When I was a kid, I was hounded by
a particularly mean moniker: “Four Eyes!” –
due to my incredibly poor vision,
only partially helped by
Coke-bottle sized glasses.
It got me thinking whether ballplayers
enjoy nicknames they’ve earned.
Walter Johnson might have liked
“Big Train” because his fastball
came roaring through.
Lou Gehrig might have been proud
of his “Iron Horse” because
it features longevity and strength.
Dizzy Dean might have accepted his flightiness
and Joe DiMaggio might have enjoyed
an ocean ride on his “Yankee Clipper.”
Yet, I would have accepted any nickname –
“Catfish,” “Splendid Splinter,” “Sultan of Swat,”
anything save the “four eyes” of my youth
while trying to scratch out a single
on the sandlot fields of Brooklyn.