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February 21, 2008

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Pig Broker

"In fact, the last time I've seen "Sam" used for Lloyd was a (mistaken) 1919 report by Hugh Fullerton (the white sportswriter that broke the Black Sox scandal) that Lloyd was dead." Do you have a cite for this?

JR

I've seen several different explanations given for John Henry Lloyd's nickname "Sam." One, of course, is that it is short for the racist "Sambo" and another that it is related to "Uncle Sam" (interestingly, Lloyd does have a slight resemblance to both the caricature and the icon). I have a feeling that the racist interpretation is correct and the second interpretation an attempt to soften it. The same thing was done to Lloyd's usual Spanish nickname "Cuchara" [i.e. Spoon, Ladle] which began as a slur (about Lloyd's lips) but was then was changed to supposedly be a compliment about his fielding. In any case, "Sam" was commonly given as Lloyd's nickname in the 1910s but, after 1920, he was commonly nicknamed "Pop" or "Pops." In fact, the last time I've seen "Sam" used for Lloyd was a (mistaken) 1919 report by Hugh Fullerton (the white sportswriter that broke the Black Sox scandal) that Lloyd was dead.

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