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After roughly two weeks of grueling competition between 64 of our favorite names from ancient baseball history, we have reached a triumphant conclusion. After three days of championship voting, a winner has been crowned.
2. Shadrack McHooveter (56.7%) vs. 3. Pretzels Getzien (43.3%)
To recap our champion’s historic run, I’ll seek to answer three simple questions.
How did Shadrack McHooveter get to this point?
In Round 1, the #2 seed Shadrack was matched up against what we thought to be the toughest #15 seed: Cliff Doom. Shad and his supporters were hardly intimidated, handing doom a defeat of biblical proportions: 76% of the vote — the highest % he would ultimately receive all tournament.
Round 2 presented Shadrack with the first of three consecutive juvenile competitors, this being one of the two Dick Jokes in the tournament: #10 seed Dick Powers. The Dick Jokes proved to be a tough test for anyone unfortunate enough to have to face them, but McHooveter McHooved by Powers with just under 51% of the vote to advance to the Sweet 16.
After surviving the Dick, Shadrack was now faced with the butts; underdog #14 seed Clovis Butts, to be exact. Early support for Butts eventually faded, as Shadrack surged ahead and advanced with a solid yet unspectacular 54% of the vote.
The Elite Eight presented Shadrack with another Cinderella story that tickled a lot of voters’ fancies in the form of #13 seed Dizzy Nutter. After countless cries against the under-seeding of Mr. Nutter, his strongest supporters seemed to fall silent for this crucial stage in the tournament, only mustering 42% any of the vote to Shadrack’s 58%. McHooveter moved on.
The Final Four was undoubtedly Shadrack’s most difficult challenge: the #1 overall seed and perennial powerhouse, Ten Million. Those crying Real Names Over Nicknames had no argument against Million’s genuine moniker, and yet, Shadrack managed to edge out an incredible victory by a mere nine votes against the Ten Million Dollar Man. Many argued that this deserved to the be the championship match-up — I can’t say I disagree. Regardless, Shadrack advanced to the final stage.
How did Shadrack McHooveter beat Pretzels Getzien?
Pretzels was a formidable foe all tournament long, backed by, among many others, the most dedicated Barbecast listeners who first heard Pretzels’ tale way back on Episode 14 when we were originally inspired to start this whole silly activity of old-timey-baseball-name-searching. Much like McHooveter, Pretzels had to defeat two of our more immaturely humorous names in the early stages: #14 seed Pussy Tebeau and #11 seed Dick Oder. Perhaps we should have seen all along that whoever could defeat the two Dick jokes were destined for the championship. The great German Getzien went on to defeat The Only Nolan and Boots Poffenberger before taking down #1 seed Orlando Zgraggen in the Final Four for the right to face Shadrack in the finals.
McHooveter jumped out to an early lead in the first 24 hours of voting, putting Pretzelites’ hopes down from the outset. Shadrack consistently sat around 62% for the second-third of voting before some of Pretzels’ most devout supporters began to wake up — most notably, Barbecast e-mail mainstay and world renowned man of prose, Big Poop. Alas, Pretzels’ loudest fans couldn’t quite overcome the six-syllable superstar status of Sir Shadrack McHooveter.
Why did Shadrack McHooveter win?
Maybe it was the voters’ aforementioned preference for given names over nicknames, although that wouldn’t quite explain how Shadrack managed to defeat Ten Million. Maybe it was just a bunch of Beastie Boys fans. Maybe it’s Maybelline. We’ll never really understand why the voters determined Shadrack McHooveter to be the best name in ancient baseball history. There were numerous match-ups throughout the tournament that did not go the way we anticipated. The beauty of the Best Name Bracket was that, unlike real March Madness, there were 40+ legitimate contenders for the title. Nearly 55,000 individual votes were cast, and we arrived at an answer — a perfectly acceptable and satisfying one, nonetheless.
A huge thanks to everyone who voted, campaigned, argued, cried, and ruined friendships over the BBQ Best Name Bracket. We had a lot of fun putting it together, and will hopefully be able to bring more ridiculous brackets to help spice up your off-seasons in the future.
And cheers to you, Shadrack McHooveter: The Best Baseball Name that ever was.
The official sponsor of the Best Name Bracket is baseball-reference.com! Right now, you can head over to http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/bbq.shtml and use the coupon code “bbq” to get $6 off a one-year subscription to the Play Index, an invaluable tool for answering all your ridiculously specific statistical queries about baseball history.