Re: Name of the Ruby Legs
- Paul Wendt wrote...
>Team nicknames before 1920 are nebulous and very difficult to nail down with
> What we mean by a team nickname?
> For only one example, if a nickname was never used by
> any local writer, does it matter?
> Near but not at the other extreme, must a nickname be
> used by the club on stationery or in advertisements?
> Richard Worth of Chicago is a 19cBB yahoogroup guest.
> He is writing a book on (19c? major league? pro?)
> baseball team nicknames. There was a 19cBB thread on
> "Worcester Ruby Legs" last May. In #3265, he claimed
> contrary to the received view that 'newspapers of the
> era did refer to the Worcester players as "Reds"
> "Redlegs" "Ruby Legs" and "Browns" strictly as a
> informal way of livening up a printed story.'
> Depending on the answers above, it may be appropriate
> to change the listed nickname and reconsider if/when
> Richard Worth's book is available.
any degree of certainty. Why? Because in most cases those names weren't
officially adopted by the clubs until much later. Nicknames were an
invention of the newspapers, and the papers usually referred to teams by
more than one name, depending on the whims of the writers. The concept of
team nicknames as we know them today doesn't really apply to older teams.
I'm not familiar with the specific case of Worcester, but I know there are
*many* instances, particularly in the 19th century, where the database has
nicknames for teams that were a) one of several used for a team, b) not the
most commonly used, or c) never really used. The latter is the case with my
hometown team, identified on BBR and in the database as the Rochester
Broncos. While I won't claim I've done an exhaustive investigation, that
name doesn't appear in the contemporary papers, and I'm not sure there are
any instances of its use before the 1980s.
I agree with Paul's suggestion above. If some significant research is being
done in the field, let's use it when it becomes available. This is
definitely an area of the database that needs improvement.