One of the things that I always loved about baseball as a kid were the very cool and descriptive nicknames that the great players all had. We could recognize the player in a second when we heard their nickname. We didn’t need a name on the back of the jersey to identify Hammerin’ Hank or Mr. October. More recently we had The Kid or The Big Hurt but whether it’s a golden oldie or a more modern player, they all have nicknames.
So we need to start a movement to create nicknames for softball players and we need to start with the kids we are coaching now. We don’t need to wait until a player has “made it” but rather we need to start a new tradition where we can all identify the next wave of greats like Cat Osterman or Jenny Finch with a nickname that says it all.
So why do I care about promoting this trend? For one, because I think it would be just one more way to give another level of recognition for the kids who play. Second, for old people like me, remembering a nickname is often easier than remembering the person’s real name. And finally, it streamlines communication on the field between players.
In a world where there seem to be a whole lot of players whose names are very similar or a derivative of another name, that streamlining communication would be a great thing. For example, right now I work with Alex, Aleix, Alexandria, Alexis, Allison, Alicia and Allissa. Now, I know all the kids’ names but it sure would make an old man happy if they all had a nickname, right?
Let’s get the nickname train rolling!