Ballplayer Aliases: What’s Your Real Name?


I recently came across a list of MLB players on the Internet that listed players by their full names.  I thought some of these were interesting, so I’m listing some of these below:

Don’t Call Me David

David ‘Bud’ Norris
David ‘Homer’ Bailey
David Adam Laroche

Laroche’s brother Andrew also played in the majors.  I always thought that the Laroches were named alliteratively, and that if there were more younger Laroche siblings that also played baseball, their names would be something like Amos, Alan, Ajax and Azrael.  I am slightly disappointed that this is not the case.

Homer Bailey has the worst name for a pitcher ever.  He must really hate being called Dave.

Don’t Call Me Robert

Robert Allen ‘R.A.’ Dickey
Robert Alex Wood
Robert Andrew ‘Drew’ Stubbs
Robert Chase Anderson

No one named Robert goes by ‘Bob’ or ‘Bobby’ anymore.  I miss Bobby Higginson.  There aren’t any active Bobs in the majors, other than Bobby Abreu.  But his legal name is actually Bob, not Robert.  Abreu could instead go by his middle name, ‘Kelly’.  Johnny Cueto’s middle name is ‘Brent’.  I find it hard to believe that the birth certificates of Venezuelan Abreu and Dominican Cueto really say ‘Bob Kelly’ and ‘Johnny Brent’.

Don’t Call Me James

James Anthony ‘J.A.’ Happ
James Brian Dozier
James Gordon Beckham III
James Evan Gattis

Happ goes by ‘J.A.’, which is apparently pronounced like “Jay”.  In other words, the ‘A’ is silent.  So Happ should actually go in his own category: “Don’t Call Me James and Don’t Call Me J.A.”

Unless Gordon Beckham’s great-grandfather was a huge comic books fan, Beckham’s name probably has nothing to do with James Gordon of Batman fame.  But at the least, we probably should start referring to Beckham as “Commissioner Gordon”.  On second thought, Bud Selig would never stand for that.

Shorter Is Better

Maxwell Scherzer
Tomaso Milone
Colbert Hamels
Clifton Lee

I know someone who named their kid ‘Max’.  Just Max, not short for anything.  At first, I thought this was kind of odd, because isn’t Max usually short for something?  But what is Max short for?  Maximilian?  Maximus?  Maximum?  In Scherzer’s case, it’s Maxwell.  Regardless of the choice, there is absolutely no chance that your kid would ever be called anything but ‘Max’.   So might as well do away with all those bothersome extraneous letters at the end.

Clifton Lee sounds like someone who could have been a lesser-known general in the Confederate army, perhaps a distant cousin of Robert E. Lee.  And if Robert E. Lee played major league baseball today, since no one goes by just ‘Robert’ anymore, he’d be known as Marbles Lee, utility infielder extraordinaire for the Atlanta Braves.

The Ones You Probably Already Knew

Covelli ‘Coco’ Crisp
Carsten Charles ‘CC’ Sabathia
Gerald ‘Buster’ Posey
Melvin Emanuel ‘B.J.’ Upton

If you haven’t heard it mentioned before, Upton’s name stands for “Bossman Junior”, his father being Bossman.  Bossman Junior is a pretty sweet name.  But like how the usage of the nickname ‘Dick’ for persons named Richard has fallen into disfavor over the years, the use of the moniker ‘B.J.’ is doomed, for obvious reasons.  I find it hard to believe that anyone else nicknamed B.J. will be able to make it through the gauntlet of middle school, high school, college and a baseball clubhouse unscathed any time soon.  So enjoy having Upton around while you still can (and, given his play over the last couple of years, IF you still can).  It might be the last BJ you get for the foreseeable future.

Most Confusing Middle Name

Jason Alias Heyward

When Heyward first came up with the Braves, people for some reason thought his middle name was ‘Adenolith’.  According to Heyward, his real middle name is ‘Alias’ (a variation of the name Elias) and he has no idea where ‘Adenolith’ came from.  Adenolith is not a real word.  I guess it sounds impressive and massive because it sounds sort of like monolith; but for the most part, it is a bunch of random letters mashed together.  How people once thought that Jason A. Heyward’s middle name was ‘Adenolith’ is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.

That being said, his real middle name presents its own set of issues:

Customer service rep:  And, sir, what’s your middle name?
Jason Heyward:  Alias.
Rep:  No, not your alias, your middle name.
JH:  Alias.
Rep:  Your middle name is your alias?
JH:  Yes, my middle name is Alias.
Rep:  Okay, fine, I have a field for that too.  What’s your alias?
JH:  It’s my middle name.
Rep:  No, an alias is like a nickname.  Do you have any nicknames?
JH:  Adenolith.

Boners and Dragons and Bears…OH BABY!

A few days ago, a friend of mine referred to Josh Hamilton as “JHam”.  At first, I had no idea who he was talking about, but I am a smart guy, so I used context clues to figure it out.  Once I realized he was indeed referring to Hamilton, I got angry.  This trend of mashing together a player’s first initial (or first part of his first name) and the first syllable of his last name (e.g. A-Rod, CarGo, HanRam) has gotten way out of hand.  In this age of tweets and text messages, I understand the need for brevity.  Long gone are the days of florid nicknames like “The Splendid Splinter”.  That’s fine.  But can’t we come up with short and sweet monikers that reflect at least a little bit of creativity?  I love referring to Josh Hamilton as “The Great Hambino”, which of course is a nod to The Sandlot.  But it’s too long.  I think Josh has “Hambone” tattooed on his arm, so we should just go with that.  If even that’s too long, we should just call him “Bone” or, even better, “Boner”.  I mean, Boner works on so many levels: it can either mean a huge mistake or a huge erection.  And for some reason, I just see Boner as the kind of guy that thinks more with his dick than with his brain.  So it’s perfect.  Boner it is.

Quite often, nicknames arise out of necessity.  When I was in college, there were like ten different Brians in my circle of friends.  So, Brian from Texas became “Texas Brian” and fat Brian became “Fat Brian”.  Okay, I realize now that these were not terribly imaginative names, but I disclaim all responsibility for their creation.  The point is that the players that need nicknames the most are the ones with the most common names.  A-Rod would never have become A-Rod in the first place if his last name wasn’t the relatively common “Rodriguez”.

So there are players out there who desperately need a nickname, and all I’m saying is that let’s all get together and try and give them an interesting one.  Like Adrian Gonzalez.  I’ve heard people call him “Gonzo”, but come on, that nickname is for anyone named Gonzalez.  And “A-Gon” isn’t distinctive enough, since there are other players (like Alex Gonzalez) who this could apply to.  Should we just call him “Adrian”?  Is that distinctive enough?  My idea is to anagram the first three letters of his first name and combine it with the first syllable of his last name.  DraGon.  Yes, I know you are blown away and you are welcome.

The stumper for me is Miguel Cabrera.  There are many Cabreras and there are many Miguels.  Yet all we can come up with is “Miggy” or “Cabby” or “MCab” for the greatest hitter in the game?  Really?  We can’t come up with something better than that?  Alas, I don’t really have a better idea at this point.  My fiancee likes to call him “CaBEARa” because he looks like a cuddly teddy bear.  I would be fine if this caught on.

My final suggestion is that we all must band together to make sure that Omar Infante is only referred to from this day forth as “O-Baby”.  Seriously, how has this not happened yet?