Sunday, May 08, 2011

R.A. Dickey: Namer of Baseball Bats

The New York Times reports that Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey names his bats after swords out of Norse myth:
One bat is called Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver and the other is Hrunting. Dickey, an avid reader, said that Orcrist came from “The Hobbit.” Hrunting — the H is silent, Dickey said — came from the epic poem “Beowulf”; it is the sword Beowulf uses to slay Grendel’s mother.

“Just having fun,” said Dickey, whose mystical weapons must be working. His career average entering the weekend was .246, sixth best among active pitchers with at least 60 at-bats.
The best part comes next: the fact-checking from the peanut gallery. Apparently, Dickey told the reporter that Orcrist was Bilbo's sword. But as "AR" from Waldwick, NJ and "Diamond Jim" from Fairfax, VA both pointed out in the comments to the article on the Times's website, that's not true. The Times issued the following correction:
This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 8, 2011

An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the origin of the name Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey gave one of his bats. Orcrist was not, as Dickey had said, the name of the sword used by Bilbo Baggins in the Misty Mountains in “The Hobbit”; Orcrist was the sword used by the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the book. (Bilbo Baggins’s sword was called Sting.)

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