Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Let's step away for a moment...

From the ever-challenged laptop of HoraceClarke66...

Let’s step away for a moment… from the dessicated corpse of your New York Yankees, and think again about the wider game of baseball.


The latest brainstorm from the hive mind of the internet is that the Atlanta Braves should be renamed the “Hammers,” after the late, lamented Henry Aaron.  For once, the wisdom of the crowd looks like actual wisdom.


Let’s face it:  “Braves” is soon to go the way of “Indians,” the old name of the reborn Cleveland Napoleons (oh please, oh please). 


And lest anyone leap upon their anti-PC soapbox, let’s remember that the team presently located in Atlanta—the oldest continuously operating major-league franchise—has had many different monikers in its time:  Red Stockings, Red Caps, Beaneaters, Doves, Rustlers, and Bees.


Nor was “Braves” a tribute to Native Americans. 


It was stuck on the team in Boston by smart-alecky press box types—before 1975, all sportswriters were required by law to be smart alecks, or at least wiseacres—after the franchise was purchased by one James E. Gaffney, a New York real estate developer who made his fortune thanks to his deep and abiding friendship with Charlie Murphy, the chief sachem of Tammany Hall’s political machine.


He's seen here, fourth from right, the sourpuss in the bowler, next to the guy wearing the war bonnet.  (The gent in the top hat, incidentally, is Kennedy granddad, "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.)

In other words, he was a “Tammany brave,” as the machine’s minions used to style themselves. 


The name was renewed in the 1930s, when yet another Tammany stalwart, Judge Emil Fuchs, the man who did Babe Ruth dirt, owned the team.  Here he is getting a big plaque from Mayor James Michael Curley, another of those wonderful Boston pols—and looking like he's already casing the exits for a quick getaway:

Such were the days of yore, when any New York rascal with enough pluck and gall could venture forth and scoop up entire baseball franchises in lesser burgs.  But I digress.


All the Braves’ Indian paraphernalia and that excruciating chant—happily converted to “Fu-uck the Braves!” at the Stadium, during our merry upending of Atlanta in 1996—was slathered on the team by assorted half-wits in the stands and the team’s p.r. offices.


Away with it!  And time for a tribute to Hammerin’ Hank, who should have seen Atlanta’s new ballpark named for him, instead of some financial entity calling itself “Truist.”  (Yeah, that’s where I’m gonna put my money.)


The Braves’ fine uniforms could be easily restyled to match the name.  All that’s needed is a hammer instead of that tomahawk, and maybe a silhouette of the most legendary, hammer-driving figure in American history, John Henry.


Nice, how the “Henry” matches, isn’t it?  And think of how much better it would be to hear that great folk song played instead of the “on the warpath” chant every time Atlanta has a rally.  And imagine the delight all of those still smart-alecky sportswriters will have, being able to call some manager, “dumber than a box of Hammers.”

The possibilities are endless.  I know, we’re much more likely to get another ad for Truist as a team name—the “Scammers”?  the “BitCoins?”—but still.  It would be nice…


Anonymous said...


Edifying as always.

I can't believe I'm saying this but... I like "The Atlanta Hammers".

At first that part of me that sees humor before all scoffed. Once we open the tool chest as a naming system there are all kinds of possibilities. It was the most excited I've been since "Weather" became available as a team name...

But you know what? It's fitting. And a baseball team named The Hammers makes extra sense.

They should do it.

Don't get too excited. I'm still not down with the Cleveland Napoleons. Although I would be OK if they re-named the team The Lake Erie Eclairs.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Remember "Love and Death," Doug? "No, no, no! My pastry must have no raisins! And we have word that even now, my great rival the Duke of Wellington is working on a beef dish!"

Anonymous said...


Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

"I'm dead, they're talking about wheat."