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How did Baseball Players Get Their Nicknames?

Updated on June 18, 2014
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I am a retired special needs teacher who still wants to learn. I enjoy researching and finding interesting facts to share in my writing.

Match the Players to Their Nicknames

In the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, you will find a list of the player’s statistics and their moniker. Players can earn their moniker on the playing field, or carry them from their youth, or be blessed by the fans. See if you can match the players to their nicknames.

Joe DiMaggio Iron Horse

Whitey Ford Hammering Hank

Mickey Mantle The Cyclone

Nolan Ryan Stan The Man

Cy Young The Yankee Clipper

Ty Cobb The Splendid Splinter

Hank Aaron Chairman of the Board

Lou Gehrig The Georgia Peach

Stan Musial Express

Ted Williams The Commerce Comet

Records still stand

Hank Louis Aaron holds twelve major league records. Among than are 2,297 runs batted in, 6,856 total bases and 1,477 extra base hits. His nickname, “Hammering Hank,” was earned by hitting 755 home runs. Hank and his brother, Tommie, are first on the list of homers by siblings, 768.

Tyrus Raymond Cobb was born in Narrow, Georgia and grew up in Royston, Georgia. That is where his nickname came from, “The Georgia Peach.” Ty was the first player ever selected in the Hall of Fame (1936). He has the highest lifetime batting average for any National Baseball Hall of Fame member, 366. He holds the record for stealing home, 50. He holds more batting average titles (12) than any other player, including nine in a row.

Joseph Paul DiMaggio had a graceful swing. His smooth and effortless play in center field earned him the nickname, “The Yankee Clipper.” He was the first person to appear in and win four straight World Series in his first four years in baseball. In 1941, he had a 56-game hitting streak. That record still stands today.

Henry Louis Gehrig was put into the Yankee lineup one day in 1925. Lou didn’t come out for 2,130 consecutive games. This is why he was known as the “Iron Horse.” In 1932, Lou hit four consecutive home runs in one game. He holds the record for the most grand slams, 23. He batted over .300, twelve straight times. He was the first baseball player to have his uniform number retired.

Can Records be Broken?

Mickey Charles mantle was raised in Commerce, Oklahoma. He had a rare combination of power and speed. He could hit the ball farther and run faster thus earning him the nickname, “The Commerce Comet.” He hit 536 home runs in 18 years. He did this from both sides of the plate. No switch-hitter ever had that kind of record.

Stanley Frank Musial was nicknamed by Dodger fans. As he walked to the plate a fan started saying, “Uh oh, here comes the man again, here comes the man.” “Stan the Man” hit a record five homeruns in a doubleheader against the Giants. He hit over .310 in 18 different seasons and won the National League batting title seven times.

Lynn Nolan Ryan was clocked throwing a fast ball at 100.8 miles an hour. “The Express,” is a well-earned nickname. He is the oldest pitcher to throw a no hitter, 44 years and 3 months. He holds the league record of most strike-outs 5,714. He holds the record for no hitters-7 and twelve one hitters.

Theodore Samuel Williams master of the strike zone. Ted was 6 feet 3 inches and only 160 pounds, thus earning the nickname, “The Splendid Splinter.” As a rookie in 1939, he led the league in RBI’s (145). This record still stands. In 1941, his batting average was .406. No one has reached the .400 plateau since.

Denton True Young won more than 30 games five times in his 22-year career. “The Cyclone” earned his name for his cyclone fast ball. Cy holds several major league records. He has the most complete games 751, and most innings pitched 7,356. In his honor the “Cy Young Award” for the best major league pitcher was established in 1956.

Edward Charles Ford appeared on more World Series teams (11) than any other pitcher. Whitey holds several records for the Yankee’s.: The most wins 236, most strike outs 1956, most shutouts 45 and most pitcher appearances 498. He was the money pitcher for the Yankees, earning his the “Chairman of the Board.”

One more trivia question, what four players earned the nickname, “Murderers’ Row?” In 1927, the Yankees won 100 games and swept Pittsburgh 4-0 in the World Series. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel and Tony Lazzeri formed the middle of the line-up known as “Murderers’ Row.” In the American league that year, Ruth hit 60 homeruns, Gehrig came in second with 47 and Lazzeri came in third with 18. Ruth and Gehrig also came in first and second in runs scored, slugging percentage and walks. Gehrig edged out Ruth in RBI’s 175-164 and in total bases 447-417.


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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      4 years ago from Auburn, WA

      As a Yankee fan, I thoroughly enjoyed your article and I got the trivia right. Great job. Voted up and shared.


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