Friday, February 18, 2011

The Name Game: J Thru L Edition

Welcome to the fourth round of the name game, where I, along with my loyal party apparatchiks, choose from amongst the funniest names and nicknames in baseball history. The result is a team of stars and scrubs who all have the name Dick in common. Seriously though, that was the G-I team. We here at Thoughts Askew have moved beyond those sophomoric efforts and put together only the best in high brow humor for you today. There will be no Dick Johnson, Dick Little, or Dick Long for we will no longer stoop to those levels. Who am I kidding, if those players existed they would probably have made the team. Sadly, they are mere figments of baseball greatness. So, without further ado, here is our squad of names falling somewhere in between Ray Jablonski and Jim Lyttle.

1B: Pete LaCock: Many of the lists we have done so far have been dependent on the juvenile humor that a man named Dick seems to be able to generate. In an effort to add a little bit of culture and variety we've decided to bring in the French, who are said to know something about the former at the very least. Since we work on a rather low budget here at Thoughts Askew of somewhere around zero dollars we had to go on the cheap and hire Pete LaCock, a former first sacker for the Cubs and Royals during the heady days of Studio 54 and underage Traci Lords films. Although Pete is from California I think we'll all agree that his name does sound vaguely French when pronounced with the proper Pepe Le Pew accent.
Also receiving votes: Pop Joy and Nippy Jones

2B: Greg Legg: Greg is rhymin' and stealin', although not in the major leagues where he managed nine hits and zero stolen bases in two short stints in the mid 1980s for the Philadelphia Phillies. Too bad no one thought to nickname him Peg. If he'd played in the 19th century his teammates wouldn't have missed an opportunity like that - they really knew how to keep a guy humble through the subtle use of an emasculating nickname in those days.
Also receiving votes: Speed Kelly, he of the one career stolen base.

SS: Chick Lathers: With all these Dicks some of us probably would like some chicks and Lathers provides us one. Naked, wet, and covered in soap, Chick struggled to eke out a mere 29 hits for the Detroit Americans during the 1910 and 1911 seasons.
I wish I could say that everyone scores with this Chick, but with the sad numbers he put up that would be a negative.
Also receiving votes: Wagon Tongue Keister - So close to a starting position for Keister, whose 1900 slang for ass was just not funny enough for the masses. Most of us who have played "Oregon Trail" are still unsure what a wagon tongue is exactly - all we know is that it kept breaking while Rambo and the Terminator were suffering from cholera, putting the whole mission in jeopardy. Sadly, Rambo passed away in Nebraska, look for his gravestone near Chimney Rock.

3B: Harry Koons: Oh the delicate job of dealing with a vaguely racist sounding name. Back in the 1880s when Harry played they would have had an easier time with my conundrum, they just had less delicate sensibilities. I guess I'll just let some honest country folk from that time period say what your mind is already thinking. If I have misjudged you I do apologize in a most profuse and disingenuous manner.
Also receiving votes: Evan Longoria - I would have thought he would have been the winner here, but the democratic process is a strange thing. I was of the belief that people would want an excuse to see these pictures. I guess not.

Outfield: Rusty Kuntz: A backup outfielder for the 1984 champion Detroit Tigers, Rusty tries very hard to get people to pronounce his name as Koonce. As literate adults we know better and ignore his wishes. A friend of mine suggested his name would be a good thing to hang on a sign in front of the cooters of women eighty years and older. Fair warning before entry I suppose. Let me suggest a generous application of WD-40.

Outfield: Wee Willie Keeler: A Hall of Fame outfielder during the 19th century, Wee Willie probably would have traded all his fame and glory for Randy Johnson's nickname (consider yourself foreshadowed).

Outfield: Bris "the Human Eyeball" Lord: An all around great name for this eight year major league veteran (1905-07, 1909-1913). If I ever have to be circumcised again in another life Bris Lord is the man I want for the job. The Human Eyeball moniker also suggests good vision, which is the second quality I look for in a moil. A steady hand with a knife is the first requirement, although I'm sure that goes without saying.
Also receiving votes: Chick King (threesomes involving King and Lathers now available on DVD), Davy Jones (poor guy, no one ever seemed to want to visit his locker).

Catcher: Clyde Kluttz: Kluttz was a mediocre backup catcher who managed nine major league seasons in the National League following World War II. I wish I had a great story about how Clyde tripped for no reason and fell down the dugout steps, smashing his head open in a buffoonish manner and somehow costing his team a run. Unfortunately, no, that was Josh Bard. If only the Kluttz had hit a foul ball that smashed into a grandmotherly type in the stands and he had then hit her with another foul as she was being carried out on a stretcher. Now that would be a great story, but alas that was Richie Ashburn. A tragedy really, Clyde Kluttz had a mildly funny name, but lacked the wherewithal to take advantage of it.
Also receiving votes: Kick Kelly and Elmer Klumpp - worry not, I shan't barrage you with two hours of toilet humor in honor of the mostly unfunny "Nutty Professor 2."

Pitcher: Slim Love: The 6"7 Love earned his moniker for his tall, lanky build rather than the twenty years he spent in the porn industry following a short career as a Yankee moundsman during the World War I years. In the interest of full disclosure I feel I should add that my porn name is Smoky Canewood.

Pitcher: Dick Lines: Regardless of whether the name brings to mind a thick, veiny tree trunk, a solid reliever for the Washington Senators in the 1960s, or your favorite gang bang scene, Dick Lines is/are fun for the whole family. Well, maybe not grandma, she was never really into sports.

Pitcher: Mark Lemongello: A hurler for the Houston Astros in the late 1970s, Mark has been surrounded for years by rumors of a brother named Orangello which remain unsubstantiated at the time of this writing.

Pitcher: Randy Johnson: Randy is a 300 game winner who was lucky enough to boast perhaps the greatest nickname is sports history: "The Big Unit." In related news, restaurateur and musician Alice Cooper sells a foot long hot dog of the same name in his Phoenix eatery. Which begs the question, does shoving a foot of meat named after a man down your throat make you gay, or just hungry? Oh well, not my problem.

Pitcher: Dick Koecher: A bit of a submissive, Dick finished 0-4 during his short professional career as a hurler for the Phillies from 1946-48.
Also receiving votes: Michael Jackson (Why should I change my name, he's the one who's the pedophile), King Lear (guess no one reads Shakespeare outside of "Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet"), and Joe Jaeger (too many bad experiences with this vile liquor hurt his chances I dare say).

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