How They Got the Nickname: Tug
March 13th, 2012 by slangon

One of my favorite things about the history of baseball, is how awesome some of the nicknames players have sported throughout the years are. Some nicknames are pretty self explanatory, like when a southpaw is named “Lefty” or a guy from Texas is called “Tex”. I’ve always been intrigued by nicknames that are a little harder to comprehend, so I tried to go out and find why those guys are called what they’re called.

Tug McGraw is one of those guys that are so closely associated with their nicknames that you almost don’t even realize that it is a nickname. It’s almost as if you just take it for granted that his given name is Tug. But it’s not. He was christened Frank Edwin McGraw. So where did the “Tug” come from?

This one falls into that category of so-weird-I-couldn’t-possibly-make-it-up.

Apparently, when Frank was just a little tiny baby, his mother thought that he was a pretty aggressive breast feeder. So aggressive that she took to calling him “Tugger”. The name stuck and as he got older, the “-ger” was dropped and he was just known as “Tug”. I guess that’s a little more distinguished than “Tugger”.

One Response to “How They Got the Nickname: Tug”

  1. Growing up Tug was one of my favorite players even though He was on teams I didn’t like that much. I can’t stand Phillie now but I can tollerate the Mets (I couldn’t as a kid) I think it was primarily through his comic-strip “Scroogie” that I became a Tug fan. I thought I was a fan a bit earlier though sometimes it’s hard to remember small details like that.

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