Egyptian, Pretzels, Ice Box and Baseball

Since there’s absolutely no way I can top Amb’s awesome post last week, (I hear Canadian Tire is doing incredible business on toggle bolts this week) I’m going to stick to what I do best and write about baseball. However, it’ll be a little different than usual.

One of baseball’s more notable feats of futility is the 20-game loser, which occurs when a pitcher loses 20 games in a season. It is a rare feat, as a pitcher must either pitch extremely poorly, pitch in a ton of games (hence why a lot of 20 game losers pitched in the glory days of yesteryear), and/or suffer unbelievably bad luck.

I came up with the idea to profile 20 game losers while perusing the trusty and incredible It turns out there is no shortage of 20 game losers with awesome names. So here goes:

Egyptian Healy – nicknamed Egyptian due to his birthplace of Cairo, Illinois, Healy lost 20 games 4 different times! Four! However, Egyptian was a serviceable pitcher, amassing a 78-136 career record with a 3.84 career ERA. He also gave 822 batters an emphatic pharaoh well by striking them out. Yes, that is a horrible pun. In other news, Egyptian even pitched for the Toledo Maumees, a legendary team with one of the worst names ever.

Pretzels Getzien – In Pretzels we trust. Pretzels lost 20 games three times in his career, yet somehow finished with a winning record for his storied career! He went 145-139 with a 3.46 ERA in a nine-year career. It is unclear as to why he was nicknamed Pretzels – it may have derived from his German ancestry (I don’t know why that would be) or from the belief he was able to throw a “double curve” following the curves of a Pretzel. After a victory over Kansas City in 1886, the Detroit Free Press wrote: “The Pretzel is all right. He went into the box to-day and pitched one of his finest, his curves circling around in the form of the delicious pastry from which Getz takes his sobriquet.” Enough said.


Do you like deceptive pretzels? … (source:

Ice Box Chamberlain – Ice Box was nicknamed as such due to his ability to possess “austere calm in the face of all hostility by the enemy.” In other words, he pitched with ice water in his veins. Ice Box lost 20 games twice in his career, but finished with a 157-120 record to go along with a 3.57 ERA. Not bad!


…Or pretzel girls in an Ice Box? (source:

So there you have it. There are many more 20 game losers with funny names out there, but these were three of the best. Apparently, back in the day, losing 20 games wasn’t so bad, as Pretzels and Ice Box showed.

You go, Egyptian Ice Box Pretzels! Liz, feel free to steal that as the name of your next food creation, but give me credit for the awesome name.


About Rob

Huge San Diego Padres fan, working as an economic consultant in Pasadena, CA. Contributor to the Funny Names Blog.
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20 Responses to Egyptian, Pretzels, Ice Box and Baseball

  1. marksackler says:

    The commentators always say that you have to be a good pitcher on a bad team to lose 20 games, but, man, with names like those they deserve to lose. 😉

    • Dave says:

      I agree. A lot of the 20 game losers are fairly decent, but gotta love those names. I think they deserve to win 20 games with those names!

  2. amb says:

    Rob !!! I can’t unsee that pretzel girl in the icebox, now. Thanks, hun. That pharaoh well pun goes a long way toward making up for it, though 🙂

  3. Liz says:

    there are a lot of food words in that title of yours, Rob. Watch yourself–don’t be crossing over into my territory 😉 (haha, I love seeing food themes @BoFN) That is indeed a disturbing image what with the pretzel girl in the ice box. Eeew. And Target is so not out of pretzels–a world of lies, yes. Pretzel is a good nickname–almost as good as kitten or pancake.

    Nice job with the research and post. Once again, I’ve been educated as I didn’t know about this 20-game thing. Now I do thanks to you 🙂

    • Dave says:

      Yeah, Liz will seriously throw the smack down if you infringe on her foodie territory!

      I mean, she’ll lay the beet down, give you a knuckle sandwich, flatten you like a pancake, put you in an arti-choke hold, and make sure you’ll never cut the mustard again!

      • Dave says:

        Sorry, those puns were fishy.

        Liz will cream you.

        She’ll batter you.

        She’ll whack you with a colander until you can’t handle the strain anymore.

        She’ll put you on ice.

      • Liz says:

        nicely done, Dave! Though I know you’re just showing off for amb 😉 This almost bumps out all of those cheese puns (remember the great cheese heist?) for my favorite back-to-back food puns.

        I do indeed throw smack downs over at food for fun. Remember the marshmallows? (oh, that was a throw down, which could be an entirely different thing) I’m one bad-ass-apple when it comes to food, that’s for sure.

        • Rob says:

          Hahaha I’m so scared. I use the word ‘taters’ all the time on here and you never say nothin’ about that!

        • Rob says:

          Speaking of cheese, did you know that “piece of cheese” is slang for a hard fastball? As in, he snuck a piece of cheese by the batter with that one.

          • Liz says:

            I did not know that. So we’re crossing food/baseball lines here with both cheese and pretzels. What to do? I think we should dip our pretzels in cheese sauce (no euphemism here whatsoever–like I’ve told diddy, I keep it clean here) and enjoy!

          • Rob says:

            I am definitely mixing up food and baseball! It’s a bit of an interesting batter. (pun intended, of course) I’m thinking of trying to have an “all food all star” team post one of these times. Lou “Biscuit Pants” Gehrig would definitely be on that team.

  4. I agree with Amb and Liz–the pretzel girl is disturbing. But I love the post. Had no idea about the 20 game loser before today. Learned something new.

    • Dave says:

      Yeah, it’s a pretty impressive stat. There’s only been one guy to lose 20 games since 1983. The crazy thing is that hall of famer Phil Niekro lost 20 games twice, and landed up in the hall of fame. Mark’s comment about being a good pitcher on a bad team is very true.

      • Rob says:

        That would be Mike Maroth, of course, for the horrible 2003 Tigers. I think former Padre Bobby Jones lost 19 one year.

        Walter Johnson and Cy Young also lost 20 games multiple times!

  5. Dave says:

    Great post, and I agree with Amb – that “pharaoh well” pun was astounding!

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