamed for his apparently poor baserunning skills. But perhaps the nickname was ill-fitting for Hickman, who amassed 91 career triples to go with several inside-the-park home runs. But while his baserunning skills may have been better than he is given credit for, his defense sure wasn’t – Piano Legs set a still-standing Major League record by committing an eye-poppingly bad 90 errors during the 1900 season. Wow!

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About Rob

Huge San Diego Padres fan, working as an economic consultant in Pasadena, CA. Contributor to the Funny Names Blog. funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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18 Responses to Whoop-La! Funny Baseball Nicknames, Part II

  1. My friend has a drunken stepmother who drunkenly fell down the stairs once with the words ‘Whoop la!’, so I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

  2. Bumba says:

    I thought you couldn’t follow Stubble Beard but you did. Congrats for the interesting bios. Nominee for best nickname for a pitcher: Sal The Barber Maglie.

  3. Baseball, a never ending reservoir of names for you guys.

    • Dave says:

      It’s so true. Now that Rob’s doing so many baseball posts, I think I might have to give up the baseball ones just to get some variety.

  4. Whoop-la makes me want to find someone to call Whoop-la, someone Whoop-la worthy…looks like I have some work ahead of me.

    • Dave says:

      Haha, as soon as you find someone Whoop-la worthy, please let us know. That sounds like the kind of person we should be aware of.

  5. rhijulbec says:

    I hate to ask and sound like I am an idiot, but what is an error in baseball? And approximately how many are “normal”? I know baseball a bit, but just enough to be dangerous. lol

    • Rob says:

      An error occurs when a fielder fails to make a play (by dropping a ball, throwing the ball errantly, etc.) that he could reasonably be expected to make. How many are normal depends on the position, but for an average third baseman I’d expect maybe 20-25 errors in a season on the high side. However, back in the day the gloves (if they used them at all) were of much lower quality, so errors were somewhat more common. But 90 is an insanely high number, no matter the era. Hope that helps!

        • Dave says:

          Rob did a very good job of summarizing his baseball knowledge in that reply. When we were younger, he used to recite to me parts of the baseball rule book, such as this gem:

          “The ball must be pitched, not jerked or thrown to the bat; and whenever the pitcher pulls back his hand or moves with the apparent purpose or pretension to deliver the ball, he shall so deliver it… and if he fails in either of these particulars, it shall be declared a balk.”

          • rhijulbec says:

            ROFLMAO!!! Sounds like golf. They have some singularly silly rules for golf as well…or “flog” as I call it, cause that’s what I do!

  6. Pingback: Urban Shocker | The Blog of Funny Names

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