Thursday, July 20, 2017

Part II: names, nicknames, more names

      The name game continues, second day ...
      The response on the nicknames blog was a good one, and so we go on. Because overnight dozens more came to mind, and also there are two other "name" categories.
      How about people whose first names are just initials (usually, but not always, abbreviations for their full names)? How about those two-tone first names?
      Stay tuned.
      First, back to nicknames. My friend Ross Montelbano, who wrote "... that was amazing. That might be my favorite article you've written. If I might add ..."
      Ross' list (I added first names and comments):
      John "Blue Moon" Odom; Jim "Mudcat" Grant; Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown; "Spaceman" Bill Lee
      "The Grey Ghost" (the character Gavin Grey, played by Dennis Quaid in the movie Everybody's All-American, adapted from a novel written by the late, great Frank Deford)
      "Bucketfoot" Al Simmons (Baseball Hall of Famer who once played for Shreveport)
      Old Aches and Pain" Luke Appling; Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd; "Dr. Strangleglove" Dick Stuart; "Sweet Swinging" Billy Williams; "The Schnoze" Ernie Lombardi; "Smokey Joe" Wood; "The Walking Man" Eddie Yost
      "Scrap Iron" Clint Courtney (the majors' first bespectacled catcher from Hall Summit, La., 40 miles from Shreveport) and Phil Garner (from Knoxville, Tenn.)
      Archibald "Moonlight" Graham (played in one major-league game, then became a doctor and was portrayed in the movie Field of Dreams by Burt Lancaster)
      Hazen "Kiki" Cuyler; Leon "Goose" Goslin; Lynwood "Schoolboy" Rowe; "The Reading Rifle" Carl Furillo; "Wild Thing" Mitch Williams
      "[Warren] Spahn and [Johnny] Sain and Pray for Rain"

      "Sweet Lou" Piniella and "Sweet Lou" Dunbar (basketball, from Minden, La., and the Harlem Globetrotters)
      "The Flying Scotsman" Bobby Thomson (he hit "The Shot Heard 'Round the World)
      "Nails" Lenny Dykstra; "Wahoo Sam" Crawford; "Sudden Sam" McDowell; "The Yankee Killer" Frank Lary; John "Tito" Francona; Terry "Tito" Francona (son of the father); "The Big Donkey" Adam Dunn
      Laurence "Dutch" Rennert (National League umpire known for his exaggerated strike calls, he umpired in the Southern Association during Shreveport's time in that league, 1959-61)
      "The Big Cat" -- baseball's Andres Galarraga, football's Rayfield Wright (Cowboys' Hall of Fame offensive tackle) and Ernie Ladd (from Grambling State)  
      Adding to the list (and confessing that it took a little research for some -- but not all) ...
      Butch: The late Brian Smart (also known as "Maxwell").
      Buddy: Early 1960s Fair Park High baseball teammates Buddy Nelson and Buddy Chester. Veteran sports editor/columnist/author/sports talk show host Buddy Martin, now based in Ocala, Fla.
      Reviving two Shreveport umpire/referee nicknames from a recent blog: Clyde Oliver "T-Willie" Moore and Lloyd "Sarge" Boyce.
A young Bert Blyleven (born in Holland):
"Be Home by Eleven"
      Louisiana Tech/minor-league baseball announcer of 4,000-plus games: "Freeway" Dave Nitz.
      Baseball: "Mick The Quick" Mickey Rivers, Bert "Be Home by Eleven" Blyleven (thank you, Chris Berman), "The Gambler" Kenny Rogers, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, Steve "Bye-Bye" Balboni, "Crime Dog" Fred McGriff, "The Penguin" Ron Cey, "Joey Bats" Jose Bautista.
      Here is a special one: Harry "Stinky" Davis. He was the Detroit Tigers' first baseman in 1935 when he lost the job to Hank Greenberg (future Hall of Famer). Except for his baseball days, Harry Davis lived his whole life in Shreveport.
      Co-workers at newspapers: Bill "Bull" Rutkin, "Tolo" Tobias Xavier Lopez, R.C. "Cotton" McCoy, the nitpicker "Laz" Allan Lazarus.
      Coaches, LSU: "Biff" Jones, Gaynell "Gus" Tinsley, "Pepsodent Paul" Dietzel, "Cholly Mac" Charlie McClendon,  tragic "Bo" Rein, "Curley" Hallman, "Les-tacles" Les Miles, "Coach O" Ed Orgeron, "Press" Maravich, "Daddy" Dale Brown, "Skip" Bertman.
Pistol Pete Maravich: The PMAC honors his legend
        How could I have forgotten one great basketball name: "Pistol Pete" Maravich?
         Another one, a star in basketball and baseball at Lake Charles High and the University of Kentucky, and a two-sport pro athlete: Charles "Cotton" Nash.
         Personal basketball friends: Mike "Opie" McConathy, Malcolm "Mouse" Smith. Tech basketball trips roommate/legend: Lynn "Ikey" Sanderson.
         Football coaches of note: Paul "Bear" Bryant, Ralph "Shug" Jordan, "JoPa" Joe Paterno, Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty, Nick Satan, Steve Superior ("The Head Ball Coach"), John James "Jimbo" Fisher, William "Dabo" Sweeney. The man the late Frank Deford made famous in Sports Illustrated: Robert "Bull" "Cyclone" Sullivan of East Mississippi JC.
        North Louisiana football coaches: Shreveport's "Old Lou" Lowell Morrison and Roy "Bull" Wilson. Northwestern State's Harry "Rags" Turpin. Oil City's Earl "Blue Boy" Nolan. Louisiana Tech's Milton "Mickey" Slaughter.
        Ruston, La., High School gave us L.J. "Hoss" Garrett and Jimmy "Chick" Childress. In basketball, it was Denmon "Lefty" Garner. In Jacksonville, Fla., Charles "Corky" Rogers is the alltime winningest football coach.
        Another "Hoss" was Jim Brock, former Cotton Bowl exec. The longtime Cotton Bowl chairman was Field Scovell, but Field was his given name.
        An old friend from Sunset Acres, a high school football/track All-State star: Ross "The Hoss" Oglesby.
        Ross was a running back. So, too, a decade earlier were consecutive Heisman Trophy winners -- Alan "The Horse" Ameche and Howard "Hopalong" Cassady.
        Football stadium names: "Death Valley" (LSU and Clemson), "The Big House" (Michigan), "The Swamp" (Florida), "The Granddaddy of Them All" (Rose Bowl). (There are dozen others.)
        A couple of NFL-related names: "Dirty Birds" and "Cheeseheads." A quarterback: "The Gunslinger" Brett Favre. The best-known placekicker of the 1950s: Lou "The Toe" Groza.
        My favorite Shreveport Sports player (and 10-year major leaguer): "Baby Lou" Klimchock. (He was 19 when he starred for the Sports in 1959.)
         Now, how about those initial names. Here are some people I've known and some I've seen (starting with Shreveport connections, branching out):

          A.L. Williams, W.B. Calvert, C.O. Brocato, J.D. Cox, D.C. Machen, J.L. Wilson, J.B. Harville (my junior high, Oak Terrace, was renamed in his honor), V.T. Smith, J.W. Slack, C.J. Lottinger, T.K. Henry (but call him Tommy), H.L. Prather Sr., J.D. Garrett, J.D. Barnett, J.R. Richard, J.R. Ewing, T.R. Sullivan, J.D. Drew, J.D. Martinez, R.C. Slocum, R.B. Summitt, U.L. Washington, H.O. West.  
        Two-tone names (it's probably, mostly, a Southern thing):
        John James Marshall, Jon Pat Stephenson, Joe Raymond Peace, Billy Don Maples, Bobby Ray McHalffey, Billy Don McHalffey, Billy Ray Stokes, John Andrew Prime, Bob Ray Sanders, Billy Rex Lockwood, Jimmy Joe Hildebrand, Billy Bob Thornton.
         I'm out of names for this week.


  1. From Teddy Allen: Terry "Tito" Francona (son of the father). LOVE SON OF THE FATHER, which is sort of a nickname in itself! Thanks for these two efforts. Moniker Game

  2. From Jim Robinson: Love the blog and I agree it is one of the best that you have ever written. I always fall back to the guys that you and I came up around, such as Ross "The Hoss" Oglesby from Woodlawn. Last but not least is my alltime favorite from the movie "The Sandlot" -- Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez. Keep it up, we enjoy your blogs and your history lessons.

  3. From Maxie Hays: Cotton Nash was also a football star at Lake Charles High School. And there was B.K. Miller at Tech. Love the blog!

  4. From Pesky Hill: I love all the nicknames. Just thought of Cecil “The Diesel” Collins, the infamous freshman running back at LSU. Also, Sidney “Thundering Bull” Thornton, the former Demon who won a Super Bowl with the Steelers.

  5. From Mike Richey: Enjoyed these. And offer "Bullet Bob" Hayes, Marvin "the Eraser" Barnes, James "Shack" Harris, one of my favorites "Champagne" Tony Lima, Lance "Bambi" Alworth.

  6. From Ed English: My favorite Chris Berman-coined nickname was former pitcher Jim "Two Silhouettes on" Deshaies.

  7. From Jim McLain: ... Here are some I came up with [at The Shreveport Times]:
    The 1960s Bossier Bearkats basketball team was a pretty husky group. I started calling them "The Jolly Green Giants." It stuck, and the team got hold of a Jolly Green Giant statue that they displayed at games.
    I think I was also first to call Joe Ferguson "The White Knight" and the Woodlawn offensive unit "Joe Ferguson and the Jet Set." The Knights' offensive line I dubbed "The Clean Machine" because they protected Ferguson so well and kept his uniform clean.
    The White Knight nickname confused some out-of-town writers who thought it meant he was the lone white on a black team.
    A Kilgore Junior College basketball player from Brooklyn named (I think Steve Bracey) picked up the nickname "The Brooklyn Blur" from me due to his great speed.

    1. Bracey went on to play at the University of Tulsa and three years in the NBA.

  8. E-mail from Frank Bright: Hi. (Signed) Spike😊

  9. From Jon Pat Stephenson: North Louisiana athletes -- Gene "Scootin'" Newton, "The Human Bowling Ball" Charlie Tolar, R.C. "Spanky" McCoy, Paul "Bubba" Labeene, Elton "Jello" Brown.
    Louisiana Tech longtime trainer Glenn "Moose" Tilley.
    Centenary basketball: "Captain Hook" Tom Kerwin, "The Ringgold Rifle" Barrie Haynie, Milton "Chief" Williams, Willard "Soup" Moore, Don "Dusty" Endsley, Coach Orvis "Slick" Sigler.
    Woodlawn connections: Billy Earl Laird (two names), Coach Jerry Adams "Mr. Clean"

    1. One more: Bob Richards "The Vaulting Vicar"

  10. More from me: NFL -- Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, "Butch" Johnson. Baseball -- "The Mad Hungarian" Al Hrabosky, Cecil "Stick" Upshaw.
    Phil Robertson "The Duck Commander"
    Woodlawn names: Jimmy "Kayak" Kneipp, Wayne "Stoney" Burks, Bennett "Skipper" Thomas, "Skipper" Young, "Skipper" Morgan.
    Ruston High School: Coach "Moose" Phillips
    Centenary basketball: Leon "Black Magic" Johnson, Nate "Snake" Bland.