1986 Topps – Buddy Biancalana
As it turns out, the name Buddy Biancalana actually was famous – albeit for only a short time in the mid-1980’s, and mostly because David Letterman made fun of him for being bad at hitting a baseball. That said, he also ended up finishing second in World Series MVP voting as his Kansas City Royals won the championship in 1985. That was not as a joke – that was mostly because of his .435 OBP in the seven game series.
If you don’t remember when Buddy Biancalana was famous, you’re certainly not alone. I just thought he had a funny-sounding name, which is why I started this post. If you want to have a full grasp of Biancalanamania, read this article from People Magazine, originally published on November 25, 1985. That was 28 years ago, if you don’t already feel old.
Also – White Wool? Is that really what it means?
1986 Topps – Paul Householder
Let’s be honest here. Paul Householder isn’t really holding a lot of houses. It’s a funny sounding name, sure, but it doesn’t accurately describe his occupation or appearance. In looking at this baseball card from 1986 Topps, I’d suggest that his name should be Paul Myhairiswaytoocoolforahat.
That is all.
1990 Topps – Goose Gozzo
In August and September 1989, the Toronto Blue Jays were battling their way back to an AL East division crown and an 89-73 record after starting the season just 12-24. From August 8-22, a rookie pitcher named Mauro “Goose” Gozzo picked up four wins for the Jays, including three in a row in his only three starts of the season. For that very brief time, Goose captured the hearts of Jays fans. It was an entertaining team, and he had some competition in terms of names – Junior and Mookie and so on.
However, it wasn’t all rainbows and kittens for Goose. On the final day of the season, Goose allowed five runs, blowing the save and preventing his team from winning 90 games. He didn’t pitch in their five game loss to Oakland in the ALCS, and never pitched for the Blue Jays again. There’s a great summary of his career over at The Greatest 21 Days.
These days, Goose runs a baseball organization called “Goose’s Gamers,” which isn’t a ridiculous name at all. If you’re going to go by a nickname like Goose, you might as well get full mileage out of it.
2012 Topps – Charlie Furbush
Charlie Furbush is proof that impressive names in sport are not restricted to previous generations, but are, in fact, for the modern man as well.
His name might not stay a secret for long, because he’s pretty good, but mostly because his name is Charlie Furbush. Furbush. Come on, universe. Don’t give me stuff like this. Challenge me.
Although, let’s be honest, a name like this probably would have been more appropriate in, say, the 1970’s. Think about it. It’ll make sense soon.
1981 Fleer – Charlie Spikes
With a name like Charlie Spikes, having a nickname as a professional baseball player seems rather redundant. However, Charlie Spikes had a great nickname to go along with his natural nickname – the “Bogalusa Bomber,” because of his hometown of Bogalusa, Louisiana and his alleged ability to hit home runs. Despite seasons of 23 and 22 home runs in 1973 and 1974, Spikes never lived up to the expectations that surrounded him, and fizzled out of baseball by 1980. However, in terms of great baseball names, he is Hall of Fame in my books.
1990 Upper Deck - Daryl Boston
I can totally understand why Daryl Boston looks confused here. His last name is Boston, but he’s playing in Chicago. I know what he was thinking: shouldn’t there be a big green wall in left field? Why are they all forgetting Bucky Dent’s middle name, “Fuckin’?” Maybe he’d just been sent to the wrong Sox.
The weird thing is, by 1990, Daryl Boston had been in Chicago for six years. You’d think it would have made sense by then.
In his defense, it sure confused me as a kid. I hear you, Daryl. Boston is not Chicago.
1991 Donruss - Kevin Belcher
When you’re 10 years old, burps and farts are just ridiculously funny. You laugh at every mention of them. Kevin Belcher’s name, therefore, was infinitely hilarious in 1991.
In fact, a general lack of maturity makes me still chuckle a little bit. Belcher. Burps. Ha.
1990 Donruss - Xavier Hernandez
You know that car game that you play where someone says the name of a place and then the next person has to say another place that starts with the last letter in the name of the previous place? Well, that game can also be played by naming ballplayers. In that case, when someone tries to screw you by saying Greg Maddux, Xavier Hernandez is one of a few names that can save you. Plus, names that start with “Z” aren’t the easiest to come by, either. You win.
Keep it in mind. This guy should be a legend.
1990 Upper Deck - Howard Farmer
Do you think that somewhere in the Midwest or the Prairies there is a farmer working the fields with the last name Ballplayer? Bit of a stretch, but if we’re going to have family names that describe an occupation, let’s at least try to get it right. Howard Farmer was not a farmer, I think it is clear from his baseball card that he was a baseball player. Gosh.
Interestingly, Howard Farmer and his younger brother Mike Farmer each pitched part of one season, but nothing more, in the Major Leagues – Howard pitched six games (and wore two jersey numbers) with the Montreal Expos in 1990, and Mike seven games with the Colorado Rockies in 1996.
1988 Score - Moose Haas
It’s really too bad ballplayers don’t have names like “Moose” anymore. But then, Bryan Haas wouldn’t have made this section of Sorting by Teams. This, of course, is such an impressive honour that he must consider himself fortunate that he once ran into a moose on vacation.
In addition, it is also noted that Haas is an amateur magician and a certified locksmith while also maintaining a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Is there anything he can’t do? I’m blown away by this information.