The Most Memorable Names Project – Cal McLish
- Birth name: Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish
- Position: Pitcher
- Height/Weight: 6′, 179 lb.
- Born: December 1, 1925 in Anadarko, OK
- Years active in the Majors: 1944, 1946-1949, 1951, 1956-1964
- Family tree: father John, mother Lula, brothers Thomas, Larence and Edward, sister Aina, wife Ruth, sons Cal Jr., John, Tom and Brian, daughters Luanne and Ruth Ann
- Etymology: He has stated that the origin of his lengthy name is that his father was given permission to name the newborn, and he took full advantage of the opportunity. McLish said. “There were eight kids in the family, and I was No. 7 and my dad didn’t get to name one of them before me. So he evidently tried to catch up,”. His father was three-quarters Choctaw Indian. McLish once related, “I don’t know why he named me Calvin Coolidge. He never voted Republican in his life, in fact, he was a Democrat. Just like the name, I guess. And I suppose that’s why he slipped Julius Caesar in there, too.” Tuskahoma means “red warrior” in the Choctaw language and is a community in Oklahoma.
- Bio: He made his Major League debut at age 18 with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944, then he served in the Army the following year. Upon his return, he spent most of 1946-1950 in the Minors. After struggling in the Majors in 1951, he didn’t see a big league clubhouse again till 1956 at age 30. McLish tallied ten or more wins five times in six years from 1958 to 1963, and nabbed his first All-Star appearance in 1959, fifteen years after his debut. Following his playing career, McLish served as a coach for the Phillies, Expos and Milwaukee Brewers and also as a Major League scout. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
- Best day (by WPA): A complete-game five-hit shutout of the Braves on May 5, 1951.
- The wonder of his name: By far the longest full name in major league baseball history, but NOT the longest in professional sports history (that most likely goes to Dikembe Mutombo‘s 49-letter entry). McLish’s full name still gives us a President, an emperor and what had been an Indian territory in Oklahoma.
- Not to be confused with: Cal McVey (fine hitter during 1870s), Rachel McLish (female bodybuilding champion), Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nürnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shönedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm (underappreciated composer in a “Monty Python” sketch)
- Scrabble acceptability: “Caesar” has actually come to be defined as an emperor.
- Fun anagrams: While “Cal McLish” doesn’t yield much, his full name gives us “Oh Jesus! Unlavish, tragicomical, social lame duck” and “Lovesick, high-class, miraculous, mad ejaculation”
- Ephemera: McLish homered in three different games as a reliever, but didn’t homer in any of his 209 games as a starter. He set a major league record, since surpassed, with 16 consecutive road wins over the 1958-59 seasons. One of his nicknames was “Bus”, as his father reportedly stated upon Cal’s birth “he’s as a big as a bus!“