Today's installment looks at players whom you are sure went by a nickname. You will think, there's no way that's his real name. But it is. As I see it, these lie on a spectrum from, "Hmm... that's kind of surprising" to "That's the most absurd thing I've heard since the one game wildcard round." We have seven candidates today, so here we go:
7. (Tie) Junior Felix (1990 Donruss) and Junior Kennedy (1982 Donruss)
In my experience, Junior is typically a nickname for someone who shares his name with his father. Uncertain if that's the case here. Junior Kennedy is thinking here: "Are you really doubting my name? The nerve!"
5. Mickey Tettleton (1986 Donruss)
This one makes more sense when you consider that Tettleton and Mickey Mantle both grew up in Oklahoma. Mantle's first name was also not a nickname.
4. U. L. Washington (1982 Donruss)
We are left to speculate if U. L.'s parents meant to convey any meaning by his initials. Some quick brainstorming ideas:
1) Useful Lefty (He was a switch hitter, so it kind of works)
2) Understated Legend (Not sure this one holds up in the baseball world)
3) Unusual Laugh (Anybody know U.L. or how he laughs?)
3. Carney Lansford (1986 Leaf - Yes, I know this is a Leaf card, but we love the Canadians here in ND)
Carney was featured in a previous post. He is known by me for his glasses and mustache (see above photo), as well as his blurry 1982 Fleer card. And my sister and I always enjoyed his name.
2. Spike Owen (1990 Donruss)
Spike was destined for one of three possible careers:
1) Railroad construction worker
3) Professional athlete who wears spikes
Career #3 it is! (For the record, Spike Lee's first name is Shelton.)
It was quite difficult to choose between #2 and #1. In all honesty, I think I just went with the name I like better. The last name is arguably as fantastic as the first. So, I present to you the one and only:
Sadly, Biff Pocoroba passed away last Sunday at the age of 66.
The only other Biff I know of is from Back to the Future. And I always assumed it was a nickname. Not so in the case of Mr. Pocoroba. But credit to his parents because if there ever was someone who looked like a Biff, it was Biff Pocoroba. May he rest in peace.
Well, thanks for stopping by. There will be more of the Donruss Names Series, but I won't tell you how much more or else you might end up abandoning this blog forever. Then I'll feel the desperation of Krusty the Clown when he lost the rights to show Itchy and Scratchy cartoons: "We've got some real good toy commercials coming up, I swear!"