The Baseball Name Hall of Fame, Class of 2013: Where Cache Breedlove finds immortality

There have been, believe it or not, over 100 players in baseball history, and many of them had terrific names that should not be forgotten. For the third consecutive year, we pay tribute.

In 2011, we celebrated Cannonball Titcomb and Ugly Dickshot. In 2012, we met Moses Poolaw and "Foxy Grandpa" Bannon. And now, we welcome the third class of induction to the Baseball Player Name Hall of Fame.

It should be noted that this Hall of Fame is really about celebrating the amazing baseball player names that have been completely lost to history. This isn't about Rusty Kuntz, it's about Happy Mess and the 14 other immortals who now join him in the Class of 2013:

Dark Night Smith

Negro Leagues, 1921-1922.

According to William Smith's Baseball-Reference page, he had three nicknames. They are as follows:

  • "Dark Night"
  • "Midnight"
  • "Frank"

WORD. Always thought Frank was a cool name, and that's why the times we live in are so dire. I just took the liberty of counting every Frank, Frankie or Franklin who played in the majors. I found 295 of them. Only five are active. This is not quite the Bob Famine -- yet -- but with so few Franks rising through the minor-league ranks ("no Franks in the ranks," as we say in the industry), we appear to be careering steadily into a Frankless age, a bed of our own making.

Farmer Steelman

Farmer_steelman_medium

Louisville, Brooklyn and Philadelphia, 1899-1902.

Well, that photo makes him look like a member of President Chester A. Arthur's cabinet (goin' with "blimp czar"), which is impossible, because "Farmer Steelman" is clearly a guy I made up when I was four. "Steelman" is self-explanatory, because it's just a cool name. "Farmer" might be trickier for you to parse out. Well, when I was four, I was unclear on the differences between farmers and cowboys. I also thought firemen started fires. Yes, our municipal tax money funds a department that goes around and destroys property, you short idiot.

Goat Cochran

Cincinnati, 1915.

Being saddled with a nickname like "Goat" wasn't all that unusual for a guy who played a hundred years ago. Players would give each other all sorts of unflattering nicknames in the idle moments between playing baseball, getting hammered, falling off train cars, having long conversations about barns, and shooting each other.

But, man ... Alvah Cochran only played one game in his entire life. He came on in relief, pitched two innings, and gave up two earned runs. And then he was Goat, forever, even though he never played again. That shit's cold.

Hope Beard

Minor leagues, 1941-1944.

Ah man, I've seen this hustle at the farmer's market a million times. Shirtless dude in a floppy safari hat, big old long-ass dreadlocked beard, all like, "yeah, man, right on, man. Yeah, it's my 'hope beard.' I'm growing it to raise awareness. Just trying to make people aware of the Earth, you know? I made this big papier-mache globe, too, it's about 10 feet around. I roll it around on the sidewalk downtown. The fuzz tells me to take a hike once in a while, but man, I'm sorry if the world is inconvenient for you. Anyways, if you wanna donate to the Hope Beard, I try not to touch money directly, you know? I try not to touch anything a machine made. Dries your stool up. I haven't touched anything machine-made in five years and I wouldn't need to use toilet paper even if I believed in it. It's just like crabapples fallin' off a tree, bro."

Boileryard Clarke

Boileryard_clarke_medium

Baltimore, Washington and New York, 1893-1905. Nominated by @runthedive.

I Googled "boiler yard" in an effort to find out what a "boiler yard" even is, and didn't find anything other than a book by Dayn Perry that looks pretty rad. It doesn't help matters that Mr. Clarke looks like an employee at whatever the hell a boileryard is, complete with a turtleneck that inflates to 75 psi.

I don't even know what I'd do if I got hired at a boileryard. I guess I'd put on some overalls, fill all its pockets with chicken bones, tie burlap sacks over my boots, and pump up my collar. I'd be sure to bring a cast-iron hammer and a wooden board, so that I could just bang away at it and look busy whenever the foreman came by (in his mini-zeppelin, hovering five feet off the ground, tethered to a drove of wayward donkeys). I'd call everyone else "bossman" or "Squiddy," depending on whether they looked like they could beat me up. Work would not get done because that isn't really what boileryards are about. Occasionally like 30 of us would die. When the good Lord takes me, just let me die with m'chicken bones in m'pocket.

Cache Breedlove

Drafted by Pittsburgh, 2006.

yo girl

yo step into my browser baby

yo i just wanna open up all your browser tabs

ooooooh baby i'm a take you to reuters.com and highlight your text all over

yo baby, let's open up the daily show on hulu, put it in its own window, just forget about it for hours til shockwave flash crashes

ay girl, let's go to baseball-reference.com and open up like 20 tabs, search for terms like "dumb" and "wiener" for an article i'm doin about funny baseball player names

aw baby you don't like that?

aww

Forest Cannon

Minor leagues, 2009.

There's something very, very cool about a cannon. There's something even more badass about the idea of lugging it into the forest, where it could not possibly be of any tactical use. I'd be willing to bet you that Ulysses Grant did that at least once. Just ordered one cannon unit into the woods to find neat-looking bugs and then kill them.

Dixie "The Peoples Cherce" Walker

Dixie_walker_medium

New York, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago, 1931-1949.

erhmergerd

Son Childs

Negro Leagues, 1929-1931.

Son Childs went a career 0-for-7 at the plate with a sac hit. He also had a name that so sounds like it could be a craft beer. Hey man, have you tried Lake Desert Street Town Street Brewery's Son Child Ale? Pretty good beer. Recently I've also had their St. Uncle Man Womanaunt Cosmonaut Emaciator Devil's Due Hopsplosion Sovereignty Celebration Annulment Anniversary Stout Porterman Ol' Ship-o-the-Line Steeldock Trainyard Yard Train Man Stout Porter Old Man Grandpa Man Boy Man Man Man Man Man Old Man Man Boy Nightsun Yard Ol' Mr. Beer (And Friends!) Ol' Trusty Boy Boy Man Pilsner Zombie Quadrupel Lagerstout Lager Man Man Man Man Uncleman Mr. Uncle Man Stout. Pretty good beer.

Happy Mess

Minor leagues, 1917.

"Well, ain't this just a happy mess!" has been exclaimed in response to the following situations:

  • A cake was baked, resulting in a considerable amount of dirty kitchenware
  • Modest piles of papers, sitting on a desk, became somewhat untidy and represented labor and services unperformed since the owner of said desk went on vacation
  • The Great Aunt in the Heavens, who made the universe, watched as her creation expanded to fullest diameter, and then, inevitably, no matter how learned and sophisticated its creatures became, no matter how deeply they loved, they would not be able to stem the steady contraction of the universe into nothing, and that which leaves no artifact, in fact, never existed at all
  • Baby pooped hisself!

And finally, I'd like to induct a rabble of baseball player names that are beautiful in their brevity -- the one-word names salvaged from century-old box scores scribbled down by folks too drunk and/or sepia to care. To add any further commentary of my own would be to disrespect them:

Timely

Dang

Finger

Board

View

For more of the greatest names in baseball history, please see the 2011 Hall of Fame class, and the 2012 Hall of Fame class.

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