Saturday, July 14, 2007

? No. 9: Nicknames & hicknames

We're getting away from stats for today's question. Nicknames used to be commonplace in baseball, especially for the league's best players. Today, we mostly have boring variations on abbreviations – I-Rod, A-Rod, K-Rod. Blah. That's a far cry from Cool Papa, Wahoo Sam, Spaceman, Penguin, and Pudge. Did you know that Jim Hunter got his nickname – Catfish – from his team's owner, Charlie Finley, who thought his star player needed a "hickname" to add to his appeal?

The most common nickname in baseball is Lefty, to no real surprise. That's too easy for a question. Try this one: Prior to Mark McGwire, baseball had another Big Mac, who also went by Stretch. He's in the Hall of Fame. Who is he?

Yesterday's Answer: Two responses, and both were 2/3 of the way there. The other three players to land in the Top 5 in steals from 1980-89 are: 1) Tim Raines; 2) Willie Wilson; and 3) Ozzie Smith. Here's the top 11 for the helluva it:

1) Rickey Henderson, 838
2) Tim Raines, 583
3) Vince Coleman, 472
4) Willie Wilson, 451
5) Ozzie Smith, 364
6) Steve Sax, 333 (that was a good guess!)
7) Lonnie Smith, 331
8) Brett Butler, 307
9) Mookie Wilson, 293
10) Dave Collins, 284
11) Paul Molitor, 281

No comments: