“Who’s on first.”–Bud Abbott
Note: If you have never seen Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” routine, one can only draw one of three possible conclusions. You’re from a country that does not play baseball, you can’t speak English, or you’ve been living under a rock your entire life. Maybe all three. For your benefit (and I assume you speak English if you’re reading this blog) and for anyone who needs a refresher, the video link to that classic appears at the end of this article.
Storm Throne…Rougned Odor…Sicnarf Loopstok…these are only three of the 75 names entered in minor league baseball’s seventh annual Moniker Madness competition, to chose the best name (read: most ridiculous) in the game. The contest began Monday and will run through August 29. You can see the whole list, and vote for your favorites, here.
No purging of my hopelessly cluttered mind would be complete without a discussion of baseball names. Or–more specifically–funny baseball names. Abbott and Costello famously lampooned funny baseball names as far back as the early 1930′s. Back in middle school in the 1960′s, my best friend and I cataloged a list of what we called the 50 wackiest names in (up to then) Baseball history. The list included such beauts as Clyde Kluttz, Van Lingle Mungo, Orval Overall and Christian Frederick Albert John Henry David Betzel. More recently, I have profiled some of these guys as a guest correspondent on The Blog of Funny Names. But let’s get back to Moniker Madness.
Sicnarf Loopstok? Really? Is that a name or the result of an explosion in an Alpha Bits factory? Yes, it is real, and Loopstok is currently leading on the list of this year’s nominees. Some of my personal favorites on this year’s list, besides Loopstok, include Jose Jose, Storm Throne and the aforementioned Mr. Odor. (What were his parents thinking? Can you imagine the schoolyard taunts when he was a kid?).
Here’s a fun little game to play with these names. If one saw the name, and didn’t know it was of a professional ballplayer, who might you take them for instead? Here’s a few of my suggestions from this year’s MM list:
Duke Von Schamman–Baron von Richthofen’s younger step-brother.
Sicnarf Loopstok–the prime minister of Croatia. (Oops, turns out he is from Aruba, so how about the governor of Aruba?)
Storm Throne–a female porn star
Damien Magnifico–goalie for the Brazilian World Cup soccer team.
Jett Bandy–see Storm Throne
Sammie Star–see Storm Throne and Jett Bandy
Zech Zinicola–councilman from the third ward, Bayone, NJ
Delta Cleary, Jr.–a used car dealer with annoying TV and radio ads
Jose Jose–a character from a Saturday Night Live or other TV show sketch. (Can’t you just hear Bill Dana** saying “my name, Jose Jose?”)
Mookie Betts–a professional gambler
Rougned Odor–maybe a…or…er…help me out, I have no idea here. (It’s pronounced roog-ned oh-dor, accents on the first syllables)
The full current leader board can be found on the MiLB.com site. If you can come up with additions to the list above, please share them with us.
Have a great day, and don’t even think of naming any of your kids after these guys.
**Like me, Bill Dana is an Emerson College grad. He went there centuries before I did, though.