28 Unforgettable Nicknames in Sports


Source: Tim DeFrisco / Getty Images

16. The Hick from French Lick
> Player: Larry Bird
> League: NBA
> Position, team(s): Small forward, Boston Celtics
> Career: 1979-1992

Larry Bird supposedly gave himself the nickname “The Hick from French Lick.” Bird went to high school in French Lick, Indiana and apparently wanted opponents to think of him as a hillbilly so they would underestimate him. Bird also was known as “Larry Legend” for his legendary late game performances, and “Kodak” for having a seemingly unnatural awareness for where every player was on the court, as if he’d taken a photo of his surroundings.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Iron Horse
> Player: Lou Gehrig
> League: MLB
> Position, team(s): First baseman, New York Yankees
> Career: 1923-1939

Everyone knows mighty Lou Gehrig for his strength and endurance — he held the record for consecutive baseball games played until Cal Ripken eclipsed it — hence the nickname “The Iron Horse.” But the Hall of Fame first baseman was also nicknamed “Biscuit Pants” because of his ample backside.

Source: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

18. Old Aches and Pains
> Player: Luke Appling
> League: MLB
> Position, team(s): Shortstop, Chicago White Sox
> Career: 1930-1950

Hall of Famer Luke Appling got the nickname “Old Aches and Pains” because of the number of injuries he received during his career. Even so, the Chicago White Sox shortstop, also called “Luscious Luke,” hit .310 lifetime, won two batting titles, and collected 2,749 hits, seventh most all time among shortstops. Appling was named the greatest player in White Sox history by Chicago fans in 1969.


Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

19. Scrabble
> Player: Marc Rzepczynski
> League: MLB
> Position, team(s): Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals
> Career: 2009-present

MLB relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski can be a bigger challenge for broadcasters than he can for hitters. Rzepczynski, who is of Polish descent, got the nickname “Scrabble” because his surname looks like a random assortment of letters — as if a bunch of tiles fell out of a Scrabble box. Players and coaches often struggle with the name, which is pronounced “Zep-CHIN-ski”.

Source: Harry How / Getty Images

20. Kung Fu Panda
> Player: Pablo Sandoval
> League: MLB
> Position, team(s): Third baseman, San Francisco Giants
> Career: 2008-present

Pablo Sandoval is affectionately known in San Francisco as the “Kung Fu Panda.” Sandoval, like the animated character voiced by Jack Black, is surprisingly athletic given his rotund physique. Teammate Barry Zito, who was impressed when Sandoval leapt over an opposing catcher during a game, gave Sandoval the nickname that has stuck with him throughout his career.