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The Importance of a Nickname

Nova! The Nova-Nator! Sir Nova of Camelot!

Everybody wants a cool nickname…yes, you do too. It is something that makes you stand out from the crowd. A nickname is a sign that you belong and it becomes, at times, a big part of your public identity.

For years my friends have called me "Mikey O'". It's not the most original nickname, but it's mine so I go with it. My brother Paulie has been called "Buddy" since his high school days and my other brother John was dubbed "The Lion" as a kid because he actually used to growl at his teacher in pre-school.

Nicknames are as much a part of baseball as hotdogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Players with handles like "The Mick", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Freak", "Junior", "The Duke", "The Big Unit" and "The Babe" have solidified themselves forever in baseball lore.

If you get a nickname in "The Bigs" it usually means you have made it and will be around for a while…but you have to earn it.

A nickname is only as good as the player who has it. It's like naming a band. If the band is awful, the name will be too. The name "The Rolling Stones" or even "The Beatles" are kind of run-of-the-mill, but the genius of the bands and their music have made the names the stuff of legend.

Oh, by the way, you can't ever *give yourself* a nickname -- there is truly no lamer move in the world. Nicknames are like learning The Force…you have to let it come to you, young Jedi.

I was told yesterday that Yankee pitcher Ivan Nova is sure to become "Super Nova" if he blossoms into an MLB star. I think it's a possibility for sure…although "Super Nova" is the easy pick. The guy's name is Ivan. Why not "Ivan the Un-Hittable" or "Ivan don't call me Drago"…I'm getting ahead of myself here…but you get what I'm saying…right?

Everybody wants a cool nickname…yes, you do too. It is something that makes you stand out from the crowd. A nickname is a sign that you belong and it becomes, at times, a big part of your public identity.

For years my friends have called me "Mikey O'". It's not the most original nickname, but it's mine so I go with it. My brother Paulie has been called "Buddy" since his high school days and my other brother John was dubbed "The Lion" as a kid because he actually used to growl at his teacher in pre-school.

Nicknames are as much a part of baseball as hotdogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Players with handles like "The Mick", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Freak", "Junior", "The Duke", "The Big Unit" and "The Babe" have solidified themselves forever in baseball lore.

If you get a nickname in "The Bigs" it usually means you have made it and will be around for a while…but you have to earn it.

A nickname is only as good as the player who has it. It's like naming a band. If the band is awful, the name will be too. The name "The Rolling Stones" or even "The Beatles" are kind of run-of-the-mill, but the genius of the bands and their music have made the names the stuff of legend.

Oh, by the way, you can't ever *give yourself* a nickname -- there is truly no lamer move in the world. Nicknames are like learning The Force…you have to let it come to you, young Jedi.

I was told yesterday that Yankee pitcher Ivan Nova is sure to become "Super Nova" if he blossoms into an MLB star. I think it's a possibility for sure…although "Super Nova" is the easy pick. The guy's name is Ivan. Why not "Ivan the Un-Hittable" or "Ivan don't call me Drago"…I'm getting ahead of myself here…but you get what I'm saying…right?