In all of Major League Baseball there are few teams who have such a rich history filled with so many stories as the New York Yankees. They’ve certainly had their share of legendary players and for New Yorkers, this means some very colorful nicknames as well. It’s a part of the culture and they’re most often terms of endearment for those they appreciate. Some of the more prolific players throughout the history of the Yankees have been given multiple nicknames with some of them complementary and others which are not so nice. We’ve gathered a collection of the 20 most well known Yankees nicknames in the history of the ball club and some you’ll probably recognize if you’re a Yankee’s fan. This list is in no particular order:
1. Mick The Quick – Mickey Rivers
Fans of John Milton Rivers didn’t think that his nickname Mickey really paid him enough respect so thy dubbed him “Mick The Quick.” He rose to fame with Yankees fan during the World Championships that were held in 1977, then he did it again in 1978, assisting his team mates with some impressive speed. Some fans even named his the “fastest Yankee of all-time” according to Yes Network. Mick The Quick was one of the more complimentary nicknames given to players.
2. The Babe – George Herman Ruth
Babe Ruth is one of the most well known nickname in Yankee’s history. He was given the nickname “Babe” by players on the Baltimore Orioles team when he played for them, because of his young age when he started playing and the name stuck. When the team became the Yankees, his teammates had another name for him which was Jidge. The nickname was a take on his first name George, but this was just one of many nicknames he was given including The Bambino, The Rajah of Rap, The Colossus of Clout, The Bam, and many others. There were also several other nicknames that were bestowed upon Ruth but some of them were not very nice and probably not worthy of even sharing here. His greatness lives on.
3. El -Acido – Dellin Betances
During a players weekend sponsored event, the Yankees wore nicknames on the back of their uniforms, which went way beyond the traditional sports attire worn by the players, but hey, it wasn’t like it was a league game. Player Dellin Betances sported the nickname El Acido. He shared that it was a name that had been given him by elder cousins in his family because he was a very active and hyper kid.
4. The Chairman of the Board – Whitey Ford
Whitey Ford is also the nickname of the Yankees player who was given the nickname when he played for the minor leagues. His real name is Edward Charley Ford and it’s no great mystery why his former teammates gave him the nickname. His hair is so blonde that it’s almost White. This wasn’t the only nickname that he’d receive though. The Yankees later nicknamed him Chairman of the Board. He’s one of the most controlled and calm players on the team when the pressure is on and the nickname is actually a sign of respect and appreciation.
5. Anglada – Zach Britton
This is a nickname that Zach chose for himself to honor his grandmother with her maiden name. It was worn on the back of his uniform during one of the team’s weekend play games when they’re given the opportunity to choose the name that is displayed during the game. His grandmother is from the Dominican Republic and it’s his way of showing respect to his grandmother and also to let fans in on a little bit about him as a person, and the family that he comes from.
6. The Bronx Bombers – The New York Yankees
The Bronx Bombers is one of the many nicknames that has been given to the Yankees and it’s one of the most frequently used nicknames. Sometimes it’s shortened to simply, “The Bombers,” but everyone knows who you’re talking about when you use the term in reference to a baseball team. If you talk to a New Yorker they’ll let you know that the Yankees are the bomb!
7. Kraken – Gary Sanchez
Gary Sanchez was given the opportunity to choose the nickname that he wanted to be place on th back of his uniform for the weekend games, played in the off-season. He didn’t have any trouble settling on Kraken, which is a nickname that was given to him by Brian Cashman who is the general manager for the Yankees. The Kraken is a mythical sea beast that is capable of unleashing a whole lot of hell and misery on its victims.
8. Home Run – Frank Baker
Frank Baker is a player that for many has faded into the ether and they’ve forgotten that he was a Yankees player, but he certainly was. While he was with the team, he was given the name of Home Run or Home Run Baker because of his streak of hitting home runs that was at the time a memorable feat.
9. A-A Ron – Aaron Hicks
Aaron Hicks chose the nickname A-A Ron as his weekend games nickname. He wore it proudly on the back of his uniform for the off-season games and it also showed his great sense of humor. It makes us wonder if he watched the Key & Peele skit for the idea, at any rate it was a fun nickname for him to wear and it brought humor to the game making quite a few people smile and even laugh.
10. Red Thunder- Clint Frazier
The players were having a great time playing during the off-season weekend games, but they were probably having even more fun choosing their nicknames which would appear on the back of their uniforms for the game. Clint Frazier, known for his red hair chose an excellent and descriptive nickname when he decided to go with Red Thunder.
11. Nasty Nate – Nate Eovaldi
Nasty Nate is the nickname that was given to Nate Eovaldi on a social media site. It’s not one that has been commonly used and for that he’s probably thankful, but it did show up as a hashtag on a Twitter account. Some baseball fan wasn’t happy with him at the time.
12. D-Rob – David Robertson
If you are a fan of the off season games then you probably already knew that David Robertson chose the nickname D-Rob for himself for the weekend games. This is the name that he wore on the back of his uniform as he joined with other players, many of whom donned humorous or menacing sounding names for the events. It’s all in good humor and it kinda suits him.
13. Catfish – James Augustus Hunter
James Hunter has one of the most fitting nicknames possible, that is if you’re familiar with his history. When he was a child, he would run disappear from his home and when he came back he would have a couple of catfish with him. Because of this habit, his mom and dad gave him the nickname Catfish and it stuck. It was the owner of the Oakland A’s who discovered this childhood nickname and he resurrected it for baseball, and it stuck with Hunter wherever he went.
14. Rocket – Adam Warren
Rocket is a nickname that Adam Warren has come by honestly. He became known as one of the hardest ball throwers for the Yankees and he threw with such force that it turned the ball into a projectile, so Rocket was a very fitting nickname for him. He wasn’t sure what the nickname meant at the time that it was given but it’s a complement to the way that he plays the game.
15. The Pinstripes – The New York Yankees
Another popular nickname for the Yankees is “The Pinstripes.” In fact, it’s almost used as often as “The Bombers.” The team has been given this nickname since they first started wearing uniforms that have pin stripes upon them. It’s a lot better than the other nicknames the Yankees are known by, especially from the competition including “The Evil Empire, The Bronx Zoo or the Damned Yankees.”
16. Rags – David Allan Rightetti
David Righetti is a left handed pitcher who formerly played for the New York Yankees. He made his debut in baseball playing for the Yankees in 1979. In 1983 he pitched a no -hitter. We couldn’t find out exactly who gave him the nickname Rags nor why, but it’s one that he carried with him.
17. Wee Willie – Willie Keeler
Although it’s not polite to make fun of a person’s size, this doesn’t stop team mates nor fans in the Yankee’s crowd from pointing out the obvious. Wee Willie is the nickname that was given to Yankees player Willie Keeler. Yes, it was because of his stature and it had nothing to do with his playing ability. This nickname really sounds more like something you’d pin on a horse racing jockey.
18. Biscuit Pants and The Iron Horse – Lou Gherig
Biscuit Pants was just one of the many nicknames that the Yanks star player Lou Gherig was known by. The reason that he was given this nickname is because he had a sizable backside and thick legs and he wore baggy pants. We also learned that when he was younger, people called him buster early in his career because of how hard he hit the ball. He was also known as “Larrupin Lou” The Hard Number,” and perhaps the most memorable of all nicknames for Gherig, the “Iron Man of Baseball,” frequently just shortened to Iron Man. Ironically, when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness in the prime of his life, the disease known as Lou Gherig’s disease was named after him. The illness cut short a brilliant life and career in baseball. Since that time, millions of dollars have gone into research about the disease in search of a cure.
19. Boomer – David Wells
David Wells is a beloved Yankees player who is affectionately referred to as Boomer. It’s close to bomber and he really knows how to bring down the thunder in the game, but the pitcher was involved in a situation that forced him to make a choice. His love of the history of the game led him to purchase a baseball cap that was worn by the late great Babe Ruth and he wore it while pitching in a game against Cleveland in June of 1997. Joe Torre, the Yankees manager at the time told him to take it off. It wasn’t the standard cap of the uniform of the era and although his heart was in the right place, it wasn’t something that was supposed to be done.
20. Donnie Baseball – Don Mattingly
Don Mattingly was known for a couple of different nicknames when he played for the Yankees. Donnie Baseball was most commonly used to refer to him. The second was Hit Man. These were both quite flattering and they both indicated that when it came to professional baseball, he truly was the man.
- Goose – Rich Gossage
- Moose – Mike Mussina
- El Duque – Orlando Hernandez
- Sweet Lou – Lou Piniella
- The Sandman – Mariano Rivera
- Gozilla – Hideki Matsui
- Scooter – Phil Rizzuto
- Muscles – Mickey Mantle
- Yogi – Lawrence Berra
- The Yankee Clipper/Jolin’ Joe – Joe Dimaggio
- Mr. October – Reggie Jackson
- Mr. November – Derek Jeter
- The Boss – George Steinbrenner