“Can’t anyone here play this game?”–Casey Stengel
Question: What do Roughned Odor, Zealous Wheeler, Caleb Bushyhead, Michael Goodnight and Tuffy Gosewisch have in common?
Answer: They are just five of the 63 also-rans in the 2012 Minor League Baseball Moniker Madness, behind the eventual winner, Rock Shoulders. Shoulders joined previous winners Seth Schwindenhammer, Rowdy Hardy, Dusty Napoleon, Will Startup and Houston Summers in winning the annual Wonderful Terrific Monds III award for the most awesome name in all of organized minor league baseball.
Wonderful Terrific Monds III??!! Yes, that’s a real name, of a real baseball player, who spent the years 1993-1999 in the minor leagues, mostly in the Atlanta Braves organization. It seems his great grandfather had a slew of girls, and when he finally had a son, he thought it was Wonderful and Terrific and named him such. Like the Outerbridge Horsey legacy, the name has been passed on through further generations.
But his baseball career didn’t amount to much. By 1998, he was in the Colorado Rockies organization, spending the entire season at class AA New Haven in the Eastern League. He made the National League AA All-Star team, and homered to provide the NL’s winning margin, in a game I witnessed at Yale Field in New Haven. That was the highlight of his career–he never played higher than AA ball. He is now remembered solely for having what amounts to perhaps the most outrageous and pretentious name in professional baseball history, immortalized by the Moniker Madness Award named for him. He’s an inspiration to funny-named aspiring ball players evermore.
As for the competition itself, every July it is conducted on Minor League Baseball’s web site through unlimited fan voting, with 64 awesome names seeded in NCAA March Madness bracket fashion. If prior timing holds true, the 7th annual competition should begin next week. We’ll provide updates, in Friday’s Funny Names in the News, as the competition unfolds.
Oh, Casey, we don’t know if any of these guys can play this game; but with great names like these, who cares?
For my own obscure place in baseball history, visit my own blog, The Millennium Conjectures.