Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb

Ledell Titcomb (1866-1950) had an awesome name. To add awesomeness to awesomeness, Ledell also had an amazing nickname – “Cannonball” Titcomb. Cannonball was a Major League Baseball pitcher who had a career not nearly as memorable as his name. Ledell finished his career with a 30-29 record and a 3.47 ERA over 5 seasons, bookended by stints with the awesomely named Philadelphia Quakers and Rochester Broncos.

Ledell had a memorable day on September 15, 1890, when he pitched a no-hitter in a 7-0 victory over the Syracuse Stars. He was also a member of the World Champion New York Giants of 1888. Also of note, he is reported by baseball-reference.com as being 5’6” tall, which would thus make him one of the shortest men to ever pitch in the Big Leagues.

His Giants teammate, Ed Crane, was also nicknamed “Cannonball,” and the twosome was referred to as the “Cannonball Duo.” It is posited that he got the nickname due to his propensity to throw strikeouts, but this is not certain.

Ledell "Cannonball" Titcomb, looking sharp.

Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb, looking sharp.

To close, here is (no, not Ogden Nash!) an awesome excerpt from the May 25, 1887 issue of Sporting Life about good ‘ol Ledell:

“Two thousand throats gave Ledell Titcomb an ovation of which he should be justly proud on Saturday when he stepped in the pitcher’s box to pitch his first game for Jersey City. And it is the verdict of all who saw the game that he is a ‘dandy’. . . Tuesday Titcomb pitched his second game, and scored his second victory . . . Titcomb struck out eight men, and would have struck out as many more had Umpire Hoover understood the nature of a ball or strike. . .” (quote courtesy of BR Bullpen)

Ah, they don’t write like that anymore. Kind of unfortunate, in my opinion.

You go, Cannonball!

About Rob

Huge San Diego Padres fan, working as an economic consultant in Pasadena, CA. Contributor to the Funny Names Blog. funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in funny names in baseball, Greatest hits. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb

  1. Lucky Wreck says:

    This one has officially been placed in my top five favorite names! 😀

  2. amb says:

    I can’t even be sad about Ogden’s absence today, because you’re on such a roll with these posts lately! You go, Rob!

    • Rob says:

      Why thank you Amb! Yeah, Ogden only writes about ballplayers who had extremely good careers. Your Strombo post wasn’t too shabby, either! I don’t know much about the guy, but he always seemed to be on MuchMusic when I was flipping channels! And he has such a ridiculous long name, it’s impressive.

      • Dave says:

        Rob’s not mentioning the fact that I used to harp about Strombo a lot back in my day as well. 🙂

      • amb says:

        I always loved Strombo’s interviews on Much because he asked artists questions about, you know, their music, and not where they like to shop when they visit Toronto. It was a pretty radical approach for the network at that time, lol

  3. Dave says:

    Great name, great post. It is the verdict of all who read this post that you are a ‘dandy’!

  4. Dave says:

    Also of note: this is a very pleasant name to say. Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb. Impossible to say without smiling.

  5. Dave says:

    Of further note: for a 30-win guy to win a world championship and pitch a no hitter is pretty darn impressive. It must have been the power of the name!

    • Rob says:

      You just inspired next week’s blog post! 30-wins and a no-hitter is pretty impressive, but I’ve got two guys in mind who accomplished quite a feat and had careers that paled in comparison to Titcomb’s modest one. And had pretty cool names.

  6. Dave says:

    Apparently I’m using the stream of consciousness commenting technique this morning. This will be my last comment for now. Unless I have more ideas…

    • amb says:

      I cannot WAIT to see what happens to you when you finally cave and start drinking coffee. It’s going to be spectacular xo.

      • Rob says:

        It’s the “blogger’s technique” Dave! You’ve obviously moved on from the whole “artist’s technique” phase. (Sorry world – dated inside joke that only Dave will get) I like your commenting technique this morning though – makes me look more popular than I really am! And Amb – how do you know so much about my brother haha? It’s not like he shouts from the rooftops that he doesn’t drink coffee! 🙂

  7. Liz says:

    Are all vintage-era sports players funnily named? Cannonball=very cool nickname. That last quote is indeed great and colorful sports writing!

    • Rob says:

      It only seems that way. Athletes from way back in the day definitely tend to have funnier names than their modern counterparts, but there were still a lot of guys with run-of-the-mill names. I think Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb is easily one of the top 5 names in baseball history.

  8. Bumba says:

    The best names are baseball names. And in Cannonball’s defense, in today’s market his 30-29 record would put him among the $7 to 8 million free-agent category.

    • Rob says:

      Definitely! Pitchers’ contracts are getting out of control. A guy with a 10-10 record and a 4.00 ERA can get close to $10 million these days.

  9. paralaxvu says:

    In the olden days when I was a young girl, hats were de rigueur– by the Pope for church, by the ladies for going shopping downtown. I miss them. Some downtowns and most hats, (not the Pope’s). BTW, I hear the name Titcomb came from a guy with really hairy boobs. I could be wrong…

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