What’s in a name?

Thoughts while dodging pot holes and speed traps on LA Hwy 190, while listening to an early season LSU baseball game…

How would you like to be first-year LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson? You get hired to a dream job, and you have a pitcher who is Money every time he takes the mound? Has to feel good, right?

Pitcher Blake Money has been money for Johnson and the Tigers as the “Friday guy” – at least for the first few weeks of the season.

But, it begs the question.

What’s in a name? Would any other pitcher who delivers the heat be as sweet if he were not Money called? Good question, Juliet.

A quick Google search reveals that Blake isn’t the only pitcher with a great baseball name.

Sugar Cain was not especially salty on the mound for the A’s, baseball Browns, and White Sox. In seven seasons he had a record of 53-60.

Speaking of records, let’s take a look at Orval Overall, who like Cain was a right-handed pitcher. He had an overall record of 108-71. Back in mid-1880s, they were too busy rebuilding America and didn’t waste time distinguishing between home and away records.

But you need versatility in your rotation, so let’s pick a lefthander. Phenomenal Smith was a lefty, but — unfortunately— he was underwhelming on the mound, 54-74.

Three more pitchers. Mudcat Grant, Dizzy Trout, and Dizzy Dean. These Dizzys are making me woozy. It’s overkill, really. What if you called down to the bullpen and said, “Get Dizzy up and moving around.” Wouldn’t they be fuzzy on the details?

The Only Nolan, a righty for the Blues, Alleghenys, Quicksteps, and Quakers, was the only Nolan in 1878, but that all changed on January 31, 1947 when Lynn Noland Ryan Jr. was born in Refugion, Texas.

Now that we have some arms, let’s add some defense.

Bud Weiser didn’t last long in the outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies. Not sure if the King of Beers made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, or maybe he had a drinking problem. I can believe either. Chicken Hawks can play first base or in the outfield, but he is going to be opinionated when it comes to the pregame meal.

Those guys are before my time. There was a linebacker at Booker T. Washington, who I had the misfortune of meeting on a Friday night in the Fall of 1990. Edwin Edwards. Friends — and the PA announcer at Leonard C. Barnes Stadium — called him “The Governor.” The “er” in “Governor” was silent. “Gov’nor.”

I called him Mr. Edwards, that is when I could get my hands on him. Any offensive lineman who had the misfortune, like I did, of trying to climb up to the second level to block him will tell you that he was slick, slippery, and played with a lawlessness that would make the real white-haired governor blush.

More recently, Calvary had a jack(hammer)-of-all-trades player, one their best ever if you ask me, Weston Steelhammer. Talk about your great football names! Steelhammer went on to star on the defensive side of the ball at the Air Force Academy.

You want to drop the hammer? That’s fine. I have another steal for you.

Actually, Steele…as in Louisiana Tech baseball’s man of Steele Netterville, who has won over the hearts of adoring Tech fans who watch him play at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

Steele, although he did play football at Byrd High School, is a baseball guy now.

When looking over the great NFL names, if I’m being honest, it is not as plentiful as their baseball brethren. But, there are some gems.

One is funny though. Ha Ha Clinton Dix will make you chuckle. Dix played in the secondary.

Too bad he didn’t have the chance to play against Fair Hooker, a wide receiver for the Browns in the early 1970s. Fair, a beautiful young man, was one of three Hookers in NFL history.

Happy Feller was a good description of Philadelphia’s and New Orleans’ kicker in 1971-73 when he was sitting on the sidelines during training camp–avoiding tackling drills.

Earthwind Moreland didn’t get much playing time for the Jets, Browns, and Patriots during his three seasons in the league. If his middle lame were Andfire, well, it would just be too perfect.

Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s parents didn’t think it through when they were at the hospitball and looked down on their son and gave their son that name. At 6-4, 225 pounds, Lil’Jordan, who was named after the best basketball player of all time, doesn’t fit for the Saints wide receiver.

And finally, who can forget Richie Incognito. It’s hard to be in disguise when you are notorious for being one of the dirtiest players in NFL history. Incognito was kicked off two college football teams and was arrested for threatening to shoot people at a funeral home, of all places.

Did I miss anyone? You name it.


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