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Baseball Player Name of the Week

There are quite a few excellent player names and nicknames involving “Bunny.” (Don’t ask how I got started on this). My favorites, in chronological order:

Bunny Brief, who played in 184 games over parts of 4 seasons from 1912 to 1917, and who was actually born Anthony John Grzeszkowski (neither Bunny-related, nor brief; discuss).

Bunny Fabrique, who played for the Brooklyn team (then the Robins) in 1916 and 1917, and who sounds from the name like a seductive French lingerie model.

Hugh “Bunny” High, onetime Yankee outfielder (1915-1918) and possibly the best player of the lot, though that’s not saying much – for some reason the real stars are rarely called “Bunny.”

And the last great baseball Bunny, Sylvester Bunny, who played in the minors from 1947 to 1948. Bunny has gone out of vogue as a name and a nickname since then, perhaps as players have gotten bigger and stronger and more intimidating when they told people to never ever call them Bunny.

There are also quite a few Ducks and Duckys, and one Delbert Duckworth, but I suppose that’s a post for another day.


1 unmoderated   ~  Apr 6, 2011 3:30 pm

Great post, and timing. I just picked up "From Abba Dabba To Zorro: The World of Baseball Nicknames: by Don Zminda.

2 ms october   ~  Apr 6, 2011 3:48 pm

hopefully bunny colvin played baseball in west baltimore.

3 Emma Span   ~  Apr 6, 2011 4:44 pm

[1] That sounds like a book I need.

4 joejoejoe   ~  Apr 6, 2011 7:50 pm

More on Brief: "Born Anthony Vincent John Grzeszkowski, Brief started his pro career at the age of 17 with Traverse City (Michigan State). After batting .351 in 1911 and .353 in 1912, he joined the St. Louis Browns for 99 games in 1912-13, batting .230. He first arrived in Kansas City late in 1913 and when he hit .318-12-123 in 169 games in 1914, he earned a return trip to the majors, this time with the Chicago White Sox. In 1915 he batted .214 in 48 games and was assigned to Salt Lake City. The next year he hit .314 with 33 homers, breaking the existing Pacific Coast League home run record. He was purchased by Pittsburgh and his last major league fling was 36 games with the Pirates in 1917, batting .217. He returned to Kansas City for a seven-year stay in 1918. Starting in 1920, Brief led the American Association in RBI four consecutive years and in home runs three straight seasons. His 191 RBI in 1921 was never topped in league history. From 1921 through 1926 he never hit below .338. Brief was sold to Milwaukee after the 1924 season and played his last four years with the Brewers, retiring after the 1928 campaign. During his minor league career, Brief batted .331 in 2426 games with 2963 hits, 342 home runs and 1584 RBI. The latter total does not include four seasons in which his league’s records did not provide RBI figures. He made one final appearance in pro ball as manager of Wausau (Northern) in 1938. After that, Brief was supervisor of the Milwaukee Department’s youth baseball program. Brief was always a hero to Milwaukee’s large Polish-American community."


Can any Banter historians offer a comparison of the American Association of this era with the American League? I think it was more like ABA and NBA in basketball than the kind of obvious second class minor league relationship we see today.

5 unmoderated   ~  Apr 7, 2011 9:04 am

[3] I can send it to you when I'm done.

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