Bud Abbott and Lou Costello started using their “Who’s On First?” routine right now exactly eighty years ago, a few months before they joined the cast of Tea Kate Smith Time. Since then, the routine emerges at some point in each baseball season.
One of the most famous allusions to the routine occurred in 2007, when it was mentioned by Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully during a Dodgers broadcast. Los Angeles shortstop Chin-lung Hu singled, prompting Scully to gleefully announce that Hu is first.
Most recently, the famous routine came to mind during a Texas Rangers vs. Cubs broadcast at Wrigley Field on July 15. Chicago announcers Jim Deshaies and Len Kasper spent half an inning discussing the unusual names of many of the Texas players – nicknames in some cases even more entertaining than those in the Abbott and Costello line of fancy. Believe it or not, they even have Yu instead of Who.
Here are the unusual names on this year’s Rangers team, a team currently at the top of the American League West.
The second baseman gained notoriety in the postseason last year, but even more so last month due to an altercation with Toronto’s Jose Bautista.
The veteran right-hander has been the ace of the rotation, despite a string of injuries that have landed him on the disabled list multiple times.
The prince Fielder
The son of former Major League Baseball player Cecil, the left-handed designated hitter complements third baseman Adrián Beltré in the middle of the batting order.
A constant veteran in the middle of the infield, with the same name as Graceland’s most famous singer, gives the Rangers a Prince and a King.
The young middle infielder’s last name could bode well for his baseball career, as Jurickson could go a long way as a professional.
A 2016 Rookie of the Year candidate with eleven home runs and a 280 batting average, the outfielder has the same name as the former Boston Red Sox All-Star shortstop.
Shin soo Choo
Leadoff batter and right fielder could almost fit into the Abbott and Costello sketch, so “Shin-soo is in First.”
Named after his Major League Baseball father, a Montreal Expos star, Deshields is one of the brightest young players in the Texas system.
The reliever has a more famous name in another sport, but has appeared in three games so far for the Rangers.