With help from my buddy Brando, I did an APBA baseball replay of the 1984 NLCS last night. Results aside (ok, the Cubs won. Yay. As a Cub fan, I feel vindicated), a question arose.
On San Diego thirdbaseman Graig Nettles’ APBA card, it show his nickname as “Puff”. Neither Brando or I knew why or how Nettles how he got this nickname. “Puff” seemed to me such a feminine name for such a hard-nosed player like Nettles.
So I looked it up. According to Baseball Reference’s Bullpen:
Graig Nettles was given the nickname of Puff by his teammates. "Puff" referred to the way Graig disappeared after playing a practical joke or starting trouble.
Another interesting aside… Nettles, who played the bulk of his career with the Yankees before being traded to San Diego (for Dennis Rasmussen), was a San Diego native and attended San Diego State University. Perhaps he wanted to get closer to home.