Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy



Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 83%

Wind: 7 mph

  • 17 Apr 2014

    Showers Early 55°F 43°F

  • 18 Apr 2014

    Partly Cloudy 62°F 42°F

EGGERS: Athletes who score big with hilarious names

I’ve noticed the eclectically named South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney mentioned on SportsCenter several times since the start of the college football season, which brings to mind the greatest name in the history of organized sports.

My late father, former Oregon State sports information director John Eggers, was a purveyor of such entities. As a young child, he told me his favorite name of an athlete, which even in this era of “can-you-top-this?” lunacy by some parents, remains my favorite, too. More on that later.

Over the years, I’ve compiled a mental list of appellations that tickle me, give me pause or, in some cases, both. During the past couple of weeks, Internet perusal has bolstered my collection.

The ground rules:

• No nicknames. I made one exception, just because I love the name so much and the sobriquet was what he was known as.

• They must be professional athletes or well-known college athletes, though again, I’m including an exception or two just for kicks.

• No foreigners, though a couple who played in the NHL, and a couple of more futbol phenoms, are too good not to use.

• No name changes, such as Metta World Peace or World B. Free, who have gone to great lengths to try to make my list. Just names with which the athletes were christened (as far as I know).

So here is my inventory of great sports names:

• Harthorne Wingo, NBA, 1972-76. Some of his friends called him “Harpo,” but he didn’t really need a nickname.

• Barkevious Mingo, NFL, 2013-present. Rabies shot required once a season.

• Per Djoos, NHL, 1990-93. Pronounced “Pear Juice.” Hope he took advantage of endorsement opportunities.

• Ben Gay, NFL, 2001. Don’t rub it in.

• Milton Bradley, baseball, 2000-11. And you thought the board-game inventor had


• Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, NBA, 2013-present. “Kent” wouldn’t have been sufficient.

• Majestic Mapp, Virginia basketball, 2000-03; God’sgift Achiuwa, St. John’s basketball, 2010-13; Yourhighness Morgan, Florida Atlantic football, 2009-12; Wonderful Terrific Monds III, minor league baseball, 1993-98; Immaculate Perfection Harris, football/track and field, Georgia Tech, 2003-04. Their parents considered self-esteem an essential virtue.

• Ryan Succop, NFL, 2009-present. A place-kicker who knows whose derriere to kiss.

• Hakan Loob, NHL, 1983-89. Too bad his last name weren’t “Loogie.”

• Isaiah Moses “I.M.” Hipp, NFL, 1980. My father once had a family druggist named “I.P. Allday.”

• Larry Playfair, NHL, 1978-90. This former Winterhawk defenseman was involved in 118 fights during his 13-year NHL career. Younger brother Jim (1983-92), another ex-Hawk, had only eight fights, so he took his surname more seriously.

• Coco Crisp, Major League Baseball, 2002-present. The poster guy for breakfast cereals.

• Knowshon Moreno, NFL, 2009-present. He’s no Dan Marino, either.

• Chase Outlaw, professional bull-riding, 2011-present. Don’t mess with his cousin, Buster Badman.

• Shooty Babitt, major league baseball, 1981. Should have been on the rifle squad.

• Razor Shines, major league baseball, 1983-87. The guy always played with an edge.

• Picabo Street, skiing, won Olympic gold medals in 1988 and ‘96. A short-term Portlander whom I had the pleasure to know. Never played peek-a-boo with her, though.

• Guy Whimper, NFL, 2006-present. I’d call him a crybaby except he’s a 6-5, 315-pound offensive tackle.

• God Shammgod, NBA, 1997-99. The given name of a guard who had two stints with the IBL Portland Chinooks.

And finally ...

• Million Harvest McGilvrey, University of Portland basketball, 1950-53. When my father told me about his name, I didn’t believe it at first, but it was true. One of the first black players in Pilot history, the 6-5 McGilvrey was a Los Angeles native who started for three seasons, averaging 16.4 points as a senior in 1952-53.

“He had a lot of nicknames,” teammate Lloyd Bergman says. “I called him ‘The Snake.’ He was so slick out there. He had some real goosey moves. He had a couple of hook shots that were almost unstoppable with his double fakes.”

Did Bergman ever ask McGilvrey about his name?

“Yeah,” he says, “but I never got an answer. He was shy about giving information.”

“He came from the Hollywood area of L.A.,” recalls another UP teammate, Ray Foleen. “He had a lot of shoulder and arm movement. He’d get guys off balance, and he’d kind of wiggle around and find openings. We played in the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament at the end of one season, and he scored 36 points in one game.”

When Jackson Winters — the first African-American recruited to play at UP in 1949 — was told McGilvrey’s name, “I thought it was a joke. I didn’t believe it was his name.”

Winters, who called him “H,” grew to appreciate McGilvrey.

“An outstanding player, the best all-around shooter in the key we had,” Winters says.

After he left UP, McGilvrey worked in education in Southern California. He died “five or six years ago,” Foleen says.

He shouldn’t be forgotten — not with a name like that.

But it seems as if he pretty much is. In the UP media guide, he is listed as “M.H.” McGilvrey. My hope is that Jason Brough, the school’s sports information director, will correct that and pay homage to the greatest sports name of them all.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @kerryeggers