Top Nine Most Festive MLB Names
By Lou DiPietro
As the old Andy Williams tune goes, the Holiday Season is "the most wonderful time of the year." Most of us have to wait until November and December to really get into the spirit, but for many athletes, simply looking at their ID cards might be enough to bring some cheer the other 300 days a year.
For this edition of The Niner celebrating those who are more festive than the rest of us, we could've culled a list from any and all sports; however, since MLB had so many, we felt we should just narrow it down to one. We apologize to the Joey Chestnuts, Jrue Holidays, and Dionte Christmases of the world, but think of it this way: Next year, when we're looking to mail it in around the holidays, we might just pull a similar list out of our hats, and we're already a third of the way done!
Speaking of those holidays, The Niner will be taking the next two weeks off, and barring that whole Mayan calendar thing actually happening, we'll be back on Jan. 9. Until then, we wish all of you, our readers, a happy and healthy season, and a Happy New Year!
RUDOLPH "RUDY" MAY
According to Baseball Reference, five men surnamed Rudolph have played Major League Baseball, and Mr. May, who won 54 games in parts of seven seasons with the Yankees, is one of more than a dozen whose given first name matches that of the most famous red-nosed reindeer.
FORREST "FROSTY" THOMAS
And speaking of mythical Gene Autry holiday song subjects, we have Forrest Thomas, who shared his nickname with this titular snowman. After his debut in 1905, Mr. Thomas promised he'd be back again one day, and he was…literally, as his second MLB appearance was also his last.
NEFTALI AND PEDRO FELIZ
Friend of the Yankees Jose Feliciano is famous for the Christmas song "Feliz Navidad," which literally translates to "Happy Christmas." There are no recorded Navidads in MLB history, but we felt it fitting to include Pedro and Neftali in our festivities.
Global warming be damned, J.T. Snow was a .268 career hitter and won six straight Gold Gloves at first base from 1995-2000. He was also originally a draftee of the Yankees, who traded Snow to the Angels for Jim Abbott in December 1992.
ANYONE IN THE BELL FAMILY
Bell is a common surname, and nearly 30 of them have played Major League Baseball. None of them had a given first name of Silver, Sleigh, or Jingle, but 1920s pitcher Herman Bell did go by "Hi." That must have made for some interesting salutations, no?
Jon has won 132 games for five teams in 12 MLB seasons, making him the most successful of eight Garlands in MLB history. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury suffered in 2011 may force Jon to hang up his cleats…like garland. Sometimes, the jokes write themselves, folks.
There's Ownie and Dixie and Scrappy and Thomas; Freddy and Cliffy and Patrick and another Thomas; but do you recall, the longest-tenured position-playing Carroll of them all? Spoiler: it's Jamey, the utility infielder, who hit .268 for the Twins last year and is headed into his 12th MLB season.
This catcher played just 24 total games for the Reds, White Sox, and Cubs from 1983-86, but he did go out with a bang; in 1986, Christmas smacked his final career hit, a two-run double, off Jeff Reardon -- who, at one point in 1992 and 1993, was MLB's all-time saves leader.