September 01, 2011
We’ve done hoops, hockey, and football. But let’s not kid ourselves. The best nicknames in sports have always been reserved for baseball players, and the Phillies have had their share of great ones. So instead of doing a Top 10 like we did with the others, we’re gonna put together a full 25 man roster by position. Keep in mind, we’re going by best nicknames, not player stats, to pick our starters.
Catcher- Carlos Ruiz, aka “Chooch“. Got the nickname from Antonio Alfonseca, who called him Chucha once, which is a Columbian slang term for underarm odor. Sportswriters misunderstood what Alfonseca said, and referred to him as Chooch. His real nickname is Chucha.
First Base- Nelson “Chicken” Hawks. No idea how he got this great nickname. Not much info on this guy who played for the Phils for one season (1925).
2nd Base- Bob “Death to Flying Things” Ferguson (picture, above). The best nickname in Phillies history if you ask me. It’s funny, because he only played for them for one year…1883, their inaugural season. He got the nickname for being so great defensively.
Shortstop- Larry “Gnat” Bowa. Got it for being so small and pesky.
Third Base-Willie “Pudd’nhead” Jones. Got the nickname as a kid from a song called “Woodenhead Pudd’nhead Jones”
Outfield- Lenny “Nails” Dykstra. Snopes claims he got the nickname not for being tough but for regularly using the word “nail” as a verb. If you catch our drift.
Outfield- Arnold “Shake ‘n’ Bake” McBride. No clue on this one.
Outfield- Shane “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” Victorino. Who will ever forget his leap onto the pile after the Phils won the 2008 World Series?
Steve “Bedrock” Bedrosian. Pretty obvious that the nickname came from Flintstones.
John “Brewery Jack” Taylor. Pitched for the Phils for 6 years in the 1890s. Wasn’t scared to throw back a cold one. Died of kidney disease possibly brought on by binge drinking.
Cole “Hollywood” Hamels. He supposedly got the nickname from Ryan Howard, who saw him wearing surfer shorts and flip flops when the two played minor league ball and gave him the name.
Brad “Lights Out” Lidge. Yeah, he’s playing out the string now, but we’ll never forget what he did in 2008, when he earned the “Lights Out” moniker.
Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams. The closest anyone has ever come to the character Charlie Sheen played in Major League, he truly earned the nickname.
Hugh “Losing Pitcher” Mulcahy. Did a story on him a few days ago.
Frank “Tug” McGraw. He got the nickname from his mother for the aggressive way he was breastfed. No, I’m not making that up.
Antonio Alfonseca. “El Pulpo” (The Octopus). Got it because he has 6 fingers on each hand. Picture on the right.
Richie Ashburn “Putt-Putt”. I like Putt-Putt even better than Whitey.
Darren “Dutch” Daulton. Can’t figure out how he got the nickname. Somebody wanna ask him? I’d love to know.
Clifford “Cactus Gavvy” Cravath. The answer to one of the great trivia questions in baseball is also a member of the All-Nickname team.
Greg “The Bull” Luzinski. Just got it for being so large and muscular.
Chuck Klein, “The Hoosier Hammerer”. Got the nickname because he was from Indiana.
Pearce “What’s the Use” Chiles. Best known, perhaps, for being the guy who set up the buzzer system that stole signs in 1899, Chiles used to shout “What’s the Use?” at batters when they prepared to hit, and thus earned the nickname. After baseball, he became a criminal, escaped prison, and disappeared into the shadows in 1903.
Octavio “Cookie” Rojas. Actually, the nickname was Cuqui, a popular Cuban nickname, but it was anglicized to Cookie when he moved to the U.S
Dick “Crash” Allen. He wore a batting helmet while he played the field in Philly, so he wouldn’t be hit by the objects Phillies fans threw at him. He had the nickname “Crash Helmet”, which was shortened to “Crash”.
Mickey Morandini “Dandy Little Glove Man”. Self explanatory.
RELATED: The Phillies All-Moustache Team.
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