Best nicknames in Cardinals history

Welcome to The Lou, where the Redbirds reign in the Show-Me State’s Gateway to the West city, nestled right next to the Land of Lincoln.

Baseball nicknames are an art form, from The Babe to the Iron Man to Hammerin’ Hank and countless more. Inside St. Louis, Cardinals ballplayers are no strangers to legendary monikers, some of which are often mistaken for the players’ given names.

These are some of the best nicknames in Cardinals history, ranked:

15. Adam Wainwright: Uncle Charlie

“Everywhere I go, people call me Waino or Uncle Charlie,” Wainwright once said. “No one ever calls me Adam. I don’t even know my first name anymore.” That slow, luring curveball -- his trademark pitch -- is a thing of beauty.

14. Yadier Molina: El Marciano

Let’s continue things with the second leg of this legendary starter-catcher battery. Meaning “The Martian” in Spanish, Molina’s under-the-radar nickname is for his otherworldly talents, racking up nine Gold Gloves and four Platinum Gloves over his career so far.

13. Frankie Frisch: The Fordham Flash

You know when the office refers to the coworker fresh out of college by his school name? Frisch, a stolen-base savant, knows that feeling. He was also a player-manager in St. Louis for five years before hanging up the cleats for full-time managing duties.

Coined from silent movie star Hoot Gibson, the late Cards legend also went by Gibby, or in his past as a Harlem Globetrotter, “Bullet.”

11. Johnny Mize: The Big Cat

Given the name for his comfort in the box and craftiness on the field, Mize was said to hardly flinch when being brushed off the plate. “He’d lean back into the batter’s box and resume his stance, as graceful as a big cat,” teammate Stan Musial once said.

10. Harry Brecheen: Harry The Cat

Another feline-related name for all the cat fans out there. Brecheen was anointed this name by the Post-Dispatch’s Hall of Fame writer J. Roy Stockton for his quick, cat-like reflexes in the field.

After Babe Ruth was coined the "Sultan of Swat," Hornsby earned similar recognition as the "Rajah of Swat." This came at a time when cultures of the Middle and Far East were becoming learned in the U.S. Rajah, of course, is a term used for dignitaries in India.

A product of the '70s, that long hair fit the bill of a lion’s mane. Simmons was a six-time All-Star in St. Louis before moving on to stints with Milwaukee and Atlanta. He will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame this year after being selected by the Veterans Committee. Sorry, Andrelton Simmons. Ted did it first.

7. Albert Pujols: The Machine

6. Enos Slaughter: Country

According to the Society for American Baseball Research, Slaughter showed up to Double-A Columbus in 1937, clad in tight clothes and a straw hat. One look from manager Burt Shotton gave the Roxboro, N.C., native his new nickname: Country.

5. Albert Fred Schoendienst: Red

When that auburn red hair made its way to St. Louis from just over the border in Germantown, Ill., a natural nickname was born. Schoendienst, who won two World Series as a player (one with St. Louis in 1946) and one as a Cards manager, is one of the most beloved figures in franchise history, with a statue and retired number to boot.

4. Lou Brock: The Franchise

Two players have been famously nicknamed The Franchise: Tom Seaver and Brock. Both are wholly deserving, representing their clubs with excellence both on and off the field. Brock was also at times referred to as “The Rocket” for his deft speed on the basepaths, setting a single-season stolen-base record once thought unbreakable.

When you’re known by your nickname more than you are your birth name, you’re doing something right. Dizzy got his nickname from an eccentric personality, only one-upped by his acumen on the mound, winning MVP honors in 1934 thanks to 30 wins and seven saves -- the only time those two numbers have been achieved in one season in the Modern Era.

2. Ozzie Smith: The Wizard of Oz

There may not be a more perfect nickname in sports. A star at shortstop with 13 consecutive Gold Gloves to his name, this nickname is as fitting -- and clever -- as it gets, front and center with his social media handles, @STLWizard.

No Cardinal has played in more games and seasons -- or collected more at-bats, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, walks, intentional walks and runs scored -- than Musial. He’s just the man. And there will never be another.

Honorable mentions
Gashouse Gang
-- Not named for any specific player but for the Cards of the 1930s, and specifically the club that won the 1934 World Series. Some of the members of this list were part of that legendary club, with more great nicknames: Dazzy Vance (not to be confused with Dizzy), Ripper Collins, Pepper Martin, Kiddo Davis, Flint Rhem, Tex Carleton, Chick Fullis and Burgess Whitehead (OK, that one’s his real name).

William Martin Dillhoefer: Pickles -- Not cucumbers. Pickles. Pickles Dillhoefer.

Frank Angelo Joseph Crespi: Creepy -- Like some entries on this list, not the most flattering name.

Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog: Whitey -- How many of you knew he went by anything else?

Arnold Ray McBride: Bake or Shake n' Bake -- Reports are McBride doesn't know how he got this nickname, but that's what his father was called. And he became little Bake.

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