Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » May 2005 » Fun with names department:

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05/17/2005: Fun with names department:

At the Hardball Times, Steve Treder takes a look at the fun you can have with ballplayer names: Banana Fana Fo Fudcat

A few of my favorites (below the fold, to keep the length of this down):

The Department of Just Plain Funny:
Emil "Hillbilly" Bildilli
Van Lingle Mungo [Mungo was, IIRC, the subject of a novelty song back when... "Van Lingle Mungo" is just plain fun to recite to yourself. And, I can testify, if you do that, you're guaranteed a seat by yourself on the bus...]

The Department of Just Plain Weird
Urban Shocker [A St. Louis connection here; Shocker played for the Browns for a while.]
Scipio Spinks [Hey, I like it. Another St. Louis connection (Scipio played for the Cards for a couple of seasons), plus with a name like that he should have been a member of the boxing Spinks family of St. Louis.]

The Department of Change
Ernest Dudley Lee (who also played as Ernest Dudley, and also played as Dud Dudley, and also, of course, played as Dud Lee) [I'd have stuck with "Dud Lee", myself....]

The Department of Can You Identify This Player, Given First and Middle Names Only, Because With the Last Name Included It's a Cinch Division
Ludwig Heinrich ...... [HINT: Ruth and ......; 6 letters]
Giuseppe Paolo ........ [HINT: "Prince Albert"'s comparable; 8 letters]

The Department of Coincidence
Bob Sadowski and Bob Sadowski [I pick them because one of these Sadowski's is a buddy of my father's. If you follow the link, notice who sponsors that page. :-) St. Louis connection: "my" Sadowski is a St. Louis native who played one game (and has all of two career plate appearances and one at bat) for the Cardinals, though he has a minute career with a couple other teams, including being a teammate of Bo Belinsky on the early '60s L.A. Angels (back when they were really in L.A.).

The Department of We Got It the First Time
Dusty Rhodes
Dusty Rhodes
Dusty Rhodes [Actually, I think there's an rule in professional baseball that any player surnamed "Rhodes" is issued the nickname "Dusty" with his first paycheck in the low minors.]

The Department of How to Identify Rolling Stones
Les Moss

The Department of You've Got to be Kidding Me
Guy Sturdy

The Department of Now You've Really Got to be Kidding Me
Tony Suck

The Department of Elizabethan Tragedy
King Lear

The Department of Hero Worship
Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish [This whole department is worth the price of admission itself, but this is simply, I think, the greatest ballplayer name ever. Unfortunately, it appears that he played under the name "Cal McLish", nickname "Bus" or "Buster". Some people just don't get with the program....]

The Department of Full Employment of Character Spaces [Strong STL connections here....]
Mark Grudzielanek [Current Cards 2B, of course. And as Dan says, "You can't spell 'Grudzielanek' without a degree in Polish..."]
Ken Raffensberger [Played for the Cards one season.]
Red Schoendienst [Played 2B for the Cards for a while, interrupted by stints with the Giants and Braves before returning to the Cards, and of course managed the Cardinals just about forever; Hall of Famer. Also famous as being "the worst player in his hotel room" when he played for the Cards; well, his roomie on the road was Stan Musial....]
Ossee Schreckengost [Played 72 games for the 1899 Cardinals (over two stints) and for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders when he wasn't playing with the Cards. The '99 Spiders are, by W-L record, the worst MLB team ever, and they achieved this distinction by being owned by the same guys that owned the Cards. The owners would basically shuffle players between the Cardinals and the Spiders to insure that the Cards had the best players under their control at any given time... Their abuse of their dual (syndicate) ownership of two teams led to MLB rules banning the practice.]
Christian Frederick Wilhelm Von der Ahe [Owner/Manager (for a few games in three seasons) of the Cardinals in 1895-97, when the franchise was named the "Browns" (they acquired the "Cardinals" monicker later). "Von der Ahe", IIRC, is still a name you see around STL (I recall a Von der Ahe attending high school with me in a class ahead or behind me), but they've not been involved in baseball for a long while.]

And Steve ends his playtime with this observation:

The George Washington X's, Thomas Jefferson X's, Benjamin Franklin X's, and even James Madison and John Adams X's are just too numerous to list. One must conclude that being named after a Founding Father was just not all that unusual a deal for a long time in our great Republic.

Also there are too many Andrew Jackson X's to have lised them all here. He was obviously rather popular too.
Go look at the complete list, though. I've only scratched the surface. It's a fun read!

Len on 05.17.05 @ 09:12 AM CST

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