The Most Memorable Names Project – Bris Lord

BRIS LORD

  • Birth name: Bristol Robotham Lord
  • Position: Outfielder bris_lord (1)
  • Height/Weight: 5′ 9″, 185 lb.
  • Born: September 21, 1883 in Upland, PA
  • Years active in the Majors: 1905-1907, 1909-1913
  • Family tree: father Bristol, mother Ida, brother William, sister Sarah, wife Bertha, daughter Ida, son John, two other children
  • Etymology: Bristol is likely derived from the city in Southwest England of the same name. It is from the Old English brycg, meaning “bridge” and stow, meaning “assembly place.” Despite my whimsical desire, Robotham is not a porcine cyborg.  It is an alternate spelling of Rowbotham, meaning a depression in the ground inhabited by deer, such as found near Ashton-under-Lyne, England. Lord itself derives from Old English hlaford, earlier hlaf-weard, literally ‘loaf-keeper’, since the lord or chief of a clan was responsible for providing food for his dependents.
  • Bio: Connie Mack, the owner/manager of the Philadelphia A’s in the early 20th century, acquired Lord from the Cleveland Naps for a player to be named later and Morrie Rath. The Athletics sent a 20-year old relative unknown named Shoeless Joe Jackson to the Naps to complete the trade.  Lord did help the A’s get to and win the World Series in 1910 and 1911, compiling OPS+ of 136 and 120 respectively in those years.
  • Best day (by WPA): Not available.
  • The wonder of his name: You have a Jewish religious rite and a Judeo-Christian god all rolled into one.   Throw in the “Robotham” middle name, and a never-explained nickname (“The Human Eyeball”) and you have an All-Star name.
  • Not to be confused with: Jack Lord (actor), Del Lord (director of many “Three Stooges” films), Bristol Lord Mayor (title for the first “Citizen of the City and County of Bristol”)
  • Scrabble acceptability: “Bris” is the Jewish rite of circumcision performed on a male child on the eighth day of his life.  “Lord” is (among many things) a man of high rank in a feudal society.
  • Fun anagrams: “Bris Lord” doesn’t anagram to anything particularly clever, but if we use his full name, we get “Thrill, stardom or boob?”
  • Ephemera: After his baseball career, Lord worked for a year as a Probation Officer in Media, PA.  In 1920, Lord took over the coaching duties of the then-Pennsylvania Military College baseball team, succeeding the equally terrifically-monikered Si Pauxtis.  Some reference books list Lord’s first name as “Briscoe”.   In September of 1918, in the waning days of World War I, Lord registered for the Draft.  In a section of the registration card titled “Description of Registrant” there was the following question . . . “has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, or is he obviously physically disqualified?” “Small Finger Right hand” is written in as a response.  Nothing about his eyes, despite his nickname.
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