Monday, November 1, 2010

How Gordon "Oskie" Slade got his nickname - maybe

Last week I was off looking for things to use in my Old Knoxville Baseball blog and came across this little filler of a story.

Sarasota Herald, August 2, 1935

Sounds plausible.  I looked at the listing for Mr. Slade.  Yep, he attended the University of Oregon.  Must be legit.

Then I wondered why the U. of Oregon would have such a war cry.  I'm not well versed on Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest.  Maybe there's an Oskie-something-or-other tribe up there.  I looked at the Library of Congress American Memory site and found this image of Tsulniti, a Koskimo Indian.

from: Northwestern University Library,
Edward S. Curtis's 'The North American Indian': the Photographic Images, 2001.

Koskimo... Oski.  Close, but not real proof.

I turned to the 1906 World Almanac and Book of Facts.  Page 342 has several American College Cheers.

The University of Washington yell was: "Oskey, Wow, Wow! Wiskey, Wee, Wee! Holy Varseti! Washingtonei! Washington!"

The University of California yell was: "Oski! Wow! Wow! Wiskee! Wee! Wee! Oleo-muckey-ei! Oley-Berkeley-ei! Cali-forn-ia! Wow!!"

The University of Oregon yell was: "Rah Rah Rah! Rah Rah Rah! Rah Rah Oregon!"

Gripping, but no "Oskie Wow Wow, etc."

1935 Diamond Matchbook, Gordon Slade
(image lifted from this ebay auction)
On May 24, 1930, Gordon Slade hit a home run in his first major league at bat.  He was the second Dodger to do it.  Clise Dudley did it the previous season.

I still don't know how he really got his nickname.

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