baseball nicknames

Larry Trask larryt at
Wed Apr 18 08:08:46 UTC 2001

--On Monday, April 16, 2001 4:31 pm -0400 Marc Pierce <karhu at>

[on Bid McPhee and Piano Legs Hickman]

> According to "Baseball Nicknames" (p. 125): "Hickman was 5'8" and weighed
> 185 pounds.  He had thick legs like those of a piano."

Many, many thanks.  I've never seen this book, but I want it.  Guess I'll
put it on my birthday wish list.  Unfortunately, the south coast of England
is not the greatest place for finding baseball books, but has
reached even unto the English Riviera.

Apparently piano-like legs are not an asset for a third baseman.  I recall
that Hickman holds the season record for the worst fielding average of the
20th century: he once fielded under .900 for a season.  Harmon Killebrew
was a better third baseman.

> Also, apropos "biddy," this is still reasonably common in some contexts,
> e.g. youth basketball leagues are often called "biddy basketball."  Is
> this perhaps a variant of "bitty"?

Don't know, but it sounds possible.  I confess I've never heard 'biddy'
used this way, but my American English is woefully out of date.

Larry Trask
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

larryt at

Tel: (01273)-678693 (from UK); +44-1273-678693 (from abroad)
Fax: (01273)-671320 (from UK); +44-1273-671320 (from abroad)

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