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by JACK MAJOR
It is neither unkind nor untrue to say that, in some ways, baseball is for the birds. Several players either have given or natural names of various birds, or were nicknamed because of some real or imagined resemblance to a particular kind of bird. So welcome to my baseball aviary. The list begins with players who were nicknamed with a bird in mind. It's doubtful if most of the players appreciated these nicknames, but some of them eventually took to them.

His hairless head earned William Frank Isbell the nickname, "Bald Eagle," but he was better known by his middle name. He played in the National League in 1898 with the Chicago Orphans (later the Cubs). In 1900 he joined the Chicago White Stockings, then a member of the minor league Western Association which morphed into the American League. Isbell remained with the White Stockings (renamed the White Sox in 1904) through 1909. His lifetime batting average was only .250, which wasn't bad for his era. He starred in the 1906 World Series when the champion White Sox were known as "The Hitless Wonders."

Hall of Famer Tris Speaker was nicknamed "The Grey Eagle" because of his premature grey hair and for the way he covered center field. He still is rated as one of the best outfielders who ever played the game. He had 3,514 hits in his 22-year major league career, and a lifetime batting average of .345. Five times he batted .380 or higher. He also was a major league manager for eight seasons, guiding the Cleveland Indians to a World Series victory in 1920. Speaker,, who also was called "Spoke," broke in with the Boston Red Sox. After nine seasons, he was dealt to Cleveland, where he played for 11 seasons, before closing out his career with one season in Washington and one season with the Philadelphia Athletics.

Several baseball players picked up the nickname "Hawk," most of them because of the size and shape of their nose.

First baseman-outfielder Kenneth Smith Harrelson played nine seasons in the American League with the Kansas City Athletics, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. He had his best season with the Red Sox in 1968, when he batted .275, hit 35 home runs, and drove in 109 runs. Harrelson's nose really does look like a hawk's beak. It was broken a few times while growing up. Harrelson says he received his nickname from teammate Dick Howser in 1959.

The photo (left) of pitcher Clay Carroll gives a good idea of how he became known as "Hawk." Carroll enjoyed a 15-season major league careers, mostly with Cincinnati (eight years), but also with Atlanta, the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh and St. Louis Cardinals. Carroll’s first marriage ended in divorce. The couple had three children. He remarried in 1981 to Frances Nowitzke, a widow with two children, but four years later, his wife’s older son, Frederick Nowitzke, went on a shooting rampage, killing his mother and stepbrother (one of Carroll’s children by his first marriage) and wounding his stepfather.

Well-remembered Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca, who enjoyed a 12-season major league career, received his nickname because of his hawk-like profile, though I seldom heard or saw much mention of this. Branca was a three-time National League all-star who won 21 games in 1947, but is most famous (or infamous, depending on your team allegiance) for serving up the pitch that Bobby Thomson hit for a home run to win the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants. Late in his career he played two seasons with the Detroit Tigers and one with the New York Yankees.

For Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson, his nose was not involved in his nickname. Dawson was dubbed "Hawk" as a youngster because one of his uncles thought he had a hawk eye in determining when pitches were in the strike zone. Dawson had 2,774 hits and 438 runs batted in during a major league career that spanned 21 years. His best season was 1987 with the Chicago Cubs when he hit 49 home runs and drove in 137 runs.

Outfielder Aaron Pointer, who played 40 games for Houston in the 1960s, is better known as the brother of the singing Pointer Sisters. He, too, was nicknamed "Hawk," and after he retired from baseball, he became an official in the National Football League.

Catcher-outfielder Bob Taylor, a 1957 bonus baby (which required the Milwaukee Braves to keep him on the roster for two years while he was a teenager) was also nicknamed "Hawk," perhaps because of his nose, but I'm not sure. He was in and out of the majors until 1970. In addition to the Braves, he played for the New York Mets, California Angels and Kansas City Royals. He retired in 1971 after a season with Louisville of the American Association.

Outfielder, Bill Mueller, also had "Hawk" for a nickname. He got into 39 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1942 and 1945, spending 1943 and '44 in the U. S. Navy. He retired in 1946 and went into the jewelry business, owning stores in and around St. Louis. He died in 2001.

Catcher Ken Silvestri was definitely nicknamed "Hawk" because of his nose, though that wasn't significant enough to warrant a mention in the SABR article linked to his name. He was a major leaguer from 1939 to 1951, except for four years in military service (1942-45). However, he played in only 102 games, and had a .217 batting average in 203 at bats. He also was a minor league manager a few years, then a coach with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.

Relief pitcher Philip Raymond Regan was nicknamed "The Vulture" because he always seemed to be hovering around to clean up the mess created by another hurler. Regan pitched in the major leagues for 13 seasons. With the Los Angeles Dodgers in '66, he had a 14-1 record to go with his 21 saves.

Unlike a lot of later relief specialists, Regan began his major league career as a starting pitcher, and had a 15-9 record for the Detroit Tigers in 1963, with 27 starts, but only five complete games.

Frank Peter Joseph Crosetti was better known as Frankie, and given the obvious nickname, "The Crow." The shortstop joined his hometown Seals when he was just 17, and remained with them four seasons before he moved up to the New York Yankees. He wore pinstripes until 1948, though he was a part-time player during several of his 17 seasons. Never much of a hitting threat in the majors, Crosetti’s lifetime batting average was .245.

The list of major league players includes five who had the last name Crow (or Crowe). There's Aaron Crow, a relief pitcher for Kansas City (2011-14), who played in the Mexican League in 2018; outfielder Trevor Crow played with Cleveland (2009-11) and Houston (2013) before retiring in 2014; relief pitcher Dean Crow made 32 appearance with Detroit in 1998, winning two games, losing two, and Don Crow was a catcher who got into four games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1982.

Best of the bunch was George Crowe, a first baseman who, from 1952-61, played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, Cincinnati, and the St. Louis Cardinals. He began in the Negro Leagues (1947-48). His best year in the majors was 1957 when he hit 31 home runs for Cincinnati.

One of the best pitchers who is not in the Hall of Fame is the "Arkansas Hummingbird," Lon Warneke, probably because he fell short of 200 lifetime wins, which is one of the achievements usually cited, though that wasn't a consideration when Sandy Koufax was inducted, despite having 165 victories, because Koufax fell short mostly due to an injured arm that forced him to pitch in great pain late in his career. Even then, he was regarded as baseball's best pitcher.

Both Warneke, a right-handed pitcher, and the left-handed Koufax had three 20-win seasons, though Koufax's were far more spectacular. While Koufax's career got off to a slow start, Warneke's best season was his first full-time year with the Chicago Cubs, in 1932, when he posted a 22-6 record and led the National League in winning percentage (.786), earned run average (2.37), and shutouts (4). His only other league-leading effort came the next season when his 26 complete games were the most in the league.

Warneke was an All-Star five times, won two games in the 1935 World Series, though the Cubs lost the fall classic to the Detroit Tigers in seven games. Warneke also pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals in his 15-season major league career, which saw him win 192 games, and lost 121. In retirement he was an umpire in the Pacific Coast and National Leagues, perhaps good training for later becoming a judge in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

About his nickname. An article by Don Duren for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) says St. Louis sports writer Roy Stockton first called him “the Arkansas Hummingbird” because of his fast ball and the way it darted across the plate.

Walter Christensen was called "Cuckoo" because of his behavior on the field. Sometimes he would do somersaults in the outfield when a fly ball was headed his way. In 1927 he lost a game for Cincinnati when he somersaulted under a fly ball — and proceeded to drop it.

The outfielder batted .350 as a Cincinnati rookie in 1926. A year later his average dipped to .254 and he was sent back to the minors where he almost always batted over .300. At five-foot-six, the left-handed Christensen did not hit many home runs. Likewise, he seldom struck out.

Christensen also had the nickname, "Seacap", which went back to childhood when his mother sent him to school in a sailor's uniform.

Pitcher Roy Hansen explained how he got the nickname "Snipe" in an interview with Roy Shudt for his column, "The Sports Round-Up by Shutsie" in the Troy (New York) Times Record, June 12, 1935:

" Snipe" Hansen, the elongated Albany southpaw, gained the moniker when he broke in with Reading as a 17-year-old after older players initiated him into the game.

"We went hunting — snipe hunting, they told me it was," Hansen explains. 'Well, we got out in the woods quite a ways, and the boys handed me a bag, saying, 'You hold this bag and we'll drive the snipe your way.' Then they left. They returned home to laugh their heads off at the trick they played. I began to realize I was someone left holding the bag. It was funny. Then I left the bag and went home."

Apparently, another pitcher, Patrick Michael Conley, came by his nickname the same way, only some 20 years earlier, and with different teammates.

Snipes are real birds, but snipe hunting is mostly fiction, a joke that years ago was played on naive, unsuspecting people, mostly boys and young men.

As for the pitchers who were victims of this prank, both reached the major leagues, but neither lived up to expectations. Snipe Conley became a minor league legend in Dallas, while Hansen had a slightly longer, more successful time in the majors.

The story of how Clifford Carlton Cravath became "Gavy" or "Gavvy," is almost too weird to be true, but if a Randy Johnson fastball could kill a bird that flew in front of home plate at the wrong time (it really happened; I've seen the tape), then a Cravath line drive could have killed a sea gull in flight.

It happened while Cravath was playing with Los Angeles of the Pacific League. Spanish fans started chanting, "Gaviota! Gaviota!" ("Sea gull! Sea gull!") and other fans mistook this as a cheer for the player. Thus Gavy was born, though chances are you'll see it spelled with two v's. Cravath himself preferred one v, but because most people rhyme his nickname with "savvy," the Gavvy is more popular than Gavy.

Cravath, a native of Escondido, California, also was called Cactus, and folks who assumed Gavy (or Gavvy) was his first name, often called him Cactus Gavy.

The outfielder broke in with the Boston Red Sox in 1908, but it was with the Philadelphia Phillies, starting in 1912, that he made his mark, leading the National League six times in home runs through 1919, with a high of 24 in 1915. The right handed hitter benefited by playing in the notoriously small Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, where he hit 92 of his 119 career home runs. Cravath's lifetime batting average was .287, but in 1913 he hit .341.

Three reasons are given why outfielder Leon Allen Goslin was nicknamed "Goose." The most obvious is the reason most quickly dismissed — his last name sounds like "gosling," a baby goose.

Another theory involves his large nose, variously described as a "beak" and a "honker." Reportedly, Pittsburgh catcher Earl "Oil" Smith rode Goslin unmercifully about his nose every time the Washington star came to bat during the 1925 World Series.

And according to “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract,” Goslin himself was quoted in the season before as saying, “I've been hitting .344 as a one-eyed hitter. If I could see around my nose, I’d hit .600.”

But many people accept the theory that Goslin was nicknamed "Goose" for the way he flapped his arms when he ran, especially while chasing balls hit his way. Like several of our baseball birds, Goslin's story is, I think, interesting enough to warrant his own page.

Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage pitched professionally for 25 years, spending at least parts of 22 years in the major leagues, appearing in 1,002 games. He started just 37 of them, 29 in the same season (1976) with the Chicago White Sox. Gossage is best remembered for a six-year stretch (1978-83) with the New York Yankees, as well as for his size (six-foot-three, about 220 pounds), his overpowering fastball, and Fu Manchu mustache (which he claims he grew to annoy Yankees owner George Steinbrenner).

Gossage got his nickname in 1972 as a 20-year-old rookie with the White Sox. Teammate Tom Bradley, one of the team's starting pitchers, joked that Gossage's neck seemed to stretch when he looked for a sign from the catcher. Bradley said it reminded him of the way a goose moves his head. The comment was passed on to a Chicago journalist, and Gossage found himself with a nickname that endured.

Baseball has had its "Turkeys." The best-known major leaguer was Turkey Mike Donlin, one of the best hitters in the first decade of the 20th century. He really hated his nickname, reportedly given him because of his strut and his red neck. There's more about Donlin on another page.

There also was "Turkey" Tyson, "Turkey" Gross, and Norman Thomas "Turkey" Stearnes, a long-time outfielder in the Negro Leagues, who never had a chance to play in the majors. Nonetheless, Stearnes was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Infielder Fred Stanley had a 14-season major league career, mostly with the New York Yankees (eight years), but also with Oakland, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle and San Diego. He said his nickname went back to a Florida instructional league when he was a skinny 19-yeas-old, and another young player, Del Unser, told Stanley he looked like a chicken wing. From there his nickname became "Chicken," and Stanley went along with it, even to the point of walking around like a chicken, flapping his arms.

Nineteenth century outfielder Phil Routcliffe, a native of Frontenac, Quebec, also was nicknamed "Chicken." Routcliffe's family moved to Oswego, New York, where the boy became such an outstanding baseball player that he joined the Oswego team of the New York State League in 1885, when he was only 14. Two years later, he batted .334 with Sandusky of the Ohio State League. In 1890, while still a teenager, he played one game with Pittsburgh of the National League, had one hit in four at bats, also was hit by a pitch, and stole a base. Routcliffe retired from baseball at the ripe old age of 21. That's right — 21.

Third baseman (and later manager) Doug Rader was nicknamed "The Red Rooster" and shortstop (later manager) Rick Burleson was called "Rooster."

Wikipedia says Rader got his nickname from the tuft of red hair sticking out from beneath his helmet. Maybe, but I think his colorful personality contributed. Rader spent nine of his 11-season playing career with Houston, and three times hit 21 or more home runs.

With Burleson, I suspect the nickname had to do with his strut. He looked the a rooster the way he moved. Burleson played seven seasons (1974-80) with the Boston Red Sox, then five seasons for the California Angels, before closing out his major league playing career in 1987 with Baltimore. He was a four-time American League all-star. From 1997-2007 he managed several minor league teams.

Among baseball players, there was only one Penguin — Ron Cey, long-time third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1971-1982). Cey also played for the Chicago Cubs and, briefly, the Oakland Athletics, during his 17 major league seasons. He had 316 home runs.

As for his nickname . . . well, it's like that old saying about ducks. In Cey's case, he was built like a penguin and people thought he walked like one. This Chris Berman pun will serve as a pronunciation lesson: Ron Born in the US Cey.

 
What follows are birds that seldom lend themselves to nicknames, but are often given names or family names.

One of our most famous birds seldom is used for a nickname, but rather is often a given name for both men and women. There are two Robins in baseball's Hall of Fame. One of them, pitcher Robin Roberts won 284 games in his 19-season career, most of them (234) with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The other, Robin Yount became a professional baseball player at the age of 17, and a year later was the starting shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers. He remained with the Brewers for 20 seasons (1974-93), eventually leaving the infield to play center field. Twice he was the American League's most valuable player. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Robin Ventura was primarily a third baseman, but also played first base during his career that included 10 seasons with the Chicago White Sox. He also played for the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees.

There was a fourth Robin — Robin Jennings — an outfielder-first baseman who played 93 games in four seasons in the major leagues, batting .244.

Joseph Richard Jay, better known as Joey Jay, was 17-years-old when he signed with the Milwaukee Braves. It was 1953, which made him a "bonus baby." Under the rules of the day, he began his career in the major leagues, spending a lot of time on the bench.

It took awhile, but after Jay was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, he proved what a good pitcher he could be, winning 21 games in 1961 as the Reds captured the National League pennant. Jay followed that with another 21-game season in 1962, but in 1963 developed arm trouble. He never fully recovered, and won just 33 games over the next four seasons, finishing his career in 1967.

Unlike many ballplayers, Jay had prepared for retirement, even at the early age of 31. He had invested in a variety of businesses. As a result, he has lived a nice, but very private life ever since. In 2008 he was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

Other Jays include Jay Buhner, Jay Bell, Jay Howell, and, of course, the Toronto Blue Jays.

Conrad Cardinal is his given name, but he was better known by his nickname, "Randy." Born in Brooklyn in 1942, the pitcher was signed by the Detroit Tigers 20 years later.

He showed great promise in his first minor league season, with 14 wins, seven losses for Jamestown of the New York-Pennsylvana League, striking out 189 batters in 183 innings.

But because of arm trouble, his professional career lasted only four seasons, involving only one major league decision — a loss for Houston in 1963.

Another bird is represented by Starling Javier Marte, an outfielder who played eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His best season with the Pirates was 2016 when he hit .311 and made the National League all-star team.

In 2020, Marte played for Arizona and Miami, hitting .281 in 61 games.

It took awhile, but outfielder Derek "Bubba" Starling, in the minors since 2012, was called up by Kansas City in 2019 and saw limited action in 2030, hitting just .169.

Frank Edward "Buck" Thrasher was an outfielder who played 30 games and batted .255 for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1916-17.

He was another of those guys who hit well in the minor leagues, never batting less than .325, joining the Athletics after batting .337 with Atlanta of the Southern Association. In seven games with the Athletics at the end of the 1916 season, he batted .310, then hit well during spring training the next season. But on April 19, 1917, Thrasher had the misfortune to bat against Carl Mays, then pitching for the Boston Red Sox. Mays was the pitcher who three years later hit Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, resulting in major league baseball's only fatality. In 1917, May already had a reputation for throwing at batters' heads; his teammates had complained he even threw at them during batting practice. Mays threw one high and inside to Thrasher, who turned away and was hit in the back of the head. Thrasher was never the same hitter afterward.

Thrasher had four brothers who played baseball, and attracted interest from scouts, but I've seen nothing to indicate any of them got beyond the semi-pro level. Buck Thrasher died in 1938. He was only 48.

James Bugg Partridge was nicknamed "Jay," giving us two birds in one. He was a bright second base prospect for Brooklyn in 1925, but never panned out. However, something happened in 1930 that made Partridge's story too interesting to contain here, so he has his own page.

Edward Nicholas "Cannonball" Crane is another tragic figure. He was known for his powerful arm, later known for his heavy drinking. He had his 15 minutes of fame in the 19th century, and his story is too interesting to contain here.

There were two major league players named Sam Crane, and both were noteworthy, but for very different reasons. Both stories are worth a longer look than this page allows, so I've given them a separate page.

Other Cranes include a fellow with a long name — Frederick William Hotchkiss Crane, Fred for short, who goes back to the National Association in the early 1870s when he played briefly with the Elizabeth (NJ) Resolutes and the Brooklyn Atlantics. This Crane came along too late in life, because he was in his 30s by the time the first major league began. Apparently he was a highly regarded player in the 1860s. He played first base in the National Association; almost certainly he played other positions before then.

Frank Reberger, was a six-foot-five-inch pitcher whose height was responsible for his being nicknamed "Crane." He pitched five seasons (1968-72) with Chicago Cubs, San Diego and San Francisco.

Alan Storke is one of baseball's tragedies. A native of Auburn, New York, he was the player-manager of the Auburn team in the Empire State League the summer he graduated from Amherst College. He was 21. (Another player on that team was a member of my slightly extended family, outfielder Mickey Major.)

However, Storke didn't stick around; people said he was too good for a Class D minor league outfit, and he was grabbed by the Class A Providence Greys of the Eastern League. The 21-year-old third baseman batted .290, and finished the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. He remained with the Pirates until midway through the 1909 season, when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Storke seemed certain to remain in the big leagues because he could play any position. In 1909, he raised his batting average to .270, and, at 24, was probably going to get better and better. In the off-season the Cardinals traded Storke and pitcher Fred Beebe to Cincinnati in exchange for second baseman (and future manager) Miller Huggins, pitcher Frank Corridon and outfielder "Rebel" Oakes.

Meanwhile, Storke spent his off-season studying law at Harvard University. But as spring training approached in March, 1910, Storke became ill in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When his condition worsened two days later, he sought help at a nearby hospital. A week later, he died. According to a story in the Auburn Democrat Argus (March 15, 1910), the hospital in Newton listed the cause of death as "emphysema, an affection of the lungs — the formation or collection of matter in the pleural cavity." It was a consequence of influenza.

Storke's older brother, Paul, also an Amherst graduate, had died a few years earlier from typhoid fever.

Tall (six-foot-four), slender George "The Stork" Theodore looked and moved like his nickname. He played first base and the outfield for two seasons (1973-74) with the New York Mets, his career undoubtedly cut short by the after-effects of an outfield collision with Don Hahn in a 1973 game, in which Theodore fractured his hip. He returned to play part of another season with the Mets, and finished his career in 1975 with Tidewater of the International League.

John Gaston Peacock was a catcher (1937-45) who spent most of that time with the Boston Red Sox. Little did he know when he hit his first home run in 1938 that it would also be his last. He's one of the few catchers who ended his career with more stolen bases (14) than homers.

Baseball's other Peacock is a pitcher named Brad, who has spent the last six seasons with the Houston Astros, after arriving in the major leagues with Washington in 2011. His best season so far was 2017 when he won 13 games, lost only two, striking out 161 batters in just 132 innings.

 

Their last name is one letter too long to correctly spell "parrot," but I had to include the Parrott brothers. Their story is too interesting, too amusing, and, unfortunately in the case of Jiggs Parrott, too tragic to put aside. And Tacks' story is too long to be placed at the end of a page that already is too full. For more on the Parrott brothers . . .

No relation to the Parrott brothers was Mike Parrott (nicknamed "Bird"), a six-foot-four pitcher for Baltimore (1977) and Seattle (1978-81).

Likewise, William Dayton Perritt isn't a parrot, except when you say his last name out loud. That's when it suggests "Polly" or "Pol." Both nicknames were widely used, though "Pol" seems to prevail. Either way, Perritt was one of several baseball players who had to deal with a name that made him seem eligible for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. (For some of the others, see Call These Guys 'Mister'.)

Pol Perritt was a tall (six-foot-two), slim pitcher from Arcadia, Louisiana, who came up to the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, but had his best seasons (1916-18) with the New York Giants. But then things got weird:

Albany (NY) Evening Journal, February 28, 1919
NEW YORK, February 28 — William Dayton Perritt, better known as Polly, is the latest Giant pitcher to announce his retirement from baseball. Oil has been discovered near Perritt’s property at Homer, Louisiana, and the pitcher says he is too much interested in promoting the oil business to return his contract to the Giants.

Perritt, who formerly was a cotton planter, has rushed into the oil game with both feet, and he is said to have struck it rich.

How rich Perritt became was never established, but he returned to baseball after a few months, though he had little success. By 1922 he worked full-time in the oil business.

 

Charles "Sparrow" McCaffrey, a 120-pound catcher, had a single and a base on balls in his only two at bats in 1889 for the Columbus Solons of the American Association. He played only four seasons in the minors, then retired, probably for health reasons, because he died in 1894, at age 24.

William "Sparrow" Morton pitched two complete games for Philadelphia of the National League in 1894, and lost them both. However, he had three hits in eight at bats, for a .375 batting average. Figures on baseball-reference.com indicate he played minor league baseball only long enough to make two pitching appearances in two seasons.

Catcher Zack Taylor spent most of his life in baseball, catching for 16 years (1920-35, mostly with Brooklyn and the Chicago Cubs. Later he managed in the minor leagues and for the St. Louis Browns. (He was the manager when team owner Bill Veeck ordered him to use three-foot-seven Eddie Gaedel as a pinch-hitter against the Detroit Tigers in 1951.) He's mentioned because his given name was James Wren Taylor. His nickname came from Mexican War general and later president, Zachary Taylor.

Chris Fussell pitched for Baltimore (1998) and Kansas City (1999-2000), finishing his major league career with five wins and nine losses. He was born Christopher Wren Fussell. 'nuff said.

Joel Finch spent enough time with the Boston Red Sox in 1979 to lose three games, though his record that season with the International League Pawtucket Red Sox was an impressive 9-1.

Dennis Dove made three pitching appearances with St. Louis in 2007, going three innings, giving up five hits, five runs, and two home runs.

James Edward Bird, nicknamed "Red" for the color of his hair, didn't pitch professionally until he was 31 years old. After winning 17 games (and losing 11) with Shreveport (Louisiana) of the Texas League in 1921, he was summoned to the American League by the Washington Senators, who used him in relief in one game in mid-September. He pitched five innings, gave up five hits and three runs. That was Bird's only major league appearance.

Finally, two birds of no particular breed, but possessors of two of baseball's most popular names:

George "Birdie" Tebbetts received his nickname as a youngster when one of his aunts commented, "He chirps like a bird." A catcher (1936-52) with the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, "Birdie" Tebbetts, a Providence College graduate, managed for 11 seasons in Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Cleveland, and spent 28 years as a big league scout.

William Franklin "Birdie" Cree got his nickname for his size (five-foot-six) and the way he flitted around the baseball field. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) story about "Birdie" Cree says he played semi-pro baseball while attending Penn State, and tried to hide his identity using an alias. It's not clear if the alias — Burde — was taken from his nickname, or whether the alias actually was the reason he became known as "Birdie." Cree played eight seasons (1908-15) for the New York Highlanders (later Yankees), having his best season in 1911 when he batted .348.

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