>>> CLICK HERE FOR THE BRACKET <<<
>>> CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 1 RESULTS <<<
>>> CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 2 RESULTS <<<
>>> CLICK HERE FOR SWEET 16 RESULTS <<<
Names are a fantastic part of baseball. There are so many of them! Here are a few: Jim. Mike. Tom. Astyanax.
Way back on Episode 14 of the Barbecast, a scattered conversation with Jason Wojciechowski eventually led to the discovery of Pretzels Getzien, a right-hander who pitched in the late 19th century whose name we simply couldn’t get over. Within minutes of finding Pretzels, we fell headfirst into the old-timey baseball rabbit hole that baseball-reference.com provides. Our eyes were opened to the careers of players with memorable monikers such as Puddin’ Head Jones, Boileryard Clarke, and Chicken Wolf. Naturally, we wanted more. And so, the B-Ref Battle was born, a segment on the Barbecast where we each present our favorite baseball names that we found over the previous week. As our list of ridiculous names grew (our official list is approaching 400 names), we started having discussions — heated debates, even — over which of one these remarkable names was definitively the best. To attempt to answer this, we’ve compiled a March-Madness style bracket to allow you, the people, to determine who is indeed the best name in baseball history.
We’re proud to present the Best Name in Baseball History Bracket presented by Baseball-Reference.
(click image to enlarge)
You probably notice that there are a few notable baseball names missing from our bracket. “Where’s Rusty Kuntz?”, you wonder out loud, as the woman behind you in line at Starbucks throws you a perplexed look. “How did they miss Rougned Odor?”, you plea to your history professor as you exit class. With the aforementioned 19th century flamethrower Pretzels Getzein being our inspiration for this whole thing, we’ve almost exclusively limited our B-Ref Battle names to players from the pre-war era. This is not because we don’t appreciate the countless amazing names scattered throughout affiliated rosters over the past 70 years. Look no further than our 2015 team previews, which listed the best names in each organization’s minor leagues. But the spirit of the B-Ref Battle has always had a historic tilt. Thus, no player born after September 2nd, 1945, the official end of WWII, was permitted onto our bracket.
A few other rules and regulations:
- For a name to be eligible, it must be the one prominently displayed on his baseball-reference page, not just a nickname listed in parentheses (Example: Puddin’ Head Jones is listed as Willie Jones; Chicken Wolf is listed as Chicken Wolf)
- While baseball-reference does have managerial pages, we kept this bracket to players-only. Sorry, Kid Fears and Jew Hellman.
- If you’ve scavenged minor league rosters from the pre-war era, you’ve more than likely come across incomplete pages that list a mere word as the player’s name. So while names like”Beer“, “Book“, “Ping“, “Plant“, and “Sphere” are certainly amusing, names of such ilk were ineligible for bracket selection.
- Seeding and selection was based on us each picking our 32 favorite names out of our comprehensive list of 350+ that have appeared on the B-Ref Battle podcast segment. We regrettably had to leave out at least 50 that were worthy of this bracket.
- VOTING: You may only vote once per match-up.
We are also excited to announce that the official sponsor of our Best Name Bracket is — you guessed it! — 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. In addition, our weekly B-Ref Battle podcast segment will also be brought to you by baseball-reference — you’ll hear us talk more about the Play Index on our next episode, Barbecast 81.
Use the hashtag #BBQBestNameBracket when campaigning for your favorite surname to win it all — especially all you Yam Yaryan die-hards. If you’re feeling particularly confident, you can print and fill out a bracket (click here for PDF) and send us a picture of your picks. We’ll retweet any lunatic who has Milo Trpkosh in the Final Four. And if you somehow manage a perfect bracket, we’ll totally give you a billion dollars.