Ping Bodie

The burly, colorful, but modestly talented slugger took “Bodie” from the California town in which he once lived, while “Ping” approximated the sound of the ball off his bat. A fair hitter with a good arm (AL leader in outfield assists with 32 in 1917), Bodie was naturally funny and garrulous. Supposedly Ring Lardner blended elements of Bodie into the brash ballplayer of his “You Know Me, Al” stories. Asked about rooming with the gallivanting Babe Ruth, Ping cracked: “I don’t room with Ruth; I room with his suitcase!” When the slowfooted Bodie was out by yards in an attempted steal, columnist Bugs Baer wrote: “There was larceny in his heart, but his feet were honest.”