Monday, February 18, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name (‘60s Version)

It’s from Shakespeare.  If you want the full quote and explanation, check out my post on whacky monikers from the ‘50s.  Basically, what it means is that baseball players may have some pretty crazy names, but those names don’t seem to have any effect on their performance.

That said, I don’t exactly see any household names here.  Those guys all had names like Ted Williams, or Bob Feller, or Jackie Robinson.  Interestingly, there have actually been studies that tie odd names with poor outcomes – whether affecting grades, popularity, stress levels, mental health, or the ability to hit the curve ball (okay, I’m making that last one up).
 

Anyway, take it away Faccundo …  Faccundo??
 

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Yup, his real name was Faccundo.  It’s actually not that uncommon in Latin America.  I’m not exactly sure how they got Cuno out of that though.  Facky would be more like it for me. 

Three years, 163 at bats, .202 average, 1 home run.  Pretty much says it all. 

But would you believe that homer came on his first at bat?  It’s true!  I can’t make this stuff up. 


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“Laboy” is bad enough.  But would you believe his nickname was “Coco.”

“Hi, Coco.  Trying to find that pink bat?  I just love how it goes with your chapeau.”  No wonder he went with Jose.

In spite of the major award shown here, Coco Laboy was only good for three more cards.  Hitting below the Mendoza line (.199) the year after this one certainly didn’t help much. 
 


“Bud” certainly beats “Marion Sylvester,” but it’s the last name that really makes this one.  Heck, he could have been “John,” and I still would have included him.

Bud Zipfel was up for two years with the Senators, getting almost 400 at bats total, primarily at third base.

Oh, by the way, the pig on Green Acres?  He was named “Ziffel,” not “Zipfel.”



“Verle,” huh?  I’m guessing he has a twin sister named “LaVerle.”  It’s hard to get any more white trash than that.  And, of course, if your last name is Tiefenthaler, you certainly don’t want to go with something simple like Jim or Jane.

If this card design doesn’t look all that familiar, there’s a good reason.  They’re actually from a guy named Larry Fritsch, who does custom cards.  Usually, he does reprints, but he’s also done some series of his own.  This one is one of the latter, called “One Year Winners.”  Here’s his site.

Verle was up with the Chisox for 12 days in 1964.  Three games, 3 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 7 walks, 1 HR, 9.82 ERA, 3.54 WHIP.  It’s been nice knowin’ ya, Vern … er, Verle.
 


Okay, when your name is “Horace Guy,” you’re going to want to have a nickname, right?  Something like “Bud,” perhaps.  Probably not “Dooley.”  Especially if your last name is “Womack.” 

I looked all over and could not come up with the story behind this one.  If anybody knows, please contact me.  I’m desperate.
 

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Man, I love those short, sharp monosyllables.  Not sure how they got “Coot” though.  Well, it does beat his given name, Orville.  Can you believe it?  Orville Veal …  What were his parents thinking?

A glove man, Coot Veal finished with a .231 average and only one homer in 611 at-bats.  He was the first batter for the Washington Senators / Texas Rangers franchise.  Incredibly (seeing as we’re talking about the Senators here), he got on with a single and came around to score. 

Would you believe there's another ballplayer named "Cot" Deal?  "Coot" Veal, meet "Cot" Deal.  Coot, Cot.  Cot, Coot.


BTW, there’s a baseball blog out there called "Coot Veal and the Vealtones."


And ain’t it even better when they both start with the same letter? 

Continuing the musical theme, would you believe there’s a band out there, from Montreal, called the Frank Funk All Stars?  I kid you not.  Check it out.  Positively funkadelic!  Or should I say funkadelique!



Can you imagine a name any more Southern that that?  Interestingly, though, Purnal’s a Jersey boy.  Not sure how that came about.

Purnal’s just not the kind of name you hear every day, is it?  A quick peek at Google does give me some others though:

  • Pernell Roberts, an actor on Gunsmoke
  • Purnal Truett, who seems to be quite popular with genealogists for some reason
  • Purnell Swett, who had a high school named after him in Pembroke, NC


Why, if you’re last name is Windhorn, would you name your child anything other than Jim or Bob? 

Not too much on old Gordie out there.  I do have him down for three years in the majors, and six in Japan.  If I’ve got my Katakana and Hiragana correct, I guess over there he would have been Go-ro-dan Win-da-ho-ron.
 


So, what exactly is a Dalrymple anyway?  Was is a feature of the landscape by which Clay’s ancestors resided?  Perhaps it was a medieval occupation.  Heck, it could have been a descriptive adjective.  “Och, Gareth, thou art such a dalrymple!” 

My guess is it might be how you say “light-hitting catcher” in some ancient Germanic tongue.  Because that pretty much sums up our Clay.  He was a regular starter for the Phils in the early 60s, but I remember him best as backup for Andy Etchebarren and Ellie Hendricks for my beloved Orioles in the late 60s – i.e., when they were really, really good.

Okay, I found something.  According to ancestry.com, Dalrymple is Scottish and is a “habitational name from a place in Ayrshire, named with Gaelic dail ‘field’, ‘meadow’ + an unexplained second element.”  Just like I thought.
 


Sorry, couldn’t find anything on Schaffernoth out there.  You’re a mystery, Joe.  You and all those other Schaffernoths.  It’s fun to say, though, isn’t it?  Schaffernoth, Schaffernoth, Schaffernoth.

As for Joe’s baseball career, well, there wasn’t too much on that either.  Basically, three years with two teams, a 3-8 record, a 4.58 ERA, and a couple of forgettable cards. 

Oh, almost forgot …  Joe got one start in his career, and couldn’t get out of the 1st.  Kinda sad, huh?  Sort of like Joe’s expression here.

Too bad Joe wasn’t named Sam, or Steve, or Sylvester.  When you’ve got a really goofy last name, you always want to make sure your first name is equally goofy, alliterative, or both. 
 

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And so we wind up with Raymond Roy Ripplemeyer.  I am not making that up.  I swear.

Ripplemeyer was a one-year wonder, getting in 18 games with the Nats, going 1-2 and sporting a hefty 5.49 ERA and 1.63 WHIP.  Au revoir, Ray.


* - author has this card
 



And here’s to Rimp Lanier.  He made it onto a major league roster, but alas, never onto a Topps – or even a One Year Winner – card.

2 comments:

  1. ANY article ANYWHERE that mentions the great Lorenzo 'Rimp' Lanier is alright in my book!!! Very good work!!! Skeeb Wilcox

    ReplyDelete