There will never be another Ted Williams, but Adrian Gonzalez is close.
The Red Sox’ new first baseman and the Hall of Famer have a lot in common.
Left-handed swings as smooth as Caruso’s voice.
San Diego roots.
And big numbers.
Williams had 1,294 hits, 222 home runs, 879 RBIs and a .354 average after seven big league seasons, which were interrupted by two years of military service during World War II.
Gonzalez has 900 hits, 168 home runs, 525 RBIs and a .284 average after seven seasons, which began with only 192 at-bats in his first two major league campaigns.
A few weeks ago, we asked Red Sox fans to help come up with a nickname for Gonzalez that would do justice to Boston’s newest slugger. They did not disappoint.
El Jefe earned 22 percent of the vote in the “What should Adrian Gonzalez’s new nickname be?” poll, but the big winner was “Something else,” with 28 percent of the ballots cast, as Red Sox fans showed the creative rivers run deep in the Nation.
We narrowed down the nickname suggestions from NESN.com commenters to four.
Gonzilla — suggested by Paht
Godzilla was born in 1954 when Japanese filmmaker Ishiro Honda introduced the mutant dinosaur to the world. The “cross between a gorilla and a whale” began his career as an anti-hero destroying cities. Over time, the giant beast has become an iconic character and evolved into everyone’s favorite monster. The Yankee Empire may have had Hideki Matsui, but Gonzilla could be New York’s worst nightmare.
El Niño — suggested by hankuspankus
In Spanish, el niño means boy, or little kid. El Niño (capitalized) means “The Christ Child” and describes a climate change phenomenon. Peruvian sailors came up with the name in the mid-19th century when the normally southward-flowing warm waters of the Pacific Ocean became cold and flowed north. This reversal disrupted the fishing industry and disturbed life in a major way. Nowadays, El Niño describes an extreme weather pattern that can incur serious damage to anything that crosses its path. If Ted Williams was The Kid, El Niño might be the perfect moniker for Gonzalez, who is ready to take Boston by storm and live up to the billing as the second coming of a legend.
Gonner — suggested by Ernie Paicopolos
Ted Williams hit 248 of his 521 career home runs at Fenway Park over 19 seasons. Adrian Gonzalez figures to hit a few round-trippers himself in Boston. His swing is perfect for America’s most beloved ballpark. Whether he’s pulling the ball down the line over the right-field fences, hitting lasers to straightaway center or depositing the ball beyond the Green Monster in left, Gonzalez will find that going yard in the lyrical bandbox is a walk in the park compared to slugging in San Diego’s cavernous Petco Park.
El Padre — suggested by FLAVE
Padre means father. Pedro Martinez became a prime target for Bronx jeers after tipping his cap to the Yankees and giving the Daddy Speech. Don’t be surprised if Gonzalez becomes a reason for Bronx tears. By the time Gonzalez gets through with opposing pitchers in the American League, fans from Seattle to St. Petersburg also might be wondering if Adrian Gonzalez is their daddy.
The Red Sox have put together a strong World Series contender, headlined by Adrian Gonzalez. Now, the Nation has the opportunity to give the 21st century version of Ted Williams a proper nickname.
Vote below. On Jan. 10, we will take the top two vote-getters and put them in a poll to determine what Adrian Gonzalez’s new nickname will be with the Red Sox.