The 41 Best Names in Durham Bulls History
It’s every prospect junkie’s favorite time of the year – rankings season. Websites like Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN release their top 100 prospects around this time of year, and it inspired us to sort of join the parade. Instead of prospects, we’ll tackle the best names in Durham Bulls history, which dates back to 1902. The Durham Bulls Media Guide (pages 17-25) lists every player to don a Bulls uni, from Brent Abernathy (2000-01, 2003) to Andy Zwichitz (1997). Here are some of the greatest names we found.
Ye Olde Names You Never Hear Anymore
41. Hobe Brummitt (1924, 26, 31) – A quintessential Roaring ’20s name.
40. Rusty Meacham (2001) – Rusty is a man’s name. Also the name of the son in National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, so that makes us chuckle.
39. Rusty Richards (1987-88) – It takes a real man to go by Rusty.
38. Wycliffe “Bubba” Morton (1957) – This guy wasn’t satisfied to go by Wycliffe, so he added “Bubba” in there.
37. Verbele Roberts (1936-37) – Honestly no idea how to even pronounce that first name, and not gonna try.
36. Quineth Roberts (1961) – Related or not, the Roberts Family had really unique taste in names.
35. Elbert Slayback (1931) – Not only does he have a great first name, but his last name is pretty epic, too.
The “You Don’t Want To Mess With Me” Names
34. John Cannon (1938) – A man who needed no nickname, Cannon was a pitcher for the 1938 Bulls. This guy was destined to pitch.
33. Thor Skogan (1971) – Who doesn’t love a great Scandinavian name?
32. J.J. Furmaniak (2010-11) – Maniac is practically part of his name.
31. Gary Cunning (1966) – Gary sounds like a guy who came up with some great clubhouse pranks.
30. Lawrence “Crash” Davis (1948) – Everyone knows you don’t mess with Crash.
29. Chuck Churn (Manager in 1966) – Always, ALWAYS points for alliteration.
28. Willie Duke (Manager from 1947-48) – Chuck and Willie had two of the most fun names to say.
27. George “Possum” Whitted (Manager from 1920, 27-32) – No word on how he earned the nickname “Possum,” but Whitted also played for the Bulls prior to managing.
The “Worth A Chuckle” Names
26. Chris Bootcheck (2011)
— Chris Bootcheck (@RHPBOOTCHECK) October 4, 2015
25. Scoops Carey (1922) – There is a Raisin Bran joke here somewhere.
24. Shorty Angier (1913-15) – Poor Shorty was probably doomed to be made fun of all throughout his childhood.
23. Will Rhymes (2012) – Will rhymes with what? Bill? Thrill? Chill? Trill?
22. Keith Allswede (1949) – All Swede everything.
21. Rex Barney (1943) – Not to be confused with the dancing purple T-Rex.
20. John Sass (1953) – You know he had some witty comebacks.
19. Shag Thompson (1913) – Unfortunately Shag played in the early 1900s, or we could have had some great Shag Carpet Blanket giveaways in the ’70s.
The Animal-Related Names
18. Russell Lyons (1939) – The kind of name you earn fighting a big cat.
17. Rutherford Salmon (1961) – Last name, or his favorite food?
16. Thomas Sharkey (1958) – If six-year-old me was going to create a last name, this would have been it.
15. Harry Wolfe (1932) – Little-known fact (because it isn’t true): Wolfe never played night games during a full moon.
The One Name Wonders
Some of the earliest names in the record are just last names, but for this list we are going to assume these guys only had one name, like the Brazilian soccer greats Pele and Ronaldo.
14. Lowthian (1929) – WUT
13. Snowball (1928) – Not to be confused with fluffy, white cats.
12. Spikes (1928) – You have to love a guy who is named for baseball equipment.
11. Pope (1917) – How many other teams can claim that the Pontifex graced their fields?
10. Draghetti (1929) – Sounds like Count Dracula made of spaghetti. You could put it next to Fusilli Jerry.
9. Killingsworth (1921) – Such a great old-timey name.
The Top “Worth A Chuckle” Names
8. Champ Osteen (1913) – This guy was destined for greatness.
7. Donald Failing (1945) – This guy… not so much. Poor Donald.
6. “Big Six” Shelton (1924-25) – A pretty obvious choice for No. 6.
5. William “Gates” Brown (1961) – The original Bill Gates was a Durham Bull.
4. Alphonsus Simmononis (1942) – Say it, don’t spray it.
3. Mo Christmas (1995) – Mo Christmas means mo presents!
The Top Two
2. Wool E. Bull (1992-present) – Wool E. is a great friend of the blog, so we might be biased, but you can’t argue with the staying power of the name.
1. Chipper Jones (1992) – Obviously one of the greatest baseball names of all time.
Those are our favorites, but did we miss any? Take a peek at the list of former players in the media guide and let us know who your favorites are in the comments below.