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Gary Fletcher
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31/10/2018 11:11 am  

On BJOL a conversation somehow moved onto Cool Papa Bell. I contributed a thought and, as it sometimes happens, wrote something I kind of liked:

I don't think there are many [nicknames] in any league to match Cool Papa. "Cool" itself looks cool. But "Cool Papa" pulls up an image of a poetic time and place that perhaps only exists in our imaginations.

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ventboys
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31/10/2018 11:45 am  

I think I see what you mean. Cool Papa almost had to be who he was, based simply on his nickname. 

Curmudgeon would be a great name for a newly discovered species of crab.


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Gary Fletcher
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31/10/2018 1:37 pm  
Posted by: ventboys

I think I see what you mean. Cool Papa almost had to be who he was, based simply on his nickname. 

Maybe true, but not what I was thinking. I was thinking that his nickname is evocative of things I cannot know to be true. They might be. I mean I can imagine him doing a full page ad for menthol cigarettes, "Man...that's cool." I see nightclubs, I see clean suburban streets, I see streetlights, I see a slender black man in a stylish suit. 

"Cool Papa Bell" just brings up these images from my subconscious, that's all. 

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


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ventboys
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31/10/2018 1:49 pm  

That's what I said. I thought.

Imagery is in the eye -- literally -- of the beholder. Right?

Curmudgeon would be a great name for a newly discovered species of crab.


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Gary Fletcher
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31/10/2018 2:29 pm  
Posted by: ventboys

That's what I said. I thought.

Imagery is in the eye -- literally -- of the beholder. Right?

Yep. Just that your first comment seemed more grounded in reality, I guess. 

Right now, I can't hardly think of another nickname.

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ventboys
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01/11/2018 2:07 pm  

I got a couple:

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra. A Yogi is a bear, but also some sort of spiritual leader. So Yogi Berra is a spiritual bear.

Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart. Few nicknames so perfectly paint a player's picture. It's not a full picture -- it doesn't tell you he was a slugger -- but it gets you halfway there.

Bill "Swish" Nicholson. He held the American League record for strikeouts (175) for a generation.

A companion nickname for Cool Papa Bell might be "Sweet Lou" Hudson (NBA) or Walter "Sweetness" Payton (NFL). If we're heading into other sports, Walter "The Refrigerator" Perry might be a good one. But it's more literal, so maybe not.

I guess I'm more literal than you, Gary.

 

Curmudgeon would be a great name for a newly discovered species of crab.


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Gary Fletcher
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02/11/2018 12:21 am  

I believe the "Freshest Man On Earth" was the nickname for Arlie Latham. I really don't know much about him, or didn't, but his nickname was intriguing, to say the least. I think I read in the historical abstract that he got his name as a third base coach from his habit of running up and down the third base line yelling obscenities at the other team. It was stated that he was the reason for the invention of the coaching boxes. 

The yelling of obscenities is the point, of course, and something tells me that his mouth predates his coaching career. So, Arlie Latham, a loud foul mouthed man probably not welcome in the best places. 😊 

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Gary Fletcher
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02/11/2018 12:36 am  

I just looked up baseball nicknames and looked at this list:

https://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/101-fun-nicknames-in-baseball-history-1.1830992

I was wondering how many of them qualified as evocative...I liked these ones as having poetic power:

Shoeless Joe
Scooter
Suitcase
Charlie Hustle
Blue Moon
Hammerin' Hank
The Toy Cannon
Satchel
Snuffy
Gabby
Moonlight
Sad Sam

I avoided ones like Three Finger Brown because they were specific to a small and real identifier, or Rocket or The Springfield Rifle, nicknames that draw attention to a specific quality. I mean "only" without anything additional that encouraged my imagination.

I was thinking that a nickname qualifies for my approval if I could imagine using it for characters in a funky underground comic.

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ventboys
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02/11/2018 10:59 am  

Toy Cannon might be my personal favorite. It's a painting, rather than imagery like Cool Papa, in a manner of speaking. I prefer that, as a more literal person. I hear "toy cannon" and I know I'm dealing with something small, powerful and explosive. That's Jimmy Wynn. Cool Papa is tremendous, an evocative turn of phrase, but not so specific. You don't think of something not warm and parental.

Curmudgeon would be a great name for a newly discovered species of crab.


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John Hunter
 John Hunter
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11/11/2018 4:26 am  

Le Grand Orange (Rusty Staub, beloved in Montreal)

Crime Dog (Fred McGriff-a play on the "McGruff the Crime Dog" PSAs)

Eye Chart (Doug Gwosdz, for obvious reasons)

The Christian Gentleman (Christy Mathewson, who was from all reports actually a Christian gentleman)


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ventboys
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11/11/2018 8:03 am  

Who was "The old woman in the red cap," Gary? I remember Bob Ferguson was "Death to Flying Things" and that old St. Louis Brown player and coach was "The Freshest Man on Earth" and a girl I dated back in my slutty days was "The nun" because she made you buy her dinner first, but I can never remember the red cap guy's name.

Curmudgeon would be a great name for a newly discovered species of crab.


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Gary Fletcher
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11/11/2018 12:56 pm  
Posted by: John Hunter

Le Grand Orange (Rusty Staub, beloved in Montreal)

Crime Dog (Fred McGriff-a play on the "McGruff the Crime Dog" PSAs)

Eye Chart (Doug Gwosdz, for obvious reasons)

The Christian Gentleman (Christy Mathewson, who was from all reports actually a Christian gentleman)

Those are all terrific nicknames, except possibly Mathewson's, although it's still good. 

I have two nicknames. When I was in elementary school I just used my initials to sign things. My teacher brought me up to the front of the class, pointed to my initials and asked, "What does that say?" "GAF," I answered. And the first nickname was born. There are still people who, if I see them again, will call me GAF.

The other nickname was "Swift Turtle."

See? It's all about me.

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


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Gary Fletcher
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11/11/2018 1:03 pm  
Posted by: ventboys

Who was "The old woman in the red cap," Gary?

I don't know, so I looked it up. My internal alarm bell hinted at an Art or a Jimmy, but I was way wrong.

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


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