Baseball is dominated by players whose names will forever conjure images of dynamism and might. The players are iconic, so much so that there is no question who is meant by Mantle, DiMaggio, Ruth, Aaron, Ryan, and Berra. However, there is a class of men who posses names that simply sound cool. Had these players been the masters of the game, they would be the ones whose names would be so masculine and awesome, that even uttering the name would impregnate women.
10. Vic Powers - He comes closest to the idea of a bad ass name for an excellent athlete. A 7-time Gold Glove recipient and 6-time All Star, Powers closed his 12 season career with 1716 hits, 658 rbi, 126 home runs, and a batting average of .284. Five of those 12 seasons saw a batting average exceeding .300. There is no way to make this name sound any more virile.
9. Charley Radbourn - The only reason he makes the list is because he played so long ago, no one remembers him. Radbourn played at the close of the 19th century for the Providence Grays, Boston Beaneaters, Boston Reds, and the Cincinnati Reds. A Hall of Famer, this old school bad ass earned a career ERA of 2.67, 1830 strikeouts, 1.149 WHIP in 4535.1 innings pitched. What would have made his name even more awesome would be if he had chosen to go by Chuck.
8. Randy Wolf - You cannot go wrong with the last name of Wolf. Feral, musky, and brutish are adjectives that come to mind with the very mention of the word. The player himself is no slouch, Randy Wolf has played 11 seasons, most recently with the Dodgers. He earned an All Star designation in the 2003 season, a feat he has yet to repeat. At 32, he still has time to bring some glory to the name he bears.
7. Scipio Spinks - For those who do not know, the name Scipio is an ancient and prominent name made famous by a Roman general who crushed the barbarian Hannibal and his army so soundly that the Romans gave him the title 'Africanus' - as in "Congratulations, Scipio, you conquered the largest military force in Africa." Unfortunately, for the player, Spinks dominated nothing. A pitcher for Houston and St. Louis in the late '60s and early '70s, he only saw action in 201 innings.
6. Thorny Hawkes - This name has everything, a 'don't-mess-with-me' first name, and a ferocious bird of prey as a surname. Despite formidable nomenclature, Hawkes only spent two years in the majors 1879 and 1884. It is a shame he didn't make it; like Mantle and Ruth his last name is unique in the majors.
5. Dick Braggins - Richard Realfe Braggins played four games in the spring of 1901. No reason to gloat there Dick, your name could have been among the Pantheon of greats such as Dick Pound, or Dick Army (neither one ball players, but they make effective use of the name Dick). Part porn star with a dash of athletic swagger, what a huge missed opportunity there.
4. Bill Steele - Heavy metal is one way to go when creating the toughest sounding names. The rhyming factor is a risk, but it works in this case. His name could be a command, or a state of mind. It is enigmatic. Unfortunately Steele was a mediocre pitcher for the Cardinals back in the 1910s, and this fierce denomination has slipped into unfortunate obscurity.
3. Jack Daniels - Need I say more? Daniels played one season for the Boston Braves in 1952.
2. Razor Shines - Indeed it does, sir, and with fatal precision. This name has everything. The threat of violence, a sharp and deadly weapon, and a boast on its reflective capabilities. One imagines the blade coming down in quick succession over the lifeless corpse of an unfortunate pitcher. The only thing that would have made this name any cooler would be if his last name was Blade. Razor is his given name, not a name given to him by his teammates. Shines hit a dismal .185 in four seasons with the Expos.
And the Number One Most Bad Ass Baseball Name of All Time?
1. Urban Shocker - This mother makes residents of entire cities douse their drawers in abject terror. He sounds like he should be one of those assault vehicles used for knocking down pesky buildings. Shocker played 13 seasons from 1916 to 1928. Twice considered for MVP status, he had a decent career with a 3.17 era, 983 strikeouts, and a 1.255 whip. Still, had he been Hall of Fame worthy, surely everyone would know and acknowledge the ultimate manliness of the great Urban Shocker.
Alas, with each of these great names, they will continue to exist in a state of indistinctness, to be pulled out and examined on the rarest of occasions instead of being revered for the eminence and acclaim they deserve.
Kid Rock ripping off Metallica in American Bad Ass