Last month I posted an entry that covered a few of the most unique mascots that I could dig up. When I posted the topic to our message boards, there was some very interesting feedback on mascots from all over.
Today I decided to sift through some of the great sports nicknames and post up a list of my favorites. Many people say the creation of sports nicknames is a lost art and that athletes just don’t have nicknames like they used to. To an extent, they have a point; modern nicknames are, for the most part, boring and unimaginative (T-Mac, A-Rod, etc.) I'd like to salute a few of the great ones from the past in a brief list of my favorites (in no particular order):
The Iron Horse (Lou Gehrig) – There are few nicknames that are more apt in their description of a player than “The Iron Horse”, earned by Gehrig during his long-standing record streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.
Shoeless Joe (Joe Jackson) – This is one of my favorite nicknames of all time. Joe Jackson earned the name “Shoeless” when, as a young player, he took off a pair of spikes that hurt his feet and played the outfield wearing only socks.
Mr. Hockey (Gordie Howe) – Howe earned his nickname with a career that spanned 32 seasons in three different leagues (the USHL, NHL and WHA), including 26 in the NHL.
Refrigerator (William Perry) – “The Refrigerator”, was a phenomenon (6’2, as much as 370 pounds) in his own time, rising to prominence as a member of the great Chicago Bears defenses of the mid-1980s.
Magic (Earvin Johnson) – At 6’9”, Johnson might have been the tallest point guard in NBA history, but he was also an extraordinarily talented athlete who proved capable of playing any position on the floor.
Mr. October (Reggie Jackson) – A truly phenomenal player when it came to the postseason. His greatest achievement was the 1977 World Series, when he did something only the great Babe Ruth had accomplished previously and hit three homeruns in one game (the deciding Game Six – in addition, all three came on three successive swings) and five total in the Series.
The Great One (Wayne Gretzky) – The NHL’s career leader in goals, assists, and points, Gretzky was the single greatest force the league has ever seen.
One Size (Fitz Hall) – This nickname bestowed on Hall, a 26-year old English soccer player, is awesome. This kind of humorous nickname reminds me of ESPN’s Chris Berman’s playing on words in the nicknames he creates. A few of his puns that come to mind are John “Brown Paper” Bagwell, Mike "You're in Good Hands with" Allstott, and Albert “Winnie the” Pujols.
What are some other great sports nicknames that should be included -- professional or that you have experienced in your sporting endeavors?
(Photo provided by Getty Images/MLB)