One of my favorite things about baseball history is the players' nicknames. Some are really funny, while some just make no sense. However, there are a few instances among the baseball Hall of Famers where nicknames are either repeated, similar, or contradict each other. Here's a list of some examples of each:
- Hank Aaron and Hank Greenberg both have the same nickname: "Hammerin' Hank." Why? They both hammered the ball out of the ballpark a lot. Greenberg and Aaron combined for 1,086 home runs in their careers.
- Lou Brock and Tom Seaver share the nickname "The Franchise," which is interesting because they both were very different players. Brock was the best base stealer of his time, while Seaver was one of the best strikeout pitchers of his time.
- Johnny Evers and Ty Cobb, both players from baseball's infancy, have similar nicknames. Evers was nicknamed "The Human Crab" because of how combative he was with umpires and fellow players. Cobb was ironically called "The Georgia Peach." He was from Georgia but was far from a peach and is known as one of the dirtiest hitters in baseball history.
- Walter Johnson and Lou Gehrig both have train-related nicknames, "The Big Train" and "The Iron Horse," respectively. Both have these nicknames because of their durability and perseverance throughout their careers.
- Nellie Fox and Frank Thomas were both inducted into the Hall of Fame as members of the White Sox, but were very different in terms of size. Fox was only 5'10" and 160 pounds, which is considered microscopic compared to Thomas's 6'5" 240-pound build. This should explain why Fox was called "The Mighty Mite" and why Thomas was "The Big Hurt."
- Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan are both in the Hall of Fame because they have 300+ wins, but had different methods of winning. Niekro took the knuckleball approach, as his knuckleball because one of the most feared of its kind in baseball. This skill gave Niekro the nickname, "Knucksie." Ryan was a fireballer and used his blazing fastball to strike out batters left and right. He holds the MLB record for most career strikeouts with 5,714 because of his famous fastball, so he became known as "The Ryan Express."
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And if you'd like to read more about baseball history, baseball nicknames or the Baseball Hall of Fame, please check out my book on baseball history, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers. It's a book filled with cool facts and great pictures, and all of my proceeds are going to four charities, ALS, Turn 2, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. In other words, the perfect holiday gift!!!