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If you are a fan of Major League Baseball and especially of standout pitchers, you have probably heard of current Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey. You might possibly even know that Matt Harvey has the nickname “The Dark Knight”. Have you ever wondered how Harvey got that cool nickname?
Matt Harvey was given the nickname of “The Dark Knight of Gotham” by the famous folks at Sports Illustrated magazine when he was with the New York Mets. This happened during the 2013 MLB regular season after Harvey nearly threw a perfect game against the Chicago White Sox. Fans of the Batman movie series know that New York is often referred to as Gotham City.
Keep reading to learn more about Matt Harvey as well as other interesting baseball nicknames.
How has Matt Harvey done in his MLB career so far?
Matt Harvey’s MLB career started off with a bang but has fizzled a bit in recent years. Here are some of Harvey’s notable accomplishments below:
- Harvey made his MLB debut in 2012 with the New York Mets. He pitched in 10 games and notched a 3-5 record with a nice ERA (earned run average) of 2.73
- 2013 was Harvey’s best statistical season so far in his eight-year career. Harvey posted a 9-5 record, an exceptionally low 2.27 ERA, and was selected to his only All-Star team during that year. As we mentioned above, this was also the year in which Sports Illustrated gave Harvey the Dark Knight nickname
- The 2014 MLB season did not happen for Matt Harvey as he had to endure the infamous Tommy John surgery. This surgery caused him to miss the entire season and enduring a grueling year of arm rehab. Some Met fans claimed Harvey got hit with the “SI Curse” which claims that athletes who make the cover of Sports Illustrated end up getting injured.
- Harvey rebounded nicely in 2015 by winning the National League Comeback Player of the Year. The 6-4 220 pounder posted a respectable 13-8 record and looked to be back to his old self with a lightning quick fastball and devastating breaking pitches.
- Sadly enough, Harvey has not had a winning season since 2015. Since leaving the New York Mets in 2018, Harvey has spent time with the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, and Kansas City Royals.
- The Baltimore Orioles recently signed Harvey to a Minor League contract but invited him to compete for a spot on the big-league roster in Spring Training.
Can Matt Harvey get his MLB career back on track?
It is difficult to say how Matt Harvey will do this year for the Baltimore Orioles. First, Harvey must make the team with some good pitching outings in Spring Training. Then, Harvey must stay healthy for a full season. It is tough to predict the health of a pitcher who has had arm injuries in the past.
Though Harvey has not been his superstar self since he left the Mets, he did have a decent season with the Reds in 2018 by posting an even 7-7 record. It is hard to believe that Harvey is still only 31 years old (soon to be 32). Since Harvey is still fairly young, he could have a few more productive Major League seasons in him.
What other famous New York Met players have interesting nicknames?
Current New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has been nicknamed Thor by the New York media. We must admit that Syndergaard actually does look a bit like the Thor character so that nickname fits him well.
Former New York Mets third baseman David Wright was given the nickname “Captain America” by Mets fans. Wright obtained this nickname by being a clutch player for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in 2013. Wright got a game-winning hit to send Team USA to the tournament finals and the nickname has stuck ever since.
Although they did not obtain superhero nicknames, former New York Met greats Dwight Gooden and Daryl Strawberry also had cool nicknames. Gooden was nicknamed “Doc” which is short for “Doctor K”. The New York media claimed Gooden carved up hitters with the precision of a surgeon. Strawberry was nicknamed the “Straw that Stirs the Drink” after winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1983.
What are some other interesting nicknames in Major League Baseball?
Here is a list of some of the best nicknames in professional baseball today.
- Shohei Ohtani “Sho Time” – This Angels player entertains fans both on the mound as a pitcher and in the batter’s box as a powerful hitter.
- Aaron Judge “All Rise”- This is a fitting nickname for the New York Yankees outfielder. After all, every judge enters the courtroom and the saying “All Rise” is uttered.
- Francisco Lindor “Mr. Smile” – Lindor was a fan favorite in Cleveland for the Indians before being traded to the New York Mets this offseason.
- Triston McKenzie “Dr. Sticks” – This nickname is because McKenzie is so skinny. At a height of 6-5, this Cleveland Indians pitcher only weighs 175 pounds.
- Todd Frazier “The ToddFather”- This is a funny nickname that is given from The Godfather movie series.
- Pete Alonso “Polar Bear”- Another New York Met makes this list for this fitting nickname because of his huge size and brute strength.
- Javier Baez “El Mago”- This is a Spanish word that means “The Magician”. Baez often wows Cubs fans with his mammoth home runs and stellar defensive plays at shortstop.
Why are there so many baseball players with nicknames?
The baseball clubhouse is a place where players blow off steam and oftentimes make fun of each other. Since the MLB season is so long and grueling, the players spend more time with their fellow teammates than they do their own families. Players often give each other nicknames to lighten the mood and create laughter for each other.
Other times, nicknames are given amongst players to make it easier to say their names. Lots of baseball players have long names that are difficult to pronounce. A nickname remedies this problem. For example, it is difficult to say Jeff Samardzija. So, his teammates simply call him “Shark”.