by Bud Boccone
It’s that time of year when serious baseball fans gear up for the postseason by spending lots of time at baseball-reference.com.
One of the site’s best diversions is a historical roster of baseball-player nicknames. A quick glance reveals that many of the game’s most colorful monikers have had something to do with dogs.
AKC Dog Lovers couldn’t resist this mash-up of America’s two national pastimes, dogs and baseball. We scoured the list to assemble our all-time doggy nickname team.
DOG LOVERS ALL-STARS Starting Lineup
Willie “3-Dog” Davis OF
Lance “One Dog” Johnson OF
Orlando “O-Dog” Cabrera SS
Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff 1B
Chris “Spuds” Sabo 3B*
Joe “Poodles” Hutcheson OF
Rex “The Wonder Dog” Hudler 2B
Tony “Pug” Rensa C
Greg “Mad Dog” Maddux P
* Sabo had some fine seasons for the Cincinnati Reds in the ’90s, but he’s best remembered for his resemblance to Bud Lite pitch-dog Spuds McKenzie.
Bench: Clyde “Pooch” Barnhart, Harry “Bow Wow” Arft, Harry “Collie” Colliflower, Mo “Hit Dog” Vaughan
“Bull” pen: Marty “Bulldog” Pattin, Orel “Bulldog” Hershiser, Jim “Bulldog” Bouton
Cool nicknames, yes, but how good are the Dog Lovers All-Stars?
A lack of homerun power might be a problem—“Crime Dog” is the starting lineup’s only real long-ball threat. But this drawback should be offset by speed and quality pitching. And any all-canine team will have intangibles like loyalty, tenacity, and the desire to fetch balls all day long.
Prediction: If All-Stars manager Dennis Sprung can keep his team from digging holes in the infield and chasing squirrels between pitches, they could go all the way to the World Sirius.
“Crime Dog”: Take a bite out of hanging curveballs.
Sabo and Spuds: Separated at birth?
Credit: Photo montage Chris Espiritu