Whitey "Chairman of the Board" Ford throws a pitch

Grant Brisbee is the writer of McCovey Chronicles, the San Francisco Giants blog on SB Nation. Additional details of Brisbee’s life are unavailable because he lifted his entire bio from former major league pitcher Mike LaCoss. At the time of his retirement in 1991, LaCoss had recorded two career homeruns, which he hit in consecutive at-bats in 1986. —Benjamin Craig

PROPELLER: Grant, I read your blog on the San Francisco Giants. I’ve been following the Giants from afar since I was a kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest. It caused some trouble. In eighth grade I defaced a Ken Griffey Jr. candy bar with a Sharpie and an image of Will Clark cut out from a Donruss baseball card, and ended up on top of a dugout slapping at my best friend's hands while he tried to climb up and exact his revenge. When I decided to do a bit on nicknames for this issue I didn't even think of emailing the Mariners bloggers. You seem like a clever guy who has something to say about baseball. What are your favorite nicknames?

GRANT BRISBEE: Well, there’s Johnny "Ugly" Dickshot. But that might have to do with the poetry of it all.

PROPELLER: Some nicknames are meant to really evoke the personality of the player. I think my favorite of this kind is "Charlie Hustle."

GRANT BRISBEE: I’ve always liked Whitey "Chairman of the Board" Ford. So commanding. So badass. It’s perfect, too, because the Yankees are like a corporate steamroller, acquiring assets and consuming them to spit out a successful product, and apparently Ford was in charge of it all. Greg "Moon Man" Minton was one of one of my favorites—he got it because he was so danged weird.

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PROPELLER: One of my favorite weird sports nicknames is World B. Free. I mostly like it because it takes a special kind of eccentric to pull it off.

GRANT BRISBEE: Ruben Sierra was called "The Village Idiot" by Tony La Russa, but I don’t know if that ever stuck. It’s probably not something that Sierra has on a coffee mug somewhere.

PROPELLER: Animal nicknames? "Crime Dog," "Big Donkey," "Iron Horse?"

GRANT BRISBEE: Dave Parker’s nickname was "Cobra," which is pretty badass. It's on the list of nicknames you'd probably give yourself if no one was looking. Ron Cey’s nickname was "The Penguin," which doesn't make sense until you see him run. He's a short-legged weirdo who had no business being a professional athlete, and the nickname was ridiculously appropriate, yet he almost had a Hall-of-Fame career. Also, I still love "Panda" for Pablo Sandoval--it conjures up an image of a fluffy, rotund, and agile creature, a graceful, if rotund, animal--perfect for Pablo. Hard to do in just one word, but there it is. It's like "Big Cat" for Andres Galarraga, but without the need of an adjective. I hate, hate, hate "Kung-Fu Panda." It conjures up an image of a Burger King cup.

PROPELLER: Sometimes they just sound right—roll off the tongue like "Sweet Lou," "Still" Bill Hill, or "Old Tomato Face."

GRANT BRISBEE: Billy Martin's nickname was "Whiskey Slick," and that seems so danged evocative. I like it. I’d have to say "Stan the Man" was like that, especially since it came long before anyone said "You the man! I’m the man! The man." Just "Stan the Man." Ω

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