Continued from a brief hiatus as my computer crapped out for a while. As a way for us to keep our baseball minds warmed up and our senses of irony attuned, I'd like to welcome back the series for a second half. I've gotten the imprimatur from our feared leaders to continue this, and I really want you all to get involved. So let me and us know which names you like most, which names are boring, and in which ways I'm trying too hard. We can't get anywhere without criticism.
Old people names are funny. To go back to our old introductions...
I want to celebrate the names, the ridiculous and the sublime, that make baseball what it is. This is largely inspired by a Joe Posnanski post where he said that Wally Moon was the most 1950’s name ever. That sparked me to take on this new project. The rules are that we begin with the decade they started their career in (i.e. Wally Post comes up in the 50's, not the 60's).
Let’s go through each decade of Reds’ history, from 1890s through the 2000’s and select the greatest names. We will have three categories: Best Name, Most Cincinnati Name, and Most 1960’s Name. I will list the names and how they got on the list below, and then choose my winners. Feel free to disagree in the comments.
Davey Concepcion: It's always surprising to me that there aren't more Concepcions out there. It rolls off the tongue so beautifully, four of the more beautiful syllables out there.
Angel Bravo: Outfielder? Porn star? 80's movie sidekick who gets killed 40 minutes in? You decide!
John Noriega: Not the rapper, not the Nicaraguan strongman, but from...Utah?
Bo Belinsky: There seem to be way fewer Eastern Europeans in the big leagues now then there were a few decades ago.
Pedro Borbon: They don't make relievers like they used to. Ol' Peter Whiskey never pitched less than 121 innings, never had a K/BB ratio over 2, and averaged 9.5 H/9 from 1972-1977. His ERA in those years? 3.02
Cesar Geronimo: How many of our older brethren here laid out for diving catches in the front lawn screaming "GERONIMO!!!" His Maternal name is Zorilla, which is also good for something.
Richie Scheinblum: More of the "neighborhood dad pinch-hit for the Reds back in the day" variety.
Merv Rettenmud: "Mervin? Sherrif, your given name is Mervin?"
Rawly Eastwick: I was surprised he was born as far north as New Jersey, myself.
Pat Darcy: The Reds bullpen was soooo Jane Eyre back in the day.
Clay Kirby: The Reds had two Clays in their bullpen back then. I don't think there's a single Clay in MLB anymore.
Joel Youngblood: A very apt name for the youthful outfielder. If he broke in today, we'd be fencing off so many awful puns, you couldn't believe it.
Manny Sarmiento: Just seems like a more-cocained-up Davy Concepcion to me. Same name construction, worse stats on the field.
Santo Alcala: Big Santino was not as good as many figured he would be, and I know there's at least one RedsZone member named after him. Also, one of the first pitchers from San Pedro de Macoris (where Cueto and Arredondo are from)
Champ Summers: In the movie about the 1977 Reds (Guys...What Happened?, an ABC premiere), Champ will be played by Neil McDonough, there is no doubt in my mind. C'mon. "Champ Summers"? Really?
Paul Moskau: /pours one out for Red Moskau, the player and the RR dude.
Woodie Fryman: Not that funny in its on right, unless you're asking "Y did he spell it with an 'ie'?"...
Arturo DeFreites: ...unless you look at Arthur of the Fries and realize that they were the same damn person.
Mike LaCoss: I always assumed Miles was fat, and that there was a "Miles Across" joke. Then I realized he went 6'5", 185. Bummer.
Rafael Santo Domingo: Not from Santo Domingo, which stinks. Not very good, which stinks even more.
Look, the 1970's were a lean decade for names, no matter how much success the Reds had on the field. I'm wondering myself if there's an inverse correlation between quality of names and quality of team, but we'll have to suffer through the 1980s and 2000's before we can make a full decision. So I'm sorry for the thinness here, but we'll make up for it in the 80's. My goodness we will.
And, for this decade:
Most Cincinnati Name: How many Richie Scheinblums, or at least Richie Scheinblum derivatives, are there in Walnut Hills? Because I bet there's at least 40.
Most 1970's name: Champ Summers may not be in the 1950's anymore, but now that Vietnam's over and Civil Rights is taken care of, we're gonna be just fine, you guys! I like to think of Champ Summers and Angel Bravo teaching East German kids freedom through dance in some not very good movie somewhere.
Best name of the decade: Cesar Geronimo is a little bit of poetry, a little bit of American history, and a little bit of the classics, all rolled up into one rangy outfielder.