Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday 5: Favorite Sports Nicknames

Show me The Glove

Happy Friday readers.  Today I am going to borrow an idea from my blogging buddy Tim over at Life of Riles called Friday 5.  Basically,  for a Friday post I list my 5 favorite things in a different and completely random category.

Today, I have chosen Sports Nicknames.  Here are my 5 favorites.

5. The Big Unit: Randy Johnson was left-handed, stood 6'10" tall, and was perhaps the most imposing pitcher to ever take the mound in The Show.  I know he went on to bigger things in his days with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but to me his performance in the 1995 divisional playoff series between the Seattle Mariners and the hated New York Yankees cemented him as a legend.  The nickname The Big Unit is both fitting and, depending on how you interpret it, hilarious.

4. Crime Dog: While a decent professional baseball player in his day, Fred Griff will always be known more for his nickname which was a take on the police cartoon crime fighting dog McGruff, who could "Take a bite outta crime". 

3. The Microwave: Vinnie Johnson won NBA world championships with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990, but was originally drafted in 1979 by my hometown Seattle Supersonics.  Back then we just knew him as VJ as he was teammate with another pair of famous J's, DJ (Dennis Johnson) and JJ (Johnny Johnson).  In Detroit he became known as The Microwave for his ability to heat things up in a hurry.  Classic.

2. The Glove: Gary Payton was perhaps the best defensive point guard who ever suited up in the NBA.  He would defend opposing guards so tightly it was like they were wearing a glove.  Thus the nickname.  Another Seattle sports icon, his nickname was made all the more awesome by the hand gesture that accompanied it.  Palms and fingers outstretched as if putting on a glove, with the opposite hand gripped around the wrist.

1. Shoeless Joe:  Legend has it Joe Jackson became Shoeless Joe, after he played a game in Left Field without his cleats because they were new and had given him blisters.  Despite his involvement in the infamous 1919 Black Sox World Series fixing scandal, which resulted in his being banned from baseball Shoeless Joe is still one of the best hitters to ever play the game, posting the third highest career batting average of all time.  To me, the name Shoeless Joe is synonymous with baseball history and the nostalgia that surrounds it.

So, there you go.  Tell me folks, what are your all time favorite Sports Nicknames?

Photo Credit:


Slamdunk said...

The microwave was fantastic.

Jeffrey Leonard, and outfielder who played with several teams including the Giants, had the nickname "One Flap Down" because of his odd home run trot.

In the late 1980s, the University of Oklahoma had an inside player who was called Mike "Helicopter" Bell. He had very long arms, could jump to the roof, and helicopter was fitting when he spun through the air to block shots.

J-Tony said...

I don't know about top 5, but off the top of my head I like Big Smooth Sam Perkins

J-Tony said...
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Alaska DAD said...

Refridgerator Perry!

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Happy friday yo!

danielpelfrey said...

Mr. Franchise - Ken Griffey Jr.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Slamdunk - One Flap Down is hilarious. Thanks for sharing.

@j-tony - Loved Big Smooth. And Kevin Colaboro for coining those names. Another I forgot to mention: Big Paper Daddy (Ricky Pierce) How awesome is that?

@Alaska DAD - Aptly named for sure! Loved his runs for Da Bears.

@Hey - Hey!

@Daniel - Funny, I don't have lot of recolection of him being called that, but I'm not doubting he was.

Idaho Dad said...

I was always a big fan of Mr. October, Reggie Jackson. I was in the stands at Anaheim Stadium the day he hit his 500th home run. Not in October, though. :)

triles said...

Thanks for the shout out. I've fallen off the wagon with the Fast Five Fridays. I was trying to do it every Friday, but that was too much. Maybe I'll just do them when I have a good idea.

I love the idea for this list. I'll throw in The Gravedigger, Gilbert Brown. Big 'ol Gilbert is one of my favorite Packers of all time. When he got a sack, or a big tackle, he would pretend to shovel dirt on his opponent. Loved it.

FilmFather said...

Do Chris Berman-isms count? My all-time favorite of his has to be Lance "You've Sunk My" Blankenship.

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Diplo_Daddy said...

I'm with Alaska Dad--The Frig!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge sports guy and I had no idea about the origin on the nicknames for Shoeless Joe and for Fred McGriff who was brought up through my hometown Jays organization before shuffling off bigger and better things elsewhere.

See, I don't visit for a while then I come see 3 fantastic posts in a row. I'll have to come back more often!