Friday, June 29, 2012

What's in a name?

What does one have to do to be remembered by a name?  Sure, we all know Ruth.  And Mantle.  And Earnhardt.  But what about those guys who do something, or have something done to them, that is so memorable that it becomes part of our vocabulary and can be used as a description for a thing?

There's the Mendoza Line, named after Mario Mendoza, known for not having a great Batting Average.

1981 Topps #76 - Mario Mendoza - Courtesy of

In NASCAR racing drivers celebrate their win by doing a Kulwicki Lap, named after Alan Kulwicki.  This is sometimes known as the Polish Victory Lap.  I call it, and have heard commentators call it, the Kulwicki Lap.  I'm sticking with it.

Dipping into the medical side of sports there's Tommy John surgery (ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction) and Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

There are events that are specific to a single incident, such as Merkle's Boner.  Doesn't fit the category.  That was a one time event. 

Then there are the trophies.  The Lombardi Trophy.  The Stanley Cup.  The Heisman Trophy.  Etc, etc.  Those don't count either.

Who's name in sports am I missing?   Mulligan?  Tebowing? 


  1. The one that comes to my mind is Hack-a-Shaq.

    1. That's right. I forgot about it, mostly because I try to forget most things basketball.

  2. And since the Olympics are right around the corner, what about the Fosbury flop?

    1. I asked my wife about this topic the other night. I led with the Fosbury Flop and I can't believe I didn't include it in this post. Thanks.