R.I.P. The Earl of Baltimore and Stan the Man

Musial Stadium at Busch StadiumBaseball lost two members of the Hall of Fame this past weekend:  Earl Weaver and Stan Musial.

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 FootballBoswell 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.

Play ball!

More to come…

DJB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: