by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Pro sports have provided us with great nicknames. Although I don’t really understand “Hoss” Allen, and I think “Diaper” Rash is stupid, (Although I’ve heard from some that it fits); I do like the color added by the “Big Nasty” and “Maximum” Bob.
But no other sport can hold a candle to Major League Baseball. I wonder if Yogi Berra even remembers that his given name is Lawrence. I already have a nickname shared by a quarterback, a not very good outfielder for the 70s Twins, and an ESPN anchor. So it’s time to tag a few others on the wall and see what sticks.
Sam “The Man” Lantto has a nice ring to it. This year’s CBA player of the year - Chad “Nuke” Nelson. Hall of Famer Carl “Big Train” Fietek. We can’t forget Rich “The Barber” Latvala. We heard about Mike “Iron Man” Wirz, and our Tennessee pal, Jim “Iron Horse” Dabe. Keep ’em coming - Matt “Scooter” McNeil, Dan “Big Unit” Pritchard, and the wrecking crew that never stops, “Old Blue” Lindquist and “Mudcat” Blad.
Clark “Sweet Music” Poelzer, Hal “3 Finger” Abrams, and the “Splendid Splinter”, Rob Downer. “Catfish” Vescera Jr., “Donnie Bowling” Theis, and the “Sarge”, Jeff Smith. “Cool Papa” Dorek, Lonnie “Oil Can” Boyd, “Joltin‘” Jay Joyner, Al “Crime Dog” Loth, and Shoeless Jack Wallisch. MLB has A-ROD, I-ROD, and K-ROD. We have T-HAV, T-COR, and T-KOR.
Ken “Ol’ Diz” Holets, Mark “Big Hurt” Voaklander, Bob “Spaceman” Hanson, Terry “The Bird” Schacht, and Ron “Big Papi” Lindner. I didn’t mention Dave Langer until now. There is no way I can improve on the handle he has had since I’ve known him. And Steve Carlton’s “Lefty” will be answered to by many, now, and for years to come. I just never figured out why the rest of us are never called “Righty”. But there is one Lefty that deserves special recognition. So special, in fact, that I had to go to the NFL to borrow a nickname, the one and only Daron “Fridge” Hanson.