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Dim Dom Dallessandro
Outfielder Nicholas Dominic Dallessandro played 68 games with the Boston Red Sox in 1937 (hitting .237), then resurfaced in 1940 with the Chicago Cubs. Gone in 1945 for World War II service, Dallessandro returned for two more seasons with the Cubs. His best year: 1944 when he batted .304 with eight home runs in 117 games. Later he played in the Pacific Coast League.

Being called Dom was obvious, but why Dim Dom? One explanation is that it was prompted by how newspapers frequently referred to the player as "diminutive Dom Dallessandro." It makes sense to me because newspapers had a tendency to do that. In researching stories about my hometown — Solvay, New York — I noticed something similar in regard to a well-known local bowler, Greg Griffo, who stood 5-feet=2-inches tall, and the first reference to his name was usually preceded by the word "diminutive."

Anyway, in Dallessandro's case, someone decided that "deiminutive Dom" could be shortened to Dim Dom, and this became his nickname.

 

Cot Deal
Ellis Ferguson Deal was was signed to a pro baseball contract as an outfielder-third baseman, but switched to pitching in the minors. At Rochester of the International League he pitched and played outfield, even catching on one occasion. He was so highly regarded that he was inducted into the Rochester Red Wing Hall of Fame.

However, it was with another Cardinal farm team, Columbus (Ohio) of the International League, that Deal did something that separates yesterday's baseball from today's. It happened in 1949 when Deal pitched 20 innings in one game. Hit pitch count probably went off the chart. Oh, wait – they didn't count pitches in 1949.

Deal spent parts of three season in the major leagues (1947-48 with the Boston Red Sox, 1950 with the St. Louis Cardinals), but appeared in only 12 games.

In 1951 he returned to the outfield with Columbus, then a St. Louis farm club in the American Association. He hit 18 home runs, but the next season, at Rochester, he was pitching again, posting a 14-9 record. The next season he won 16 games, which earned him another crack at the majors. In 1954, with the Cardinals, he made 33 relief appearances, but was ineffective and so back to Rochester he went.

After retirement as a player, Deal managed in the minor leagues.

As a toddler he was called Cotton Top because of his mop of very light hair; the nickname eventually was shortened to Cot.

 

Bucky Dent
Bucky Dent was a shortstop with the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. Later he managed the Yankees for the last 40 games of the 1989 season.

His claim to fame is the home run that gave the Yankees the 1978 American League East championship over the Boston Red Sox, which is why you do not mention Bucky Dent's name in Boston. Ever. That is, unless you include the nickname Red Sox fans always put between Bucky and Dent. (It rhymes with trucking.) Then you might even get a free beer.

The shortstop arrived in the majors in 1973, though with his catchy, almost 1920s-style baseball name, it seemed Bucky Dent had been around forever.

On the other hand, maybe Dent should have skipped baseball and gone into movies. He certainly had the looks. Then all you'd ever hear about Tom Cruise is, "Poor guy. He thought he'd be the next Bucky Dent."

Dent's life be the subject of a Lifetime movie. His birth name is Russell Earl O'Dey, son of single parents, Denise O'Dey and Russell Stanford of Savannah, Georgia, who had broken up before their baby was born.

His mother gave her son to her sister, Sarah, and her husband, James Earl Dent, to raise as theirs. They even had his birth certificate changed to Russell Earl Dent.

As a boy he picked up the nickname Bucky, and until he was 10 he thought his birth mother was his aunt.

 

Pickles Dillhoefer
Pickles was an obvious nickname for William Dillhoefer, a catcher who spent three years with the St. Louis Cardinals after brief stints with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. He appeared to find a home in St. Louis where he split catching duties with Verne "Fats" Clemons in 1920 and '21.

Then tragedy struck. In February 1922, six weeks after his wedding, Dillhoefer died of typhoid pneumonia.

 

She Donahue
Perhaps the strangest, most mysterious nickname of them all belongs to Charles Michael Donahue, who was born in Oswego, NY, in 1877. How or why he became known as She Donahue remains unanswered. I checked several old Oswego newspaper stories, and while one of them referred to Donahue as "a famous old ballplayer," locally speaking, at least, there was no explanation of the nickname.

Donahue may have been famous in Oswego, but he didn't stick around the major leagues long enough to stimulate much interest. He was an infielder who played 62 games in the National League in 1904, most of them with the last-place Philadelphia Phillies. He batted .219, which was bad, and fielded .858, which was worse. Maybe the "e" in the nickname had something to do with errors because Donahue made 38 of them in those 62 games.

 

Whammy Douglas
Pitcher Charles William "Whammy" Douglas lost his right eye as the result of an accident when he was 11 years old. Nonetheless the Carrboro, North Carolina, youngster became one of his area's best pitchers. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in 1954 won 27 games from the Brunswick (Georgia) Pirates of the Georgia-Florida League.

Three years later, after posting a 10-10 record with Columbus (Ohio) of the International League, Douglas moved up to the majors, winning three and losing three for Pittsburgh.

A year later he was back in Columbus where he won 16 games, but his career was shortened by elbow and shoulder injuries to his right arm. He retired in 1961.

 

Astyanax Douglass
Astyanax Saunders Douglass paid two brief visits to the Cincinnati Reds, catching four games in 1921, seven more in 1925. He had four singles in 24 at bats (.167).

However, he didn't fade away quietly. On May 24, 1925, he broke into an argument between teammate Ivy Wingo, also a catcher, and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jimmy Ring. (Wingo and Ring had been battery mates with the Reds for four seasons, 1917-20). Douglass kicked things up a notch by punching Ring's jaw.

In the clubhouse after the game there was a rematch. It must have been a honey because later that day the pitcher followed the catcher to the railroad station to stage Ring vs. Douglass III.

 

Snooks Dowd
An infielder, Raymond Bernard Dowd had two brief visits to the major leagues – in 1919 and 1926. He was the starting second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day in 1926 – and two days later was released. The word on Dowd was he couldn't make a throw to first with any accuracy.

In 1921 Dowd stole 54 bases in the International League for a Buffalo team that had an incredible 325 stolen bases.

No doubt Dowd was fast. He played football at Lehigh and in 1918, according to legend, ran well more than 100 yards on one play that resulted in a touchdown in a 17-0 win over archrival Lafayette.

Details of the play are fuzzy. One newspaper had Dowd getting turned around when he recovered a Lafayette fumble, and running about 15 yards in the wrong direction before he corrected himself. Several old newspapers tell an unbelievable tale that claims Dowd, the Lehigh quarterback, got turned around on a play from the Lafayette one-yard line, ran the length of the field the wrong way, then turned around and ran another 100 yards for the score.

The fumble? I can buy that version. But no way does a quarterback who has only one yard to run for a touchdown get so confused that he races 99 yards in the wrong direction before going "Oooops!"

 

Hod Eller
Pitcher Horace Owen Eller won 20 games for Cincinnati in 1919, including a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. Then he beat Chicago twice in the World Series, but those victories lost their luster when it was revealed eight White Sox players had been paid by gamblers to fix the series. In the opening game Eller struck out six straight Chicago batters, setting a Series record that still stands, though it has been tied.

Eller had a dirty little secret – a pitch called the shineball which involved dirt, spit and some hard rubbing. The shineball fluttered as it approached the plate. The pitch was outlawed in 1920; a year later Eller was out of the majors. He was only 27.

 

Jewel Ens
Jewel Winkelmeyer Ens was an infielder (1922-25) and longtime manager, mostly in minors. He had an older brother named Anton, a first baseman better known as Mutz Ens.

Jewel Ens was the Syracuse manager when I attended my first game there. Now that I know his middle name, Ens is even more memorable. He is in the Syracuse Chiefs Hall of Fame and was named manager of the Chiefs' all-time team. On his way to the major leagues, Ens spent one season in Syracuse as a player, posting a career best .335 batting average in 1921.

That earned him a spot with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but while he spent part of four seasons with the Bucs, he played in only 67 games, batting .290. During those 67 games Ens played every infield position.

Late in the 1929 season he was named manager of the Pirates and held the job until he was fired after the 1931 season. He became the Syracuse manager in 1942 and held the job until his death in January 1950.

 

Bibb Falk
It was outfielder Bibb August Falk who replaced the banished (Shoeless) Joe Jackson in left field for the Chicago White Sox in 1921. A terrific hitter, Falk had a .314 lifetime average in a 12-season major league career. His younger brother Chet (aka Spot Falk) pitched for awhile in the 1920s with the St. Louis Browns.

Bibb Falk graduated from the University of Texas where he hit over .400 and was an undefeated pitcher; he also was an all-Southwest Conference tackle in football.

Later he became a coaching legend at Texas, leading the Longhorns to 20 conference titles in baseball, as well as two national championships.

Bibb Falk was nicknamed "Jockey" because of the way he "rode" opposing players. I haven't seen anything yet that explains his first name, which may have its roots in his mother's family.

In 1930, playing with the Cleveland Indians, Falk had one of major league baseball's most unusual batting performances – five hits, five runs batted in and five runs scored – in the first five innings of a 25-7 win over the Philadelphia Athletics. It happened on the 11th of May, which, of course, is month number five.

 

Boo Ferriss
Pitcher David Meadow Ferriss won 21 games as a Boston Red Sox rookie in 1945; his 25 wins in '46 led the Sox into the World Series and he shut out St. Louis in Game Three.

He injured his arm in 1947 and never recovered.

His nickname came from childhood efforts to get his big brother's attention. The word "brother" came out "boo." He became "Little Boo"; his brother, Will, became "Big Boo.

Ferriss was the pitching coach for the Red Sox between 1955 and 1959 before becoming head coach at Delta State University baseball where his teams compiled a 639-387 record before he retired in 1988.

 

Rollie Fingers
It could have been the name of a snack food or a new treat from KFC – "Can I have some Rollie Fingers, mom?" – but the name belongs to the relief pitcher supreme (1968-1985) who played for Oakland, San Diego and Milwaukee.

It was his Snidely Whiplash-like handlebar mustache that turned Roland Glen Fingers into a media darling during the 1972 World Series.

 
Pembroke Finlayson
The man with the prep school name was a pitcher who made just two appearances with Brooklyn, one each in 1908 and 1909. He died at age 24 from what was ruled "peritonitis of the heart brought on by an injury he suffered while pitching."

Pembroke Finlayson had shown some promise in the New England League, winning 19 games for the Brockton (Mass.) Tigers in 1909 and 21 games the next season with the Lawrence (Mass.) Colts. He advanced to Memphis of the Southern Association in 1911 and had an 11-7 record. He died March 6, 1912.

 

Elmer Flick
Elmer Harrison Flick is a Hall of Fame outfielder (1898-1910) who provides an unusual bit of trivia. His lifetime batting average (.313) was higher than the .306 that won him his only batting title. But 1905 was a tough year for American League batters. There were only two .300 hitters that year, Flick of the Cleveland Naps (nicknamed for star Napoleon Lajoie) and Willie Keeler (.302) of the New York Highlanders.

Earlier, with Philadelphia of the National League, Flick had seasons when he hit .342, .367 and .336, each time finishing behind at least two other players. His .306 was the lowest average ever to win a batting title until 1968 when Carl Yastrzemski, at .301, was the only American League player to hit over .300.

 

Hilly Flitcraft
It was 1942, World War II was underway, and 19-year-old Hildreth Milton "Hilly" Flitcraft, a 6-foot-2-inch pitcher, was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies and pressed into action. He appeared in just three games, pitched only three innings, and his major league career was over. His name seems almost a throwback to the first World War, Hilly Flitcraft suggesting a type of biplane. ("Ah, yes, Reggie Smythe-Jones. Splendid chap. Pip-pip, and all that. Flew a Hilly Flitcraft. But he was no match for the Red Baron, poor fellow.")

After his brief fling with the Phillies, Flitcraft entered the service. He was a civilian again in time for the 1945 season when he played for the Wilmington (Del.) Blue Rocks of the Interstate League, posting a fine 15-4 record.

He didn't play in 1946 – I suspect he may have injured his pitching arm – but in 1947 spent spring training with the Phillies' Utica (NY) farm team, which had on its roster such future Philadelphia stars as Richie Ashburn, Granny Hamner and Stan Lopata, along with the memorable Putsy Caballero.

However, Flitcraft was re-assigned to the Carbondale Pioneers of the North Atlantic League, where he won 10 games, lost five. Again, I suspect Flitcraft had arm trouble because in 1948, his last season in professional baseball, he no longer was pitching. He played first base for Portsmouth of the Ohio-Indiana League and batted .327 in 45 games.

 

Fat Fothergill
At 5-foot-10, 230 lbs., Fothergill was a likely target for such a nickname. Teammate Charlie Gehringer said of Fothergill, "He was about as round as he was tall."

Robert Roy Fothergill preferred to be called Bob and usually was. He began in the majors in 1922 with Detroit. Midway through the 1930 season the Tigers put him on waivers and he was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1932.

In his last five seasons, Fothergill was used mostly as a pinch hitter because hitting was what he did best. His lifetime average was .325. In one five-year stretch (1925-29) Fothergill hit over .350 four times.

When he retired he settled in Detroit and worked awhile for the Ford Motor Company. In January 1938 he was hired to coach baseball at Lawrence Institute of Technology in Highland Park, Michigan, but two months later suffered two strokes and died. He was 40.

In 1927 Fothergill went on a diet, which set him up for taunts from opponents who kept reminding him of his favorite foods.

This Fothergrill anecdote appeared on ESPN.com in a column by Jeff Meron, who said he got it from a Washington Post column written by Thomas Boswell:

"In 1928, Fat Fothergill, in the agonizing grip of a crash diet – complete with rubber suits and Turkish baths – became infuriatated by a third-strike call by Bill Dinneen. The 230-pound Fothergill bit the ump in the arm.

"Upon being ejected, Fothergill quipped, 'Okay by me. That's the first bite of meat I've had in a month.'"

 

Debs Garms
Debs C. Garms was a small (5-foot-8, 165 pound) outfielder who played without much notice on the St. Louis Browns for four seasons (1932-35).

Dispatched to the minors, Garms returned to the bigs in 1937 with the Boston Braves, dividing time between the outfield and third base. He hit .315 in 1938, .298 in 1939, but the Braves sold the singles hitter to Pittsburgh. There, in 1940, he became an unlikely league batting champion, hitting .355.

 

Chippy Gaw
In 1920, at age 28, this right-handed pitcher started one game and made five relief appearances for the Chicago Cubs, winning one decision, losing another. And if he went by his given name – George Joseph Gaw – I wouldn't have noticed him. But Chippy Gaw? That caught my attention.

He fared much better in the high minor leagues. He won 16 games for Buffalo of the International League in 1915 and again the following season. Gaw pitched only one season more after his brief visit to the majors, retiring from baseball in 1921.

 

Boots Grantham
George Farley Grantham was a first and second baseman with Cubs, Pirates, Reds and Giants (1922-34) and a model of consistency, hitting between .305 and .326 for eight consecutive seasons. His lifetime batting average: 302.

In 1929 this Boots was made for walking – he drew 93 bases on balls in just 110 games. Until then he'd averaged just 61 walks per season.

The nickname? According to 'The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract,' Grantham earned it on the field where he had a well-deserved reputation for booting lots of balls that were hit his way. As a Chicago Cubs rookie in 1923 Grantham made 55 errors, nearly twice as many as any other second baseman in the league.

 

Pumpsie Green
Infielder Elijah Jerry Green is best known as the first black player for the Boston Red Sox, the last major league team to integrate. Green claims his mother started calling him Pumpsie when he was a toddler. Why? Pumpsie didn't say. Green joined Boston in 1959 after batting .320 with Minneapolis of the American Association. Primarily a second baseman, he also played shortstop and third base.

Green batted only .244 in four seasons with Boston and was released after hitting .231 in 1962. He batted .308 with Buffalo of the International League in 1963, and played his last 17 major league games that summer, with the New York Mets. His eight errors and a .278 batting average sealed his fate. He was back with Buffalo in 1964.

 
Howdy Groskloss
Infielder Howard Hoffman Groskloss played his first major league game in 1930 with Pittsburgh while a Yale medical student. His big league career ended in 1932, but his real career was about to begin – as a surgeon. Grosskloss died in 2006. He claimed a few weeks before his death that he was 100 years old, though some sites and reference book list his birthyear as 1907.
 
Sig Gryska
Sigmund Stanley Gryska was a shortstop who played 25 games for the St. Louis Browns (1938-39) hitting .329 in 70 at bats. Unfortunately, he made eight errors in 14 games in 1939; his .873 fielding average spelled the end of his major league career.

His professional baseball highlight probably came on June 27, 1936 playing for San Antonio of the Texas League when he had nine RBI in a single game. He hit two home runs that day, one of them a grand slam.

 

Doug Gwosdz
Douglas Wayne Gwosdz – apparently you pronounce his last name "Goosh" – did some catching for San Diego (1981-84). He batted .144 in 69 games over those four seasons.

His 11-year career in the minors leagues was sandwiched around his seasons as a Padre. He retired in 1989, posting a .242 batting average in 641 minor league games. He never had more than 286 at bats in any season.

He's best remember for his nickname. And it's one you've gotta love: "Eyechart."

 

Noodles Hahn
Left-handed pitcher Frank George Hahn turned pro at 16 and was just 19 when he appeared in his first major league game. His career started brilliantly – a 23-8 rookie season with Cincinnati in 1899. He'd go on to win 20-plus games three times in the next four seasons. In 1901 he became the first pitcher to win 20 or more games with a last-place team. (In 1972, Steve Carlton became the second, with the Philadelphia Phillies.)

Hahn was called Noodles because as a youngster his duties included carrying lunch to his father's place of work. The lunch invariably was noodle soup. His friends picked up on this and started calling the boy Noodles.

However, I suspect that by the time he retired, Noodles more appropriately described Hahn's left arm. You see, he and his managers didn't worry about pitch counts. In 1901, the Cincinnati pitcher worked 375 innings, completing 41 games in 42 starts (posting a record of 22-19).

The strain on his arm took its toll in 1904, though he struggled on for two more seasons, retiring at the age of 27.

Hahn became a Cincinnati meat inspector, but often worked out with the Reds – until he was 67.

 
Bubbles Hargrave
Gene Hargrave put up some impressive batting averages during his 12-year major league career, but is best remembered for a nickname given him as a youngster because his stutter was particularly noticeable on the letter B. He was the first catcher in baseball's modern era to winning a batting title, though it was not without controversy.
 
 

Pinky Hargrave
Catcher William McKinley Hargrave was born January 31, 1896 in New Haven, Indiana, and named for the man who would be elected president that November. But like his brother, Bubbles, the younger Hargrave became much better known by his nickname, Pinky, which he could blame on the light red color of his hair.

Unlike his brother, who had a .310 lifetime batting average, Pinky Hargrave was a so-so hitter in the majors, with a lifetime average of .278.

 

Topsy Hartsel
A speedster at 5-foot-5, 155 pounds, Tully Frederick Hartsel was an outfielder who led the American League in walks five times

Hartsel picked up his nickname in 1900 from Hal Reid, an Indianapolis sportswriter, who noted Hartsel's white hair, eyebrows and lashes, pink complexion and light blue eyes, and used this bit of convoluted reasoning – that Hartsel was as light as Topsy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was black.

From such observations nicknames are born. Hartsel was called Topsy for the rest of his life.

 

Ziggy Hasbrook
He was born Robert Lyndon Hasbrouck and his last name often is spelled that way, though Hasbrook seems to be the norm. How he became Ziggy is something I've yet to discover.

The native of Grundy Center, Iowa, played in just 11 major league games, nine at first base in 1916, two at second base in 1917, all for the Chicago White Sox.

 

Roaring Bill Hassamaer
William Louis Hassamaer played three seasons (1894-96) with Washington and Louisville of the National League. He was a 30-year-old rookie in 1894 when he batted .322, scoring 106 runs. However, his hitting tailed off to .264 in 1895 and .245 in 1896. The next year he was in the minor leagues, playing for Toledo

Hassamaer was primarily an outfielder, but also was used at every infield position during his brief major league career.

I found no explanation why Hassamaer was called Roaring Bill. I assume Hassamaer was loud – or had quite a temper.

 

Thorndike Hawkes
His full name was Thorndike Proctor Hawkes, which I like better than his nickname, the obvious "Thorny." He was a second baseman who played with Troy (New York) of the National League in 1879 and Washington of the American Association in 1884

Hawkes put up decent number with Washington – his .278 batting average was second on the team – but no major league team was interested in him in 1885, perhaps because teams could afford to be fussier since there were two major leagues and sixteen teams that season, while in 1884 there had been three leagues and 34 teams. In any event, Hawkes dropped out of sight.

 

Chicken Hawks
Nelson Louis Hawks came out of California's Santa Clara College and played 41 games for the New York Yankees in 1921, mostly as a pinch hitter, doing very well in that capacity, with eight hits in 23 at bats. He also played 15 games in the outfield.

He dropped down into the minor leagues until 1925 when he played first base for the Philadelphia Phillies, batting .322. You'd think that would keep him around awhile, but apparently his fielding – worst among National League first basemen – doomed him to a return trip to the minors where he had a .306 lifetime batting average over 11 seasons.

 
Drungo Hazewood
The name Dungo Hazewood suggests a fast-draw hero in a spaghetti Western. Or an inept gunfighter played by Tim Conway. Hazewood's name is catchier when you simply use his first and middle names – Drungo LaRue. He was a first round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles, but got into only six American League games, all in 1980. He died in July, 2013, of ampullary cancer. He was 53.
 

Piano Legs Hickman
In his 12-season major league career Charles Taylor Hickman played every position but catcher, had a 10-8 record as a pitcher, going 6-0 with Boston in 1899.

Mostly he played first base and outfield, but was considered a poor defensive player, with good reason. In 1900, with the New York Giants, he played third base and made 87 errors. In 1903, with Cleveland, he made 40 errors at first base and five more in seven games at second base. That Hickman was so shaky at first base might have affected his shortstop, John Gochnaur, who made an incredible 98 errors that season.

Hickman got his nickname the obvious way – he had stocky legs that supported his 5-foot-11, 215-pound frame. Bill James, in his revised Historial Baseball Abstract, named Hickman the slowest player of the first decade of the 20th century.

Although he is better known today by the nickname "Piano Legs," teammates in the late 1890s and early 1900s called him "Cheerful Charlie."

Although he didn't get along with a few of his managers – who probably couldn't forgive Hickman his atrocious fielding (at any position) – the man knew how to make friends. In retirement he served three terms as mayor of Morgantown, West Virginia, where he also was the baseball coach at West Virginia University for five years.

 

Still Bill Hill
William Cicero Hill pitched four seasons just before the turn of the century – the 19th to the 20th, that is – playing for Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Baltimore and Brooklyn. That's a lot of teams for such a short stint, indicating Still Bill wasn't a terrific pitcher. His lifetime record of 36-69 supports that conclusion.

He had a brother, Hugh Hill, an outfielder who played briefly (1903-04) with Cleveland and the St. Louis Cardinals.

I found no explanation for the nickname, which could have involved moonshine, a man who kept movements to a minimum, or a manager's frustration. ("Another loss. Ah, what can I say – he's still Bill Hill.")

 

Gomer Hodge
Harold "Gomer" Hodge was a lightly regarded 27-year-old rookie with the Cleveland Indians in 1971, on the roster mostly because manager Alvin Dark liked his hustle and his attitude.

The infielder got into 80 games, but entered 72 of those as a pinch hitter. At first he could do no wrong, getting hits in his first four at-bats, which caused him to gush, "Golly, fellas, I'm hitting 4.000."

But Hodge fizzled even faster as his perfect batting average dropped to .205 by the end of the season. His champion, manager Dark, wasn't around to say good-bye, having been replaced after 103 games in a season that saw Cleveland finish last in the American League East.

Hodge went back to the minors and never returned. Tragically, he suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and died in 2007 at age 63.

 

Shovel Hodge
Clarence Clemet Hodge was born in Mount Andrew, Alabama, and by the time he stopped growing he was six-feet-four and pitching well enough to turn pro.

He was 27-years-old in 1920 when the Chicago White Sox purchased him. He made four appearnces, had one win, one loss, and posted a 2.29 earned run average.

He hung around two more seasons, but walked many more batters than he struck out, gave up too many hits, but managed to win almost as many games as he lost. (His lifetime won-lost record was 14-15).

As for his nickname, he could blame that on his large feet. Some joker said they looked like shovels. Lots of people agreed.

 

Johnny Hopp
With Hopp as your last name, you're almost sure to be nicknamed Hippity.

Johnny Hopp escaped that fate – except for occasional inaccuracies in books and online – but only because he had managed to stick the nickname on his younger brother, who you might say was asking for it, since his first name was Harry.

Harry "Hippity" Hopp went on to play football at the University of Nebraska and later with the Detroit Lions (1941-43).

John Leonard Hopp was an outfielder-first baseman with batting averages that fluctuated wildly from season to season (.224 in 1943; .336 in 1944; .289 in 1945; .333 in 1946). He had the good fortune to play with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees, which earned him five trips to the World Series in his 14-year major league career.

His nickname was Cotney, as in cottony, coined to describe his cotton-white hair (which isn't apparent in the photo). I don't recall hearing him referred to as Cotney Hopp, but I was just 14 when Hopp quit playing in 1952, so perhaps I wasn't paying attention.

It's surprising the Hopp brothers don't take up more space on Google because it's not often a couple of guys from the same family play in both the World Series and the Rose Bowl (which Harry Hopp did after the 1940 season). After all, in those days the Rose Bowl was THE football game.

Alas, Harry's Nebraska team lost to Stanford, 21-13. Brother Johnny fared much better in his five trips to the World Series, playing for the winner four times.

 

Trader Horne
Obvious nickname, but it works for me. It didn't help Horne, however. He pitched only 23 innings in the bigs, with the Chicago Cubs in 1929.

Like so many ballplayers of his time, Horne had a long career in the minors, winning 229 games over 21 seasons. He lost 211

His full name was Berlyn Dale Horne and he also was called Sonny.

 

Hanson Horsey
That's his real name, and I suspect if he had been more successful in baseball he would have been dubbed Handsome Hanson. But all Hanson Horsey had to show for his time in the major leagues was one pitching appearance and one very bad experience. He went four innings for Cincinnati in 1912, gave up 14 hits, three bases on balls and 10 runs.

The year before he had won 22 games for Reading of the Tri-State League. That was, by far, his best year in professional baseball. He retired after the 1918 season, having won 84 games, with 88 losses in seven minor league seasons.

 
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