Prompted by my friend’s skepticism that the ballplayer Milton Bradley is really so named, I’m exhuming this old post from elsewhere. — flip
During the 2007 baseball playoffs, announcer Tim McCarver perspicaciously observed that “Asdrubal Cabrera is the only player in the majors with that first name”. Thus inspired, I present The Asdrubal Cabrera Hall of Fame: Major League ballplayers in unique possession of their particular first name. (Some are nicknames, many are not — but these are their official names, as used in newspapers and the rolls of history. F’reals.)
You may be familiar with Honus Wagner, Eppa Rixey, Boog Powell or Yogi Berra. But have you heard recounted the storied diamond exploits of Firpo Mayberry, Zoilo Versalles, Pi Schwert or Bevo LeBourveau? OK, then how about Mysterious Walker, The Only Nolan, or Phenomenal Smith? Mul Holland, Sixto Lezcano, Welcome Gaston or Mox McQuery? There’s a bunch more after the jump, and a complete listing here, including links to each player’s baseball reference page.
For some dinnertime fun over the holidays, discuss the relative merits of naming your next child after Urban Shocker, Twink Twining, Pussy Tebeau, Bris Lord, Boob Fowler, Crazy Schmit, Creepy Crespi, Cuddles Marshall, Vinegar Bend Mizell, or Buttercup Dickerson. (Unfortunately, 12 other “Rusty”s keep fan favorite Rusty Kuntz off this list, and believe it or not two other “Stubby”s bar the way for Stubby Clapp. I apologize to anyone whose internet filter has or has not prevented reading this apology.)
Thanks to the Baseball Databank and Retrosheet, I had this dataset on hand, and thanks to a monastic life of nerdity I had the SQL chops to pull up this query between innings. But I should be able to do this with anything, whether or not I know a SQL Query from a Queer-Eye Sequel, for silly stunts and for changing lives alike.
Imagine instead I were a public health expert, interested in the effects of limiting medical residents to an 80-hour work week. Might lives be saved if I could effortlessly pull up historical data on rates of doctor-induced complications, board of medicine complaints, relative rates of med school and law school applications, and open-government data on medical regulations?
The long-term mission of infochimps.org is to democratize this: to put the world’s analytic data at our fingertips, supporting tools that let anyone manipulate, interrogate, visualize and explore that data. Giving baseball geeks a chance to show up Tim McCarver isn’t much of a start, but here we are.
More awesome first names after the jump….