“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?
“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
“Let’s go Stogies! No wait that can’t be right, can it? We’re not honestly called that, right?”
~Pittsburgh Stogies fans
A few weeks back, we talked to you about some late 19th and early 20th century professional baseball team names that we felt were, frankly, kind of ridiculous. We’ve not always been great at naming teams, and well, considering the Phillies we’re still not that great at naming teams, but we’ve at least phased out the worst offenders. From the Columbus Solons to the Cincinnati Kelly’s Killers, there are a whole slew of defunct major league baseball teams that had laughable, absurd names, and some of them even managed to not be from Ohio.
That said, as ridiculous as those names were, they weren’t the only ones out there. So we combed through the history of major league baseball to find some more hilarious names, because we’re easily amused when drunk.
More of the Silliest Major League Baseball Team Names of All Time
Posted in All things baseball, Athletes, Strange America
Tagged America, Baseball, baseball team names, Brooklyn Tip-Tops, Federal League, Hartford Dark Blues, Major League Baseball, MLB, Newark Peppers, Pittsburgh Stogies, Rupert Mills, Silly Names, St. Louis Terriers, Troy Trojans, Union Association, Wilmington Quicksteps
“Boring? What are you talking about? Baseball is exciting!”
~Baseball fan on his fourth beer
Photo from Moose135 Photography
Baseball is our national pastime in the same way that many of our “best friends” are people we were close with in elementary school who we only get to see every couple of years ever since they moved to the West Coast. We still say it’s our most iconic sport, but if we’re being really honest with ourselves we’ve liked watching football better for some time now. As society makes “sitting still for three hours for a game where everyone just stands still doing nothing for the vast majority of the time” an increasingly difficult source of entertainment to get excited about (though we do our best to make it worthwhile through alcohol and insane food) it’s important to remember that baseball hasn’t always been the dusty icon it is now.
It used to be much, much sillier. Don’t believe us? Just look at some of the teams that existed during the early years of Major League Baseball. These are teams that people paid money to watch, and actively claimed to root for. The 19th century and early 20th century were hilarious, basically. So before you can even say “What is a Met, really?” let us present you with…
The Silliest Major League Baseball Team Names of All Time
Posted in All things baseball, Strange America
Tagged America, Baseball, Brooklyn Bridegrooms, Cincinnati Kelly's Killers, Columbus Solons, Lee Richmond, Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Baseball, Mike King Kelly, MLB, Mutual Base Ball Club of New York, Silly Names, Toledo Maumees, Worcester Worcesters