Saturday, September 05, 2009

Terrible Job By Len Giles

Len Giles, the sponsor of Rollie Fingers' BR page, has used his little area there to claim that Rollie "defined closer back in the day." Why is that a bad call? Because nobody said "closer" back then! Come on, Len, you seem like you're at least as old as I am--don't you remember when we all used to say "fireman"? "Closer" didn't come about until the late 80s. The sponsorship expires in a few days, somebody should snatch it up and call Rollie a fireman!

I saw some of the '74 World Series today, and Vin Scully kept calling him "Roland" Fingers. I'd never heard to him referred to as anything but Rollie, so I did a news search, and while he was sometimes called Roland in the early days, the Rollie nickname can be traced to his prep school days. I saw him mentioned as early as March 1963. (Note to other nerdy researchers: on the Google News search, watch out for articles from the 80s labeled as ones from the 60s, due to 6 kind of looking like 8 in old newspapers.)

Reminds me of the baseball card my brother has, dating from the 60s, of "Bob Clemente". I just thought he was always Roberto, but then again, I only caught the end of the 60s, and didn't start following baseball until the late 70s.
We should come up with a list of guys who went by two names.

Albert/Joey Belle.
Jorge/George Bell.

Whoa! The first two I thought of were Bells, and they spell THAT differently..

Then I think Richie Ashburn was also Dick Ashburn, unless that's Dick Allen. But I know there are more. Oh right, David Ortiz/Arias. And Rich Gedman has always been Rich, but his signature on his Louisville Sluggers says Richie.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States