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R.A. Dickey to slay Grendel’s mother

May 2, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

RA Dickey pitch

And he looks like he could do it too, no?

As if there aren’t enough reasons to love R.A. Dickey, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times gives us another: Dickey names his bats after weapons from epic poems and fantasy fiction:

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.

If I had bats I’d name them Wyrmslayer and Wyrmsbane.  And if you know what those are without looking them up, congratulations, you were as hopelessly nerdy as I was as a teenager.

(thanks to reader Alex P. for the heads up)

  1. Chad - May 2, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    This made me happier than I can say. Dickey is my new hero. Although I’d probably have gone with Glamdring rather than Orcrist. Why yes, I was and still am a huge nerd.

    • Roger Moore - May 2, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      Both would be better than Narsil; you know that one’s going to get sawed off the first time you use it in an important at bat.

      • Chad - May 2, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        Yes, but then it would be pieced back together, named Anduril, and used to get a hit in the bottom of the 9th. Of course, then an unknown and unexpected pinch hitter would have to actually win the game.

  2. BC - May 2, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    If I had to name a bat, I’d name it Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

    • paperlions - May 2, 2011 at 11:14 AM

      That bat would be off on some adventure of its own, not to be kept down by the man….it would also most certainly be useless for day games.

      • mentalotherhalf - May 2, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        If only I could give you three thumbs up.

    • Rooster Amaro - May 2, 2011 at 11:40 AM


  3. Old Gator - May 2, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    What Dickey needs to keep in mind is that Hrunting melted in the blood of Grendel’s mother, an event that any armchair psychologist will tell you symbolizes…uh…symbolizes….well, you know. It’s not really the sort of thing upon which an athelete would want to pin his identity.

    So much for what Joseph Campbell called “mythic inflation.” Maybe Dickey should double check if Clint Eastwood named is rifle in Unforgiven instead.

    • paperlions - May 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Boom Stick?
      Maybe I’m thinking of another movie.

    • jwbiii - May 2, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      Dickey put up a -38 OPS+ last season, so his Hrunting was also not really up for the job at hand. Perhaps he would have more success if he were to seize a bat from the opposition’s bat rack.

  4. cur68 - May 2, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I do not know what any of those names mean. Look over there! (runs away…..)

  5. APBA Guy - May 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    OG almost always sends me to Wikipedia to recall some lost bit of knowledge I had parked in the deep recesses after Dr. Alistair Duckworth’s AP History of Literature as an Art Form at long ago UVa, when classes were small and full professors on loan from Cambridge taught lowly undergrads.

    But this is the first time I’ve been sent there by a pitcher and Craig in the same post.

    Fortune Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the 20th Century Ken Olsen had one abiding rule: “Learn something new everyday” and today, I learned something new first thing.

    I’m not sure what good it will do me, but knowing that Wyrmsbane was forged by elves during the Age of Might is certainly something I woke up not knowing.

  6. shanemcdowell - May 2, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    I remember reading the Dragonlance stuff in my youth (early 90s), as well as some other similar series that was a little less dragon-y, but for whatever reason, it never really stuck with me. Maybe because I never played the games. Maybe because I just lost interest at some point.

    Either way, I imagine all of those books are packed away in a box somewhere in my parents house, much like others who read them in their youth. Difference is, I don’t still live with my parents like much of the others who read them in their youth. I kid, I kid.

  7. Roger Moore - May 2, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    The best part is that there are so many names to choose from. When you’re done with the sagas, you can go to Arthurian legends. When you’re done with Tolkien, you can go to Morcock (“This is my bat, Stormbringer. I use it when we need a rain delay.”) or any number of other modern fantasy writers. If there’s one thing fantasy writers love, it’s trying to come up with the coolest sword ever.

  8. heyblueyoustink - May 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    I’ll take Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s 2×4 any day

  9. sdelmonte - May 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    He was my fave Met before. Now, between this and going toe to toe with Cliff Lee, he looks even better.

  10. lampdwellr - May 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM


    • Craig Calcaterra - May 3, 2011 at 8:21 AM

      And Raistlin wins the thread.

  11. bcrossman - May 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    In one universe Raistlin wins, but for the greater good he’ll sacrifice himself in this universe. My level of respect for Craig Calcaterra has skyrocketed.

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