It takes a lot to earn a nickname in sports, sometimes. Greatness can earn you an elitist nickname like “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, or “King James” LeBron James. On the other hand though, some are blessed with nicknames that go down in history for other reasons. Here are my personal top 10 funniest nicknames in all of sports history.
10. “Ugly” Johnny Dickshot
Johnny Dickshot was a left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago White Sox from 1936 until 1945, with a break between 1940-44 to go serve military time. His career was respectable but nothing out of the ordinary. He was given the nickname solely because “he saw himself as one of the ugliest players in baseball.” Honestly a pretty brutal nickname to have, but I guess there’s worse people were called in the 40’s, right?
9. “The Mitten” Gary Payton II
Gary Payton II is a current NBA guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, and his nickname is pretty interesting to me. People call him “The Mitten” because his father, NBA legend Gary Payton, was nicknamed “The Glove” throughout his career.
Imagine getting posterized on national television by “The Mitten?” Jesus.
8. “Panda” Pablo Sandoval
Pablo Sandoval was an MLB third baseman who played for three teams across a thirteen year career. He was given the nickname “Panda” due to the fact that, for lack of better term, dude was big as shit. Towards the end of his career, Sandoval weighed up to 270 lbs at 5 feet 10 inches tall! For a third baseman’s standards though, he was moderately athletic!
Sandoval was one of the most lovable characters in baseball, unless your team played him in a World Series.
7. “The Refrigerator” William Perry
Will Perry was given this nickname for a pretty simple reason. Dude was LARGE. At 6 feet 2 inches, he weighed 335 lbs! As a lineman, he was immovable for that reason. He finished an 11 year career with 524 combined tackles.
Look at this guy, absolute brick shithouse.
6. “Big Sexy” Bartolo Colon
Bartolo was your baseball player’s favorite baseball player at one point or another. Colon played for THIRTEEN (yes, 13!) teams across his 21 year MLB pitching career, and won a Cy Young Award in 2005 while playing for the Los Angeles Angels. Per Tim Healey, this is how Bartolo got his nickname.
You go Bartolo, sexy as they come.
5. “The Amish Rifle” Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick was born in Arizona, graduated from Harvard, and might be the only quarterback that would wear his wedding ring while he played. Why was he referred to as “The Amish Rifle,” then? Nobody really knows, honestly. He coined the nickname himself. He did propose to his wife in a McDonald’s though, which is like, sick! He’s lovin’ it and so was she!
Fitzmagic was one of the best backup QB’s to play the game!
4. “Hefty Lefty” Jared Lorenzen
Jared Lorenzen had a brief stint as an NFL quarterback with the New York Giants, never starting a game and throwing for roughly 12 (twelve) career yards. He was huge though, like REALLY big. He clocked in at 284 lbs at one point, as a QUARTERBACK.
He sadly passed away in 2019 due to heart problems, but Hefty Lefty’s memory lives on eternally.
3. “Muscle Hamster” Doug Martin
Doug Martin had a short lived NFL career, playing 7 years with the Tampa Bay Bucanneers and the then Oakland Raiders. Martin was given the nickname “Muscle Hamster” in college due to the fact that he was 5 feet 9 inches tall, yet one of the most powerful guys on his team. He was quick and explosive as well, leading him to loads of success at the Division 1 level.
Dude’s biceps are the size of my head in all honesty, wouldn’t fuck with him on or off the field.
2. “Kum Bucket” Jonathan Kuminga
Jonathan Kuminga is a small forward for the Golden State Warriors, and this one doesn’t have any backstory, the fans just gifted this guy with this god tier nickname as soon as he was drafted.
1. “The Round Mound of Rebound” Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley is one of the greatest power forwards to play the game of basketball, yet him and I have the same amount of championships. Crazy. Chuck was given this nickname early on in his career due to his build and his ability to grab boards.
Unrelated to the nickname, but his head kinda looks like a Sugar Baby candy.
These nicknames are all special in their own ways, but in the end, they’re all ones that bring me joy knowing that they’re not mine. Except Big Sexy, that would be pretty sick.