Our Favorite Nicknames in MLB History

Our Favorite Nicknames in MLB History

Nicknames are an essential part of baseball lore, culture and fandom. Some of them are funny, some of them come from the players’ ability or physical characteristics, and some of them are made up by fans or the media, and they just stick!

There’s so many great nicknames to pick from, it’s a challenge to narrow them down, but without further ado, here are some of our favorite nicknames in MLB history.

Pico De Gallo (Joey Gallo)

Photo Source: ESPN

Joey probably got his nickname based on his surname, but we like to think it’s because of his colorful and fresh personality. Either way, we’re proud of our Texas Ranger for performing extremely well in the All-Star game!

Oil Can Boyd (Dennis Boyd)

Photo Source: Society for American Baseball Research

It’s been nearly 30 years since Oil Can Boyd has pitched in the big leagues, but his reliability inning after inning after inning has always stuck with us. While many think he got his nickname because his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi called beer “oil”, he opened up in 2012 to reveal the true origins.

“One day somebody caught us in a tin shed drinking Big Mama’s whiskey out of oil cans, so my friend Pap started calling me “Oil Can.” I wrote it under the bill of my baseball cap, and my high school teammates started calling me that too. It stuck.”


Big Papi (David Ortiz)

Photo Source: Earn The Necklace

When Ortiz first entered the league, everyone he talked to was “papi”, and as the future superstar matured, the nickname was given back to him.

On an episode of The Late Show hosted by Stephen Colbert, Ortiz shared the story behind why he called everyone “papi”.

“I meet so many people every day, it’s hard for me to keep up with their names,” said Ortiz. “So I just ‘Papi’ people.”

The Millville Meteor (Mike Trout)

Photo Source: Business Insider

Mike Trout truly is Millville’s meteor. He shot through the MLB to become one of the greatest players of our generation, and is looking to earn his 3rd MVP title this year at the age of 25.

Trout says he got the nickname from a prankster who added it to his Wikipedia page, where it gained popularity and just stuck.

All Rise (Aaron Judge)

Photo Source: NY Post

Now, we know this isn’t a traditional nickname per se and more of a catchphrase, and no one actually calls Aaron “All Rise”. However, with the gargantuan home runs he hits accompanied by the last name Judge, it’s no wonder everyone in the stadium stands at attention when Aaron is at the plate!

The Toy Cannon (Jimmy Wynn)

Photo Source: Chron

This nickname fits Jimmy so well because not only was he listed at 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds (below average for baseball players in the MLB) but he could belt home runs akin to a cannon in the most pitcher-friendly parks. He hit 291 home runs in his entire career!

His nickname was given to him by Houston Chronicle sportswriter John Wilson in 1967, and it stuck thereafter.

The Wizard / The Wizard of Oz (Ozzie Smith)

Photo Source: Sports Illustrated

Ozzie isn’t the first person to be called a wizard, but he definitely made magic happen on defense as one of the best shortstops of all time, holding the record for career assists (8,375).

Not only that, but he’s also a 15-time All Star, 13-time Golden Glove winner, and a Baseball Hall of Famer. He’s also known for his signature aerobatic backflips when he took the field! A wizard he truly is.

Mr. Smile (Francisco Lindor) 

Photo Source: Believelandball

Image result for francisco lindor

This nickname really fits Francisco perfectly, as he’s always got the biggest smile on his face, embodying the joy that he plays the game with day in day out.

In an interview with FOX Sports he explains why he picked the nickname for the special Players Weekend jerseys.

“Thought it was something funny, you know…as soon as you say ‘smile’ you smile. I just think it’s something cool for the kids and for the fans as well.”

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