I have always thought that sports provided us with some great and not-so-great names, with baseball carrying the cream of the crop. There have been some spectacular names that have come from America's Past Time like Mookie Wilson and Rollie Fingers. Our favorite game has had quite a few changes over the years, some for the greater good of the game and some which the all fans would like to forget. With that being said, the young superstars have taken the game to another level and we are all counting on them to put the whole steroid era behind us. With that being said, I know we are tired of hearing and talking about the negativity of the past, so I would like to focus on a fun part of the game. The new wave of players who entertain us because of the names their parents either gave them or they were forced to inherit. Here is a list of my ten best and ten worst names (to be released next week) in baseball.
Top Ten Great Names
10. Ryan Theriot (SS Chicago Cubs) - There is nothing spectacular about the name ryan, but with a last name of Theriot (prounounced terio), his Chicago Cubs teammates have taken it upon themselves to call him "The Riot." I don't know about you, but I'm not messing with anyone who is constantly referred to as "The Riot."
9. Grady Sizemore (CF Cleveland Indians) - A name like Grady is a pretty catchy baseball name but it's the last name that stands out. That's right ladies, SIZEMORE! OWWWWW! That's a pickup line in itself. "Hello there, the name is Sizemore, Grady Sizemore." Man would I have had a great time with that last name in college!
8. Denard Span (CF Minnesota Twins) - OK, besides his last name being one connecting arch short of the poor man's lunch meat, SPAM, I really don't have anything inquisitive to say about his first or last name. However, he has two names you don't normally hear and they just flow together in some strange way that screams, "I'm a bad ass baseball player!"
7. Corey C. Hart (RF Milwaukee Brewers) - "I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can keep track of visions in my eyes." That's right, you all know that song from the 80's. Well the guy who sings that song is Corey Hart and it is spelled exactly the same way. That automatically makes the Brewers right fielder one of my favorite athletes.
6. Terrmel Sledge (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) - OK so Terrmel is no longer in the league, but he used to play for the Padres and it still playing baseball in Japan so he qualifies. I'm not quite sure what kind of name Terrmel is but is sure is catchy and when you combine it with a name like Sledge, it creates a tough baseball name. He should have been a wrester. I wouldn't make fun of him!
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C Texas Rangers) - In addition to his last name which I really don't feel like typing again sounding really cool, I believe he has the longest last name in the history of baseball. Not to mention that everyone naturally calles him "Salty" which is just a sweeeeet baseball nickname. You get introduced to the new guy as "Salty" and you are instantly thought of as the cool guy.
4. Boof Bonser (RP Minnesota Twins) - I actually think Boof is his real name which makes this even cooler, but even if I was wrong about that, it really doesn't matter because his last name actually, Bonser is just as cool. With a name like Boof, I feel like you can do anything and get away with it. I can see a teacher reading a paper he wrote in highschool and thinking, "Man this is terrible, oh Boof wrote it. I love that kid. He gets an A plus."
3. Milton Bradley (OF Chicago Cubs) - I don't think I really need to explain why his name is so cool since he has the same name as the company that produced all the toys and games we grew up playing with. The ironic part about his name is that even as a major league baseball player, he still throws more temper tantrums than a five year old and acts like he just lost a match of Hungry Hungry Hippo.
2. Coco Crisp (OF Kansas City Royals) - Here is another name that I don't think needs much of an explanation for sitting in the two spot. We all love the cereal commercials almost as much as the cereal itself and if you have never eaten cocoa krispies then you were deprived as a child just as coco is being deprived of baseball stardom playing with the Royals. Oh wait, they are actually in first place of the AL Central...for now.
1. So Taguchi (LF Chicago Cubs) - Hey, check out my new sunglasses. Dude, you are soooooooo taguchi. I actually use that term to describe the act of trying to look cool and actually succeeding. Why is So, the best name in baseball? Because his name can be used as a sentence. Show me any other person in sports whose name can be used in such a manner. That's right you can't! Don't deny it, this list of baseball names is soooooo taguchi.
Tune in next week for my Top Ten list of the worst names in baseball. And as always, feel free to tell me what names I am missing on this list because I know there are some great names out there that I have passed on in my biased affinity for some of these players. Oh and in case you didn't notice, it appears as though the Cubs have three of the top ten players with the coolest names in the league.