Sports Reference Blog

Update to Historical Name Presentations on Baseball Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on December 16, 2022

In April of 2021, we announced a series of changes to player name presentations on Baseball Reference and Pro Football Reference in which we changed the main name presentation for many historical players who had been tagged with offensive nicknames decades ago. When we completed that task, we hinted that we'd perform similar work with less offensive nicknames, as well.

Last summer Eli Gnesin, one of our data interns, reviewed hundreds of names in our database to ascertain if nicknames popularized by the 1969 MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia (and in some cases afterwards) were accurate representations of what players were known as during their playing careers. In turns out that in nearly 200 cases, the names in our database were not the names that were most commonly used during playing careers. Thanks to online newspaper databases with thousands of references to these players, it is possible to determine with confidence what a player was primarily known as during their playing career, so we have made some amendments where it felt warranted. Some of them were closer calls than others, none moreso than the relatively recent Karl/Tuffy Rhodes conundrum.

Without further ado, here is a list of the name presentations we have changed on Baseball Reference. These players will still show up in our site search function if you use their old names because they are still noted on the page. If you think any of these ought to be changed back and have sufficient evidence, please feel free to contact us:

Old Name Presentation New Name Presentation
Doc Adkins Merle Adkins
Chub Aubrey Harry Aubrey
Chick Autry Martin Autry
King Bader Lore Bader
Sweetbread Bailey Abraham Bailey
Shad Barry John Barry
Bud Bates Hubert Bates
Heinie Beckendorf Henry Beckendorf
Hi Bell Herman Bell
Lefty Bertrand Roman Bertrand
Hi Bithorn Hiram Bithorn
Footsie Blair Clarence Blair
Bucky Brandon Darrell Brandon
Duke Brett Herbert Brett
Boardwalk Brown Carroll Brown
Bud Bulling Terry Bulling
Oyster Burns Thomas Burns
Buster Burrell Frank Burrell
Kid Butler Frank Butler
Hick Cady Forrest Cady
Rip Cannell Wirt Cannell
Scoops Carey George Carey
Swede Carlstrom Albin Carlstrom
Scrappy Carroll John Carroll
Doc Casey James Casey
Chappy Charles Raymond Charles
Cuckoo Christensen Walter Christensen
Uke Clanton Eucal Clanton
Pep Clark Harry Clark
Watty Clark Watson Clark
Boileryard Clarke William Clarke
Slick Coffman George Coffman
Pop Corkhill John Corkhill
Creepy Crespi Frank Crespi
Cookie Cuccurullo Arthur Cuccurullo
Bud Culloton Bernard Culloton
Doc Curley Walter Curley
Goose Curry Homer Curry
Fats Dantonio John Dantonio
Doc Daugherty Harold Daugherty
Yo-Yo Davalillo Pompeyo Davalillo
Iron Davis George Davis
Spud Davis Virgil Davis
Pep Deininger Otto Deininger
Puchy Delgado Luis Delgado
Dutch Dietz Lloyd Dietz
Pop Dillon Frank Dillon
Dutch Distel George Distel
Heinie Elder Henry Elder
Slim Emmerich William Emmerich
Hod Fenner Horace Fenner
Happy Finneran Joseph Finneran
Showboat Fisher George Fisher
Hod Ford Horace Ford
Pop Foster Clarence Foster
Skipper Friday Grier Friday
Chick Fulmer Charles Fulmer
Chippy Gaw George Gaw
Greek George Charles George
Skinny Graham Kyle Graham
Moose Grimshaw Myron Grimshaw
Howdy Groskloss Howard Groskloss
Dad Hale Ray Hale
Candy Harris Alonzo Harris
Lefty Hayden Gene Hayden
Whitey Hilcher Walter Hilcher
Dutch Hoffman Clarence Hoffman
Buster Hoover William Hoover
Lefty Jamerson Charles Jamerson
Heinie Jantzen Walter Jantzen
Deacon Jones Carroll Jones
Heinie Kappel Henry Kappel
Chick Keating Walter Keating
High Pockets Kelly George Kelly
Snapper Kennedy Sherman Kennedy
Hod Kibbie Horace Kibbie
Nellie King Nelson King
Nub Kleinke Norbert Kleinke
Nap Kloza John Kloza
Candy LaChance George LaChance
Watty Lee Wyatt Lee
Dixie Leverett Gorham Leverett
Hod Leverette Horace Leverette
Dutch Levsen Emil Levsen
Hod Lisenbee Horace Lisenbee
Baldy Louden William Louden
Rabbit Martinez Horacio Martinez
Pinky May Merrill May
Bub McAtee Michael McAtee
Moose McCormick Harry McCormick
Beauty McGowan Frank McGowan
Doc McJames James McJames
Limb McKenry Frank McKenry
Ski Melillo Oscar Melillo
Lefty Mellix Ralph Mellix
Jock Menefee John Menefee
Bud Messenger Andrew Messenger
Scat Metha Frank Metha
Doggie Miller George Miller
Jocko Milligan John Milligan
Lefty Mills Howard Mills
J-Jo Morrissey Joseph Morrissey
Moose Morton Guy Morton
Heinie Mueller Emmett Mueller
Moon Mullen Ford Mullen
Kid Nance William Nance
Cy Neighbors Cecil Neighbors
Tacks Neuer John Neuer
Rabbit Nill George Nill
Dizzy Nutter Everett Nutter
Skinny O'Neal Oran O'Neal
Curley Onis Manuel Onis
Baby Ortiz Oliverio Ortiz
Doc Ozmer Horace Ozmer
Doc Parker Harley Parker
Jiggs Parson William Parson
Rusty Pence Russell Pence
Pretzel Pezzullo John Pezzullo
Pinky Pittenger Clarke Pittenger
Doc Potts Vivian Potts
Shadow Pyle Harry Pyle
Rip Ragan Arthur Ragan
Heinie Reitz Henry Reitz
Tuffy Rhodes Karl Rhodes
Yank Robinson William Robinson
Sy Rosenthal Simon Rosenthal
Dutch Rudolph John Rudolph
Junior Scales George Scales
Biff Schaller Walter Schaller
Biff Schlitzer Victor Schlitzer
Butch Scmhidt Charles Schmidt
Lefty Scott Marshall Scott
Doc Shanley Harry Shanley
Biff Sheehan Timothy Sheehan
Monk Sherlock John Sherlock
Bud Sketchley Harry Sketchley
Lefty Sloat Dwain Sloat
Heinie Smith George Smith
Lefty Smoll Clyde Smoll
Redleg Snyder Emanuel Snyder
Jock Somerlott John Somerlott
General Stafford James Stafford
Chick Starr William Starr
Jigger Statz Arnold Statz
Dutch Sterrett Charles Sterrett
Sailor Stroud Ralph Stroud
Steamboat Struss Clarence Struss
Dutch Stryker Sterling Stryker
Sly Sutcliffe Elmer Sutcliffe
Pop Tate Edward Tate
Sloppy Thurston Hollis Thurston
Chick Tolson Charles Tolson
Specs Toporcer George Toporcer
Turkey Tyson Cecil Tyson
Dutch Ulrich Frank Ulrich
Tex Vache Ernest Vache
Pee-Wee Wanninger Paul Louis Wanninger
Buzzy Wares Clyde Wares
Mother Watson Walter Watson
Lefty Webb Cleon Webb
Stump Weidman George Weidman
Butch Wensloff Charles Wensloff
Lefty West Weldon West
Possum Whitted George Whitted
Lefty Wilkie Aldon Wilkie
Rip Wlliams Alva Williams
Papa Williams Fred Williams
Kid Wilson Frank Wilson
Whitey Wilshere Vernon Wilshere
Highball Wilson Howard Wilson
Snake Wiltse Lewis Wiltse
Lefty Wolf Walter Wolf
Cy Wright Ceylon Wright
Lefty York James York

One Response to “Update to Historical Name Presentations on Baseball Reference”

  1. Richard G Agran Says:

    Greetings !... for your consideration,,, listed by nicknamew first currently... Mudcat Grant and Catfish Hunter... thanks and Happy Holidays !! Regards,Rick Agran