Wednesday, June 14, 2006

June 14th, 1933

Jim Constable Born

I've been known to complain--as in the first paragraph of this entry--that current baseball nicknames are nothing special at best and downright dull at worst. That's true, but it's also true that while really good baseball nicknames used to be more plentiful, there were also some there were rather facile. Such is the case of Jim Constable. For someone named "Constable" the nickname is almost inevitable and so it is little surprise that during his playing career he was more widely known as "Sheriff."

That's actually a fairly common nickname; thirteen men have been known as Sheriff (or "The Sheriff") in their careers, including one, John Blake, who went into the Encyclopedia with it. Like most uncommon nicknames, it fell out of use after the Second World War, but unlike most of them, it was revived in the 80s and 90s by reliever Norm Charlton who was "The Sheriff," as a member of the Nasty Boys. Continuing the police theme, Charlton's partner in the bullpen in those days, Rob Dibble, was known as "Officer" Dibble. So maybe nicknames aren't a completely dead art, but they're at least on life support.

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