The recent passing of Walt “No Neck” Williams harkened back to a time when nicknames were fun and often descriptive of the players. Whether it was the “Toy Cannon” Jimmy Wynn or the “Red Rooster” Doug Rader or “Le Grand Orange” Rusty Staub, nicknames were plentiful and known by all.
In this more corporate baseball world perhaps nicknames no longer have their place. Or perhaps baseball is just a reflection of the outer world where kids no longer hand out nicknames in the sandlot before playing a pick-up game, because kids never leave their computers, TVs or phones to go outside anymore.
Just for the fun of it – here are proposed nicknames for some of the key Astros heading into 2016.
Collin McHugh – Cool Hand Mac
Colby Rasmus – The Mullet Masher
Jose Altuve – Mr. 200
Carlos Correa – The Captain
George Springer – The Connecticut Flash
Dallas Keuchel – The Beard
Pat Neshek – Whiplash
Jon Singleton – Cheech or Chong
Lance McCullers Jr. – Bulldog
Will Harris – Big Country
Jason Castro – Ice Man
Luke Gregerson – The Park Ridge Rifle
Luis Valbuena – Uppercut
Scott Feldman – Long Tall
Mike Fiers – No-No
Now your assignment is to critique the nicknames above and throw in your own thoughts on alternate nicknames.
In addition, please take a look at the following three players. Some would call these their nicknames in this modern J-Lo world. Yes, these are abbreviated versions of their full names, but in the old fashioned sense these are not nicknames as they do not give a sense of who these players are. Knowing these players, what would you suggest as nicknames for them.
Carlos Gomez – CarGo
Marwin Gonzalez – MarGo
Tony Sipp – T-Sipp
And finally, is there anyone else in the Astros’ world you would like to hand a sobriquet to?