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What were the best names in Yankees history?

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Baseball has had a lot of funny names throughout history. The Yankees are no exception.

1949 Bowman card

Baseball has a colorful history of funny names. You can go through nearly any roster in major league history and find a fun name. You can especially find them in rosters from the early days of baseball.

Over at Cespedes Family Barbecue, they are running a tournament of the best baseball names ever. Only one former Yankee, Pi Schwert, made their bracket, and he lost in the first round. However, the Yankees are not bereft of funny names, and here is a collection of some of the best.

Liz Funk

Elias Calvin Funk played just one game for the Yankees, where he was used as a pinch-runner and didn't get an at bat. He did play two full seasons with the Tigers and White Sox before ending his career with Chicago in 1933. He later became a music executive and the music style was reportedly named after him.*

*This is not remotely true.

Noodles Hahn

Frank George Hahn played just six games for the then-Highlanders in 1906, the final season of his career. He got the nickname "Noodles" because he used to have to bring his father's lunch, almost always noodles, to his father's place of work. Until Bob Feller came along, Hahn was the youngest player ever to 100 wins.

Bubbles Hargrave

Eugene Franklin Hargrave had a brother who played in the big leagues named Pinky, so weird nicknames were a Hargrave family trait. The Yankees picked him up in 1930 to back up Bill Dickey. Hargrave was a solid hitting catcher in his time, winning the batting title in 1926. He got the nicknames "Bubbles" because he stuttered when trying to say words that began with "B". What a considerate and nice nickname.

Chicken Hawks

Nelson Louis Hawks played 41 games for the Yankees in 1921. Despite his .813 OPS, he wouldn't appear in the majors again until 1925 with the Phillies. He was the regular first baseman for the 1925 Phillies and again put up pretty decent stats. Despite being only 29 and having a career batting line of .316/.377/.453, Hawks never played in the majors again after 1925.

Slim Love

Edward Haughton Love played three seasons for the Yankees from 1916 to 1918. Love was 6'7". His tall frame led him to be nicknamed "Slim". He had a fairly average major league career, although he once led the majors in walks with 116 in 1918.

Cuddles Marshall

Clarence "Cuddles" Marshall played in parts of three seasons for the Yankees. He was the starting pitcher in the first ever night game at Yankee Stadium. Marshall got the nicknames "Cuddles" after his roommate Joe Page joked with reporters who were looking for a nickname for the pitcher. Despite not being a particularly great player and only making 73 career major league appearances, he was part of the 1949 World Series champion Yankees.

Skeeter Shelton

Andrew Kemper Shelton made 43 plate appearances for the Yankees. He got one hit and drew two walks. Those were the only 43 plate appearances of his career. That was good for a .025/.071/.025 batting line. He managed to put up the 27th worst Baseball-Reference WAR total in Yankees' history in just 10 games. Impressive work, Skeeter.

Snuffy Stirnweiss

George Henry Stirnweiss reportedly got his nickname because of the variety of tobacco products he was noted for using. He played for the Yankees for eight years, putting up two excellent seasons in 1944 and 1945, winning the batting title in the latter. He finished high in the MVP votes in both seasons and went on to make the All-Star Game in 1946.

Virgil Trucks

Trucks made 25 appearances for the Yankees in the 1958 season, which would be his last. Trucks pitched out of the bullpen for the '58 Yankees team that went on to win the World Series. He was left off the World Series roster, as he and Casey Stengel did not get along. Trucks had a pretty decent major league career, making two All-Star teams. He also threw a no-hitter against the Yankees in 1952.

Bob Unglaub

Unglaub was part of the second ever New York Highlanders' team in 1904. He played just six games before being traded to the Boston Americans. He appeared to not like baseball very much as evidenced by this story from his SABR page:

A story is told of Unglaub during his stay in Milwaukee. His manager, Joe Cantillon, and several players were walking the streets of Indianapolis. They stopped on a corner to take in the spectacle of a Salvation Army gathering, complete with brass band. Much to their amazement, out of the crowd stepped Bob Unglaub to repent his evil ways.

"I am sorry to admit it," he said, "but I am a baseball player. I don't know how I ever got into such a degrading, sinful business. It is an awful game and the men who play it are sinners, not fit for God-fearing people to associate with."

Cantillon had to restrain his companions from going after their teammate as Unglaub finished his testimony, and they then went on their way. When telling this story a few years later, Cantillon was asked if Unglaub had quit baseball after his epiphany. "Hell no," snapped the manager, "He was the first man in line at the pay window on the first and fifteenth of every month." (From Low and Inside, Ira and H. Allen Smith, Doubleday, 1949, pp.78-79.)

His last name also sounds like an onomatopoeia of someone chugging a drink.

Sources

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/6e62ca7d

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Cuddles_Marshall

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/fdca74a3

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/63151815

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/55b44f2e

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Bubbles_Hargrave