BASEBALL: Pirate fans recall how Matty Alou won a batting crown while with the Bucs, but here are some interesting trivia items I came across dealing with him and his brothers Felipe and Jesus.
Most fans also know about the day (9/10/63) when the Giants outfield was composed of three brothers–yes, the three Alous. However, I didn’t know that just five days prior to that they also made baseball trivia history when they accounted for all three outs in a single inning.
When Matty won his crown in ’66, he hit .342 after managing a weak .232 batting average the year before. His 111 point improvement marked the biggest jump ever by a every day player from one season to the next. [Source: The Bibliographical History of Baseball] Credit for his increase was largely given to Pirate Harry “The Hat” Walker who was the team manager that year.
As for Jesus, a big trivia claim to fame came on July 10, 1964, when he banged out six hits in a game versus the Cubs–and did so versus six different pitchers (back in an era when it was unusual for that many men to work in a game). After he came through with his 1,000th hit, that feat made the Alous the only brother trio act to each reach that plateau. Plus, they wound up with the most combined hits for any group of three or more brothers: they compiled 5,094 hits. The three DiMaggios had 4,853 while a family of five brothers, the Delahantys, managed 4,217.
COLLEGE SPORTS: A few of my favorite team nicknames: Ramblin’ Wreck (better than Yellow Jackets, I think); Crimson Tide; Runnin’ Rebels, Scarlet Knights, Ragin’ Cajuns; Paladins (I guess it conjures up the old TV show for me); and I kinda like the Stetson Mad Hatters. Overall, I guess I’m partial to two-word nicknames.
On the other hand, I could never quite conceive of these nicknames as being either intimidating, logical, or very interesting in a sports related way (especially for football): the Gentlemen, the Vandals, the Banana Slugs, the Anteaters, the Fighting Camels (doesn’t ring the same bell as Fightin’ Irish).
There are a lot more such as a high school team from a town named Polka–they went with the nickname Dots. And I think there was a high school in a town which housed a prison which used Convicts as their nickname. However, this list is enough for now.