It’s Smokey Robinson’s birthday: MLBers with the nickname “Smokey”

by Bill Chuck on February 19, 2016

Smokey RobinsonToday is William “Smokey” Robinson’s 76th birthday. For me, he is America’s greatest singer/songwriter and he has filled me with “More love and more joy
Than age or time could ever destroy.”

People say I love baseball and “People say I’m the life of the party, Because I tell a joke or two,” but many people aren’t aware of the pleasure that I get from rhythm and blues, blues, and what used to be called “soul” music. So frequently as I have listened to the music, I gazed at the speakers and said, “You’ve really got a hold on me.”

And while others may try to convince me there is an alternative to the exemplar in the field, I am loyal to Smokey. “‘I’m sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter, Like birds of a feather we stick together, I’m tellin’ you from the start I can’t be torn apart from my guy.”

Nine to Know: MLBers nicknamed “Smokey*”

*This only includes players named “Smokey” not “Smoky” as in Smoky Burgess or Smoky Joe Wood

Walter Alston

Inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee as a Manager in 1983, was the great Walter Alston. Smokey won four World Series rings with the Dodgers including the franchise’s only one in Brooklyn. John Flynn Dreyspool wrote about Alston in Sports Illustrated in 1955: “When the old man wasn’t there to play catch with me, I was bouncing the ball around on the barn door. That’s how I got my nickname, ‘Smokey,’ ‘cause I used to have a real fast fireball.”

In 23 years of managing the Dodgers, he won 90+ games 10 different seasons and only had four losing seasons.

When Alston was first hired in the fall of 1953 by the Brooklyn Dodgers, he signed a one-year contract. It was the first of 23 one-year contracts he signed.

Alston is in another unique group: Alston’s entire MLB career consisted of one at bat for the Cardinals against the Cubs on September 27, 1936. Alston played in that game, briefly at first base.

Charlie Maxwell

Charlie Maxwell was more frequently called “Paw Paw” by Tigers fans but he was also a “Smokey.” An outstanding outfielder, Maxwell played 15 seasons with the Red Sox (1950–54), Orioles (1955), Detroit Tigers (1955–62), and White Sox (1962–64).

When I first became aware of “Sunday Charlie,” I heard of his role as a Yankee killer in part because of his performance on May 3, 1959 when he hit four home runs in four successive official at-bats in a Sunday double-header against the New York Yankees at Briggs Stadium. Of the 148 homers he hit in his career, 29 were against the Yanks, the most of any opponent.

The Tigers fan favorite was born in Lawton, Michigan and two years after he was married in 1952, he built a home for him and his wife just 12 miles away in Paw Paw.

Maxwell was an All-Star in 1956 and 1957.

Other players nicknamed “Smokey”

Adrian Garrett

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
8 Yrs 163 313 276 30 51 8 0 11 37 31 87 .185 .263 .333 .596
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Jim Price

Year G PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
5 Yrs 261 678 602 58 129 22 18 71 62 70 .214 .287 .341 .627
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Steve Sundra

Year W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
9 Yrs 56 41 .577 4.17 168 99 44 47 4 2 859.1 944 461 398 50 321 214 1.472
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Happy Finneran

Year W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WHIP
5 Yrs 25 33 .431 3.30 109 66 35 29 3 5 570.0 568 270 209 17 202 168 18 1.351
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Joe Martin

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2 Yrs 8 17 15 0 4 1 0 0 2 0 4 .267 .313 .333 .646
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Bill Hobbs

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2 Yrs 10 19 15 1 2 1 0 0 1 1 2 3 .133 .235 .200 .435
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Jim Fairbank

Year W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2 Yrs 1 2 .333 5.49 7 2 5 2 0 0 41.0 52 28 25 1 25 16 1.878
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2016.

Smokey Robinson has an enormous and brilliant discography

Going to a go-go

Here are nine greats:

  1. “Going to a Go-Go”
  2. “Ooo Baby Baby”
  3. “More Love”
  4. “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”
  5. “Tracks of My Tears”
  6. “I Second That Emotion”
  7. “The Tears of a Clown”
  8. “Mickey’s Monkey”
  9. “Cruisin'”

Songs written by Smokey

Here are nine more greats that Smokey wrote for others:

  1. “You Beat Me to the Punch”
  2. “My Guy”
  3. “My Girl”
  4. “The Way You Do The Things You Do”
  5. “Since I Lost My Baby”
  6. “Get Ready”
  7. “I’ll Be Doggone”
  8. “Ain’t That Peculiar”
  9. And of course, “Don’t Mess With Bill”

 

Page updated 2/19 3:55 pm

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: