“It’s like an entire century decided to find a name funnier than Seymour Butts.”
~American Historians Looking at Goofy American Names
In the past, when we spent time looking into baseball players of the 19th century to find some really goofy names, it was primarily to talk about how silly, yet delightful, the Wild Wild West days of early Major League Baseball truly was.
But the more we thought about it, the more we wondered—what if it wasn’t just baseball players that had strange, laughable names back then? What if the era was responsible for ridiculous names more than just the sport of baseball?
It seemed plausible, and so we did a little digging (read as—we found a list on tumblr and did some googling to make sure the names weren’t just made up). And because very little gives us more joy in life than making fun of people whose parents really should not have tried to get “creative” coming up with a word to describe a human for their whole fucking life, we’re going to make fun of some names that are goofier than your name.
Except for you, Brandalynn. Your name is white trash garbage.
6 of the Goofiest American Names From the 19th Century
Oh for fuck’s sake, it’s a gender neutral name too?
“Heh, guys, remember Dickie Flowers? AHHH HA HA HA.”
~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt
A few weeks back, we posted an article where we dug around the annals of Major League Baseball lore for the all-important purpose of laughing at silly names. And ho boy, were there a lot of silly names to be found. So many in fact that we couldn’t stick with just a single article. Yes, there are more names that, either by a lack of parental foresight or the wanton cruelty of their teammates, are hilarious to our perpetually adolescent minds. Sure, a lot of them are nicknames, but this was during a time where a player’s nickname actually went on his box score. These people are remembered by as having these names, which we find delightful, because these names are goofy as shit.
More of the Goofiest Baseball Player Names Of The 19th Century
“You can just call me Wild Bill. Holy shit, wait, you’re actually going to do that?”
~Wild Bill Widner
We’ve talked about early baseball, and especially baseball in the 19th century, here before. Simply put, the 1800s were a lawless time in a lot of ways, and professional baseball was definitely included in that list. Hell, back then, foul balls didn’t count as strikes, in 1879 it took 9 balls to get a walk, and people wouldn’t even play with a glove so errors were almost more common than hits.
Now, these oddball rules were the result of a new sport coming into its own, which was a trying process for both owners and players. Teams and even Leagues folded overnight, and the salary a professional baseball player could hope for was about as high as you’d expect from someone placed in this tenuous position. So while the quality of play was, by modern comparison, pretty shitty, the 19th century did have us beat in one very significant field.
The ridiculousness of their names and nicknames. Nowhere does baseball offer more accidental hilarity than with the names that players, who though underpaid were professional athletes, went by. These are names that fans chanted (or like, respectfully muttered to each other, we know that people wore fancy hats to baseball games back then so maybe it was a more refined affair at the time) and that are forever linked in the history books of the game as these people’s identities.
And there are some doozies of identities here. So no more backswallash (Is that a 19th century word or did we just write gibberish?) let’s dive into some of these names.
The Goofiest Baseball Player Names Of The 19th Century
Posted in All things baseball, Athletes, Strange America
Tagged America, Baseball, Candy Cummings, Dickie Flowers, Goofy names, Ice Box Chamberlain, Lady Baldwin, Major League Baseball, MLB, Pussy Tebeau, Silly Names