Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Colorful Firsts (...names, that is)

Just for Fun

After finishing up the task of compiling the complete player roster for each Season Opener for American Association teams from 1902 to 1911, the notion of doing something "light" crossed my mind. It occurred to me that the first names of this era were often colorful ones. Here is a sampling of some of a handful of them. All told, 438 players (pitcher included) comprised the Opening Day rosters for the eight teams comprising the American Association during the league's first decade. (Please note: each name appears as it is listed on baseball-reference.com):

Chick, Jap, Shad, Quait, Heinie, Rivington, Bruno, Sylvester, Rip, Chappie, Pep, Boileryard, Bunk, Gavvy, Dode, Jiggs, She, Hobe (HO-bee), Peaches and Steamer.

The corresponding surnames: Chick Autry (see photo below), Jap Barbeau, Quait Bateman, Heinie Peitz, Rivington Bisland, Bruno Block, Sylvester Loucks, Rip Cannell, Chappie Charles, Pep (Harry) Clark, Boileryard Clarke, Bunk Congalton, Gavvy Cravath, Dode Criss, Jiggs Donahue, She Donahue, Hobe Ferris, Peaches Graham, Steamer Flannigan.   

What's YOUR favorite? 

Chick Autry, appearing for the first time in the uniform of the Minneapolis Millers in 1915. Prior to that he was long associated as a first baseman for the St. Paul Saints. A goodly handful of player from either St. Paul or Minneapolis later joined the Millers or Saints, respectively, choosing to play for the crosstown rival team and earning what has been dubbed the dubious moniker of "Twin Cities Turncoat." (photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections)

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