There’s much that could – and has – been written about these two baseball greats. I’ve linked to Joe Posnanski’s blogs above, but I could just as easily have sent you to read Tom Boswell’s column on The Earl of Baltimore or George Vecsey on Stan the Man.
I won’t go on about Weaver’s baseball genius – decades before Moneyball made his theories all the rage – or Musial’s quiet consistency – to the point where he was widely considered to be the best ballplayer of the postwar decade. No, I’m going to focus on their nicknames.
Baseball has the best nicknames. Period. In Why Is Baseball So Much Better Than Football, Boswell touches on the topic in multiple ways, but he sums it up here:
Reason #85: Baseball nicknames go on forever – because we feel we know so many player intimately. Football monikers run out fast. We just don’t know that many of them as people.
Then Boswell provides examples.
Reason #6 (close after “bands” (#1) “half time with bands” (#2), and “cheerleaders at half time with bands” (#3)): Baseball has Blue Moon, Catfish, Spaceman and The Sugar Bear. Football has Lester the Molester, Too Mean, and The Assassin.
Reason #35: Football has Tank and Mean Joe. Baseball has The Human Rain Delay and Charlie Hustle.
Reason #51: Football has Hacksaw. Baseball has Steady Eddie and The Candy Man.
Reason #59: Football has the Refrigerator. Baseball has Puff the Magic Dragon, The Wizard of Oz, Tom Terrific, Big Doggy, Kitty Kaat, and Oil Can.
In The Earl of Baltimore and Stan the Man, we have two more nicknames that have stood the test of time. They brought so much pleasure to so many (except, in the case of Weaver, the umpires). May they Rest in Peace.
And Reason #99 that Baseball is so much better than Football? Most of all…because spring training is less than a month away.
More to come…