Major League Silliness: Baseball Nicknames


By: Nathan Chandler

5 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

Perhaps it's the slow pace of games and the long seasons that make baseball nicknames so prevalent, but whatever the reason, the diamond generates lasting (and often hilarious) nicknames that often stand in permanently for players' real names. How much do you know about baseball nicknames?

Why was Tony Gwinn called Captain Video?

In the early 80s, Gwynn habitually used video replays to analyze his own swing. He started this routine long before other players and teams made it a common practice.


Reggie Jackson had which nickname?

Jackson truly earned his nickname (Mr. October) because he came through with big plays in late-season games.


Who was Hammerin' Hank?

Hank Aaron (Hammerin' Hank) blasted long hits with regularity. He had 755 home runs during his storied career.


Pitchers feared Hank Aaron. What did they sometimes call him?

No pitcher enjoyed facing Aaron's bat. He punished bad pitches by blasting them out of the park. That's why he was Bad Henry.


What was NOT one of Lou Gehrig's nicknames?

He wasn't Muffin Head, of course. In addition to Biscuit Pants and Buster, he was also called The Iron Horse.


Why in the world was Gehrig sometimes called Biscuit Pants?

Gehrig had huge, round legs that more than filled out his pants. Those thick trunks were powerful, though, propelling him to blazing speeds as he rounded the bases over and over again.


Who was called Charlie Hustle?

Pete Rose was Charlie Hustle … and it wasn't because of his gambling issues. He had the catchy nickname for most of his career.


How did Pete Rose earn his nickname?

Rose got the nickname because he ran hard to second base … after a walk. The nickname was meant in jest at first but Rose decided to keep it as a sign of his mental toughness and hard work.


Who was Stonewall?

Travis Jackson was Stonewall, a reference to the famous Confederate general. Jackson was known for his keen ability to stop plays.


Who was often simply called The Kid?

Ted Williams was still a teenager when he showed up for his first round of spring training. One man dubbed him The Kid and the name lasted his entire career.


Finish this nickname: Stan the WHAT?

Stan Musial was Stan the Man. The Cardinals star was always clutch -- and his batting consistency made him a threat every time he stepped to the plate.


What was Kirby Puckett's nickname?

It was the laziest of nicknames -- his name was just shortened to Puck. But it was memorable and stuck.


How did Joe Jackson get his nickname?

As the legend goes, he went to bat and his shoes were pinching his feet. So he took the shoes off, hit the ball and took off running -- making him "Shoeless Joe" Jackson.


Why was Shoeless Joe banned from baseball?

Shoeless Joe was implicated in a large plot to fix the outcome of the World Series. He was banned for life, although some people say he was innocent.


Who was Chicken Man?

Boggs was notoriously superstitious, and he maintained a strict routine during the season. One of those routines included eating chicken before games.


What was NOT one of Johnny Mize's nicknames?

He was never called Johnny Homer. He ended his career with a stellar .312 batting average … and he won five straight World Series with the Yankees.


Who was Cyclone?

Cy Young was Cyclone because his hard pitches could literally ruin stationary objects. For most of his career, he was simply Cy.


What position did Campy play?

Roy Campanella, or Campy, was a famous catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was one of the team's best players when he was badly hurt in a car wreck that ended his playing days.


Who was Tom Terrific?

Journalists gave Tom Seaver his Tom Terrific nickname. It was a reference to a character that appeared during a children's show called "Captain Kangaroo."


What was Ty Cobb's nickname?

The legendary Cobb was called the Georgia Peach, primarily because he originated from the Georgia countryside.


Killer played most of his career with which team?

Harmon "Killer" Killebrew was a prolific and powerful hitter who played mostly for the Twins. When he retired in 1975, he was second only to Babe Ruth in home runs.


Who was Steady Eddie?

Eddie Murray was one of the steadiest and most reliable hitters in baseball -- thus, the nickname. Fans could always count on him to bail the team out of a tight situation.


How did Wille Mays get his "Say Hey Kid" nickname?

The Say Hey Kid moniker has mysterious origins that no one can really identify. He was also called Buck and Cap.


The Mick was legendary at which baseball skill?

The Mick was Mickey Mantle, and he was one of the best switch hitters in baseball history. In 1956, he led the league in RBIs, home runs and batting average.


Which player was known as Slammin'?

Sammy Sosa was an incredible hitter who chased the home run record when he was a member of the Cubs. He was known as Slammin' Sosa.


What was Ozzie Smith's nickname?

He was often called The Wizard of Oz, primarily because of his seemingly magical ability to make incredible defensive plays. Sometimes he was simply The Wizard.


Why was Rich Gossage sometimes called Goose?

Gossage often stuck his neck in the direction of his catcher to read pitching signs. The habit made him look a bit like a goose.


Who was The Sultan of Swat?

Babe Ruth was a ferocious hitter who always made the biggest plays when it mattered most. He was the The Sultan of Swat, or simply Babe.


Why was Cal Ripken, Jr. called Iron Man?

Ripken stayed healthy and productive longer than anyone else. He played in a record 2,632 consecutive games, by far the most of anyone in baseball.


Which of the following was NOT one of Paul Molitor's nicknames?

He wasn't Pauly. He was often called The Ignitor because his superb hitting ability and speed allowed him to change the momentum of a game.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!