What’s in a Name?

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet" ~ William Skaespeare

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
~ William Shakespeare


What’s in a Name?

Sometimes it’s as simple as what you put in – or what you take out of  – the thing.

It may also be a matter of what happens to your good or bad fortune when you get rid of – or take 0n – a particular name. For example, in Monday night’s opener, relief pitcher Scott Feldman did something for the Astros that he had been unable to do all season until that moment. He won a game for Houston by throwing only four pitches to two batters in the bottom of the 14th inning. Of course, he was also pitching for the Blue Jays in last night’s game. At least, we think he was. He was wearing their uniform.

The Blue Jays missed a great opportunity to trade at the deadline for the acquiring the “best pun of the baseball season”. Had they also traded with the Astros for another shaky, but sometimes OK starting pitcher, Toronto could have also immediately embarked upon a new name-edgy playoff ticket campaign:

“Follow the Toronto Blue Jays to the World Series! Why? Because we are the only team in baseball that can now brag ~ ‘Where there’s Smoak, there’s Fiers!’ “

Maybe “B-R-E-G-M-A-N” is an acronym for “Batting Really Easily (and) Great (in AAA) Means Absolutely Nothing!”

Which 1935 MLB club played the season is absolute ruthless abandonment? (Hint (which you should not need): Hyphenate the word “ruthless” into two words for the obvious answer.

Where was Judge Roy Hofheinz’s legal background when he originally decided to name the new 1962 Houston MLB franchise club as the “Colt .45s”? Didn’t he realize that the name had to have been copyrighted by either the famous gun company or the brewery that was then producing “Colt .45 Malt Liquor’? Or was the very existence of the much younger beer company all the Judge needed to feed his conclusion that there would be no legal problems for the baseball club down the line. – If so, that doesn’t sound like any law school professor speaking that we’ve ever known. And speaking of names – how come the great marketing mind of Roy Hofheinz never came up with the idea for selling the domed stadium’s “naming rights”  as an incredibly valuable revenue stream? Was the idea simply that far ahead of the less imaginative or less mercenary team owners of that era – including the guy who so often has been compared to P.T. Barnum of 19th century circus fame? Guess we should just be glad that the naming rights idea never rose or was pushed in 1965. Had they named the new domed venue “TDECU Stadium”, it would hardly be as memorable today as “Astrodome” is and shall be – forever.

Have a Ruby Tuesday, Everybody!


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas




4 Responses to “What’s in a Name?”

  1. Mark W Says:

    Bill, f.y.i. the “Astrodome” was not the official name of the stadium, I think maybe ever. But interestingly, The Houston Colt .45s name did indeed come from a fan contest. And as for naming right infringement, there also was a rock and roll band with that name, and a T.V. western with that name, starring Wade Preston. Sandy Koufax once had a guest actor appearance in the T.V. western.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks, Mark. Yes, I did know that the Astrodome was never as official name and that “Colt .45s” supposedly was result of a fan naming contest. – I have no recollection of either the rock band or the TV series by the same name, but am not surprised to learn of same. – The fact that the Judge simply gave the domed stadium its unofficial name is simply further proof that he may either have not seen the marketing value of same, or else, he simply valued control of all things more than he cared for new money sources that would require him to give control away.

  2. Tom Hunter Says:

    The old Mile High Stadium (nee Bear Stadium) in Denver was replaced by the new stadium and named Invesco Field at Mile High, which was later changed to Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

    Since Sports Authority has filed for bankruptcy, the naming rights are now held by Hilco Streambank, but none of this matters to the people of Denver.

    It is still called Mile High Stadium or simply Mile High, regardless of what corporate name is slapped on the front.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Love it! Way to go, Denver fans! And thank you, Tom, for sharing this reminder of why Buff Stadium never got called Busch Stadium once the beer baron bought the Cardinals’ properties and started renaming everything under the sun in his own honor.

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