This is the third part of my series on some of the coolest, funniest, and strangest names in the long history of the Braves franchise. This post covers the years between 1936 and 1965, when the franchise was known as the Boston Bees ('36 to '40), Boston Braves ('41 to '52) and Milwaukee Braves ('53 to '65). Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite player names from this era:
Tiny Chaplin, 1936: At 6'1" and 195 pounds, "Tiny" certainly didn't live up to his name. He also wasn't really huge enough to merit the ironic usage of "Tiny," though he was certainly bigger than average for his time. At any rate, he had a 4.12 ERA and led the NL in homers allowed (21) in his only year with the franchise, then known as the Bees.
Beauty McGowan, 1937: Click on his name to see the picture on his Baseball-Reference profile. I'll let the straight ladies and gay men decide if he really was a Beauty. (I suspect not, though he doesn't seem that ugly, either.) McGowan batted just 13 times for the Bees, getting one single and one walk.
Johnny Riddle 1937-8: Riddle wasn't much of an mystery... just your standard poor-hitting 3rd catcher who bounced between the minors and the majors for a while. His MLB career spanned 19 years, though he only played in 7 MLB seasons. Riddle was an alumnus of the University of Georgia, which explains his nickname: "Mutt." He got 65 PAs in 2 seasons with the Bees, hitting .267 / .323 / .283.
Joe Stripp, 1938: With a name like Stripp, you'd bet he'd be a lothario; his middle name (Valentine) and nickname ("Jersey Joe") definitely reinforce this perception. Stripp was a corner infielder who spent only his last half-season with the Bees. He hit .275 / .305 / .332.
Sibby Sisti, 1939-1954: This is such a fun name to say; I bet you could make an excellent tongue-twister with it. Sisti was a utility man who spent his entire 13-season career with the Braves franchise, interrupted only by 3+ seasons of service in WWII. He had a .244 / .313 / .324 career line, but he played every position except pitcher and catcher.
Clyde Kluttz, 1942-1945: Kluttz was a catcher for the wartime Braves teams. He hit .268 / .305 / .337 for the franchise, but more to the point, he committed 23 errors and had 5 passed balls in his 3+ seasons in Boston. That was actually about average for catchers of that era, so he wasn't particularly klutzy.
Dick Mulligan, 1946-7: Mulligan pitched in 4 games for the Braves in '46 and one more in '47, all of them in relief. He had a 3.12 ERA with the franchise.
Johnny Hopp (1946-7) and Skippy Roberge (1941-2, 1946): These teammates just needed a guy named "Jump" to complete the set. Hopp was an outfielder/1st baseman who made an All-Star Team with the Braves in 1946, when he hit .333 / .386 / .440; Skippy was a weak-hitting (57 OPS+) backup infielder in 3 seasons, all with the Braves.
Eddie Stanky, 1948-9: Stanky was an All-Star second baseman (including his 1948 season with the Braves) who was known for his huge walk totals and lack of power. Stanky led the league in walks 3 times and in OBP twice, but he hit more than 3 homers just twice in his 11-year career. With the Braves, he hit .296 / .429 / .377. Stanky inspired this post at my personal blog about players with OBPs much higher than their SLGs.
Red Murff, 1956-7: Murff was a mediocre reliever (career 4.65 ERA) who appeared in 26 games for the Braves in these two years. He did pitch for the World Series champion '57 Braves, though not in the Series itself.
Nippy Jones, 1957: Before Chipper Jones, there was Nippy Jones, who got 87 PAs for the Braves in their magical 1957 season. It was Jones' first MLB playing time since 1952, and his last as well. He's the only Nippy in MLB history.
Red Schoendienst, 1957-60: The Hall of Fame 2nd baseman spent 3-and-a-half seasons with the Braves. In 1957, split between the Giants and the Braves, he made the All-Star Team, led the majors with 200 hits, and helped the Braves win the World Series. So that's a pretty good year, all in all. His career wound down soon after, but he'll always be known for having one of the hardest-to-spell names in Braves history.
Frank Funk, 1963: Alliteration ahoy! When Funk pitched for the Braves, he was only 27. He put up good numbers (2.68 ERA) working out of the bullpen, but he never appeared in the majors again. I guess MLB just didn't want the Funk.
Chi-Chi Olivo, 1961, 1964-6: The only major leaguer named Chi-Chi, Olivo only played for the Braves franchise. Chi-Chi was a reliever with a 3.96 career ERA. He had 12 saves in his 4 seasons with the Braves, spanning 141 innings.