Bud Abbott and Lou Costello began using their “Who’s On First?” routine at this time exactly eighty years ago, a few months before they joined the cast of The Kate Smith Hour. Since then, the routine is brought up at some point during every baseball season.
One of the most famous allusions to the routine happened in 2007, when Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully mentioned it during a Dodgers broadcast. Los Angeles shortstop Chin-lung Hu hit a single, prompting Scully to gleefully announce that Hu’s on first.
More recently, the famous routine came to mind during a broadcast of the Texas Rangers against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 15. Chicago broadcasters Jim Deshaies and Len Kasper spent a half inning discussing the unusual given names of many of the Texas players, monikers in some cases even more entertaining than the ones in the make-believe line up of Abbott and Costello. Believe it or not, they even have Yu instead of Who.
Here are the unusual names on this year’s Rangers squad, a team that currently sits on top in the American League West.
The second baseman gained notoriety in the post season last year, but even more last month because of an altercation with Toronto’s Jose Bautista.
The veteran right hander has been the ace of the rotation, in spite of a series of injuries that have several times landed him on the disabled list.
The son of former big leaguer Cecil, the left handed designated hitter complements third baseman Adrian Beltre in the middle of the batting order.
A consistent veteran in the middle of the infield, having the same first name as the most famous singer of Graceland gives the Rangers both a Prince and a King.
The young middle infielder’s last name might bode well for his career in baseball, in that Jurickson could very well go far as a pro.
A candidate for 2016 Rookie of the Year with eleven home runs and a.280 batting average, the outfielder has the same name as the former All-Star shortstop of the Boston Red Sox.
Shin soo Choo
The lead off hitter and right fielder could almost fit in to the Abbott and Costello skit, making it “Shin-soo’s on First.”
Named after his big league father, a Montreal Expos star, Deshields is one of the brightest young players in the Texas system.
Chi Chi Gonzalez
The reliever has a name more famous in another sport, but he has appeared in three games so far for the Rangers.