Sports nicknames that we all know — and a few that are very obscure

Many athletes have notable nicknames. Some of them are a little catchier than others. In fact, you may well know the nickname of a sports star without knowing his given name.

In my research I came across the name of Samuel Byrd. I had never heard of him, but his nickname(s) are worth sharing. It seems that Byrd was best known for pinch running for the rather rotund Babe Ruth (yes, we all know his real name was George Herman Ruth) late in games. Thus he was known both as Babe Ruth’s Legs and Babe Ruth’s Caddy.

The last one may be more pertinent as Byrd went on to become a professional golfer who won several PGA tour events!

In today’s quiz we will test your knowledge of nicknames. I would think that you will be familiar with most of these athletes. It may take a moment or so to recollect their nicknames or real names, but let’s give it a try.

Charley Maxwell was an outfielder with the Detroit Tigers. What was his nickname (1) which came from his hometown and what day of the week (1A) was he known for hitting well.

Many athletes’ nicknames begin with Mr. Who is the athlete referred to with the following: (2) Mr. Cub, (3) Mr. Cowboy, (4) Mr. October and (5) Mr. Falcon.

Ol’ Zeke from Cabin Creek (6) refers to what former NBA star? What was the nickname of Chicago Bears running back (7) Walter Payton? 49ers linebacker Jack Reynolds went by what nickname (8) for his reckless play? Dale Earnhardt Sr. went by what nickname (9)?

In honor of Samuel Byrd, let’s try a couple of caddy nicknames. Mike Cowan went by (10) and Jim MacKay was better known as (11) whom?

Several athletes went by monikers that began with “The”. Can you name the athlete known as (12) The Mailman, (13) The Glide, (14) The Big Hurt, (15) The Big Unit, (16) The Refrigerator, (17) The Admiral, (18) The Bus, (19) The Freak, and (20) The Iron Horse?

Red Grange was known as the Galloping Ghost, but Red was also a nickname. What was Grange’s given (21) first name? Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean were former major leaguers who teamed up as announcers on the game of the week in the ’60s. What was the first name for (22) Reese and (23) Dean?

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson went by what (24) nickname? Pistons forward Dennis Rodman was better known as (25)? White Sox outfielder Walt (26) Williams was nicknamed for the seeming lack of a body part.

What is the first name for these notable athletes: Tiger (27) Woods, Chipper (28) Jones, Magic (29) Johnson and Boomer (30) Esiason?

Finally here are two of my favorite nicknames. Do you know the nicknames of (31) Mark Rzepczynski and (32) BenJarvis Green-Ellis?

Charley Maxwell was known as (1) Paw Paw, which was the native Michigander’s hometown. He also was at his best on (1A) Sunday. If you knew that you are a dedicated Detroit Tiger fan.

Here are the Misters: (2) Ernie Banks, (3) Bob Lilly, (4) Reggie Jackson and (5) Tommy Nobis.

(6) Ol’Zeke is Jerry West, who is also the inspiration for the NBA logo. (7) Payton was known as Sweetness. Jack (8) Hacksaw Reynolds was not afraid to light you up if you came into his territory. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was knows as The Intimidator. For his detractors this meant that he could “rattle your cage” but don’t try to do it to him.

Mike (10) Fluff Cowan carried Tiger’s bag in Woods first season. He then became caddy for Jim Furyk and was a big fan of The Grateful Dead. Jim (11) Bones Mackay toted Phil Mickelson’s bag until recently. He can now be seen as a course commentator at PGA Tour events.

Here are the athletes whose nicknames began with “The.” The Mailman Karl Malone (12) always delivered. Clyde (13) The Glide Drexler was smooth. Frank (14) The Big Hurt Thomas terrorized pitchers when he stepped into the box. Randy (15) The Big Unit Johnson at 6-10 did the same to opposing hitters when he toed the rubber. You do recall John Kruk at the All Star Game, do you not? William (16) The Refrigerator Perry was, well let’s just say, good sized. David Robinson was known as (17) The Admiral as he came to the NBA from the Naval Academy. Jerome Bettis is better known as (18) The Bus and Tim Lincicum as (19) The Freak.

Of course everyone has to know that Lou Gehrig was known as (20) the Iron Horse for his consecutive games played streak. Did you also know that he had another not so endearing nickname? Some people called him Biscuit Pants because of his ample backside!

Red Grange was actually named (21) Harold as was (22) Harold Pee Wee Reese. Dizzy Dean went by (23) Jay Hanna Dean or Jerome Herman Dean and he pitched on the same team with his brother Paul, who was better known as Daffy!

Calvin Johnson was known as (24) Megatron. Dennis Rodman was known as (25) The Worm and Walt (26) No Neck Williams really did look like his head was sitting on his shoulders.

Here are the four whose nicknames everyone knows, but maybe not their real first names. Tiger Woods is (27) Eldrick, Chipper Jones is (28) Lawrence, Magic Johnson is (29) Earvin and Boomer Esiason is (30) Norman. Now you know why they really did need nicknames!

Finally my two favorites! Mark Rzepczynski is better known as Scrabble and BenJarvis Green-Ellis is called The Law Firm.

Al Stephenson is The A-T’s bowling columnist.

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