Damon Gulcynski’s new book Urban Shocker All-Stars: The 100 Greatest Baseball Names Ever dives into the rich history of America’s Pastime to uncover the greatest monikers ever seen on a major league field.
The book combines humor and history and is a quick read at 104 pages. It is the perfect companion for the hour in-between eating your hot dog and getting the official line-ups to write down in your scorecard (what, that isn’t your gameday routine?).
Gulcynski doesn’t simply list the top-100 names in alphabetical order. He organizes them into subgroups ranging from Old-Timey Greats and Modern Day Marvels to more irreverent categories such as Cranium Crew and Drugs. Each player included in the top-100 names gets a write-up that covers his career, as well as some humorous anecdotes. The player write-ups are a nice trip down memory lane for any longtime baseball fan, as many of the players featured were far from big stars during their heyday (such as a personal favorite of mine in the 1980s, reliever Eric Plunk, who I used to call Plunkhead when he had a bad outing. I was a very mature nine-year-old.).
There is even a poem or two, including this ditty on the greatly named 1980s outfielder and former Golden Spikes winner Oddibe McDowell.
An Ode to Oddibe
By Damon Gulczynski
You were to be.
The next great power-and-swing thing.
But it simply didn’t happen.
Such a shame.
The writing style is breezy, informal and fun, and it’s easy to skip around to different sections if you are looking for a certain category of names. The book can be purchased in print or for the Kindle on Amazon here. Grab it before your next trip to the park!