What a night for baseball’s second-greatest Scooter – Los Angeles Times
The best part of the record night: his nickname.
A hearty round of congratulations to Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds, who tied a major league record by hitting four home runs on Tuesday. He was his own big Red machine, a Cincinnati kid who did it for his hometown team.
And he did it with a nickname that comes from a precious story. As he explained to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2013, his mother dragged him to the police station when he was 5 to learn why it was important to wear a seat belt. He figured he needed an alias, so he used the name of a favorite Muppets character.
“I thought I was going to be arrested,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “So, I told the policeman my name was Scooter. After we left there, I didn’t answer to Ryan because I thought if I answered to my real name I’d get arrested.”
In 1932, the year the Brooklyn club adopted the Dodgers name for good, the roster included High Pockets at first base, Lefty and Hack in the outfield and Dazzy and Sloppy in the starting rotation. (And Van Lingle Mungo, but that was his real name.)
Today, the nicknames for the best players in Southern California are, um, Kersh and Trouty.
After his retirement, he was a Yankees broadcaster for 40 years, with his popular “Holy cow!” catch phrase. “The Scooter” will live forever in pop culture as the play-by-play voice in Meat Loaf’s 1977 classic rock opera “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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