Urban Shocker

Urban James Shocker (1890-1928), born Urbain Jacques Shockor, was a pitcher for the Yankees and St. Louis Browns. He was one hell of a pitcher too. Finishing his career with a 187-117 record with a 3.17 ERA, the electrifying right-hander hurled four straight 20-win seasons in the 1920s, a remarkable feat.

However, perhaps his greatest claim to fame (aside from his fantastic name) is that he was the last Yankee pitcher to legally throw a spitball. A dangerous pitch, the spitter was outlawed in 1920, but seventeen pitchers were grandfathered in and allowed to throw the spitter until they retired. Shocker was one of these men. Burleigh Arland “Ol’ Stubblebeard” Grimes was another. In fact, Ol’ Stubblebeard was the last spitballer to retire, which he did in 1934.

Urban Shocker was apparently a fan of warm coats.

Urban Shocker was apparently a fan of warm coats.

Shortly after being released by the Yankees in 1928, Shocker entered a baseball tournament in Denver. He pitched in one game on August 6 and caught pneumonia soon after. Unfortunately, the illness, combined with heart disease, would kill him the next month.

But you gotta give Shocker credit for his awesome pitching career, as well as for the fact that he undoubtedly lived up to his name. Living in an era in which a large percentage of the population still lived in rural areas, Shocker was indeed an Urban kind of guy. You see, Urban was born in Cleveland and died in Denver.

Shocking, isn’t it?

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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25 Responses to Urban Shocker

  1. wdydfae says:

    Oh, come on! That is not anyone’s real name. You just made it up!

    It’s time for the BoFN crew to come clean. Admit it. You’ve been making these up the whole time.

    You did have me going there for a while, though! Great gag, guys! You pranked us all real good!

    • Liz says:

      you’ve totally outed us wadiddifay–Dave swore us to silence when he brought us on, but I can’t hold it in any longer

      • Dave says:

        NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Why did you break the pact?! This whole project is about to be in shambles! 😉

        • wdydfae says:

          As with all mad geniuses, your arrogance was your downfall. In the early stages of this nepharious project, the funny names were carefully crafted. However preposterous the names, there was always a faint aura of plausibility. As your success and fame grew, however, you grew more bold, and the names became more and more preposterous, always pushing plausibility further and further to the limit. Little by little, you grew prideful in your craft, and disdainful of your gullible readers, and with this prideful disdain there developed finally the imp of recklessness. Yes, and with recklessness, carelessness. Or perhaps something deeper. Daring readers to catch you in the evil act, were you not begging them to catch you? Well, we shall have to leave that to the criminal psychologists. Whatever the tangled motives that drove you to recklessness, when you introduced the name “Urban Shocker” the mask finally came off. There was not the faintest hint of plausibility to support this outrageous invention. You thought it could just stand there, and that you could just scoff at us as we swallowed it, as we had swallowed all the other fictions. But it was not to be.

          And now there’s only one question left.



          • Liz says:

            awesome pargraph, diddy (can I call you diddy? probably not) I almost wish we were up to no good just to prove you right. Urban Shocker put it over the top for you, but you were good with Milton Snavely Hershey? Eppa “Jephtha” Rixey? Elon Musk?

          • wdydfae says:

            I am a simple and trusting man. I thought you guys were on the level. I should also mention that my honest, sterling character often misleads me, as I am not prone to suspect mischief in others, being so pure in heart myself.

            Did I also mention that I’m incredibly humble about my moral qualities?

          • wdydfae says:

            I understand your question better now. The “Snavely” and “Jephtha” and “Musk” fabrications didn’t cause alarm bells to ring for me because the nonsense words somehow made them more plausible. So, “Elon Musk” did not arouse suspicion, I admit, but what if it had been “Rural Musk”? Well, then even my simple and trusting mind would have been jarred into suspecting that something was not quite right. This was the giveaway for your “Urban Shocker” fake. When the funny name can also be a plain compound noun that makes perfect sense, well, then even the most honest and guileless of souls will begin to question its veracity. And this, my fine cheffy friend, was your undoing!

          • Liz says:

            but you see, my fine youtubey friend, I am responsible only for these BoFN posts: Crescent Dragonwagon, Brothers Dickey, Gesine Bullock-Prado, and Milton Snavely Hershey, all of which passed your highly sensitive “real and authentic name-o-meter.” (They are real names, btw, but that seems beside the point at this point.) It is Rob, the author of Urban Shocker’s post, with whom you have your beef. Dave, who has emerged as the ringleader here, would also be culpable at least in part were there blame to be distributed.

            Though being, like you, a trusting soul, I am inclined to believe that we remain an honest group featuring only genuine names. Though I gotta say, you lost even me with the last lines of your last comment. What a web you spin with words! You could call yourself the “wdydfae the word spinner” and they could make action figures for you and give you your own animated series. ??? Just a thought. Your musings are very much appreciated.

          • amb says:

            This is one of my favourite comment threads ever. Diddy and his Cheffy friend – you guys sound like you could fight crime!

    • Dave says:

      Yes. It’s true. We’re horrible people with nothing better to do than mislead our faithful readers 🙂

      • amb says:

        What’s this “we” business? George Mark Paul Stroumboulopoulos is the 100% genuine article, thank you very much. 😉

        • wdydfae says:

          I’m not falling for this again!

          Sure, and my sister-in-law’s name is Ermine Bannister Huphalumpalump. Her claim to fame is that her great-great-grandfather Hermit Howling Hoozawhatsit invented the zither, which he didn’t call a zither but Spectral Harmony Stringed Euphonia, after his beloved aunt Euphonia Eustace Essither. Because of the connection with the Essither family, well known for their charitable work on behalf of wounded verteran in the Gradjzean Conflict, the instrument was known as the Essither Euphonia, shortened later to Essither, then later still to the sither, and finally to zither, the name it bears to this day.

          What? You mean you don’t believe me?!?

          • Rob says:

            Hahaha. You should have found out when I posted about Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb. You really think that’s a real person’s name?

        • Rob says:

          The only thing genuine about this damn blog is your deep, true love for Dave. 😉

          • amb says:

            You noticed that, huh? 😉

          • wdydfae says:

            No, the real shocker here is that “Dave” and “Amber” are not different people. The first clue was the name “Davember”, introduced as a sweet his-and-hers hybrid. In fact, it was a sly wink amongst the BoFN crew over the shared joke that this new “item” was always the same person. Yes, “Dave,” the devious mastermind, full of monomaniacal self love, finally could only express satisfactorily it by inventing the “perfect” “woman” to worship him and swoon over him. Naturally, this “Amber” had to be beautiful, charming, witty, passionate, accomplished, articulate, oh, and by strange “coincidence” share the same taste in just about everything and have a very “similar” writing style: bouncy, rollicking, flamboyant, engaging, etc. etc. Of course, “Dave” could not be too obvious, So he had to invent superficial “differences” (“she” loves coffee, “he” can’t stand it; “he” cringes at the word RomCom, “she” relishes it) so this charade would not be too obvious.


          • wdydfae says:

            Aw, heck! I can’t keep this up.

            I hope you guys know this “criminal mastermind” goof is just my way of paying homage to the brilliance of BoFN and its extraordinary crew. You folks are the best!

          • amb says:

            Hey, as long as you’re using adjectives like that to describe me, you can keep this “criminal mastermind” thing going as long as you want! 🙂

  2. Dave says:

    I love the “urban” reference at the end, and also love any reference to Burleigh Arland “Ol’ Stubblebeard” Grimes. One of my favorite old-timey baseball players ever.

  3. Great post Rob. However, I’m starting to go through Ogden Nash withdrawal. . .

    On a separate note, this post showed up in my mailbox on the 21st of April, but on the BoFN today. What “shocking” magic is afoot here?

    • Rob says:

      Haha, I think I probably accidentally posted it when I was writing the draft, then deleted it. As for Ogden, he only wrote about a limited number of players, and I’m running out of ones with great names! But I’ll try to squeeze in a few more if I can!

  4. Arto says:

    This post has finally answered the question I’ve been asking myself for decades. What’s French for Urban Shocker? “Urbain Shockor” of course (you gotta say it in your worst French accent). Brilliant job, ol’ Stubblebeard!

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