June 20, 2008

Bedtime Music: MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This

I'm not going to spend any time discussing the song; we all know the song. ;) But did you know how MC Hammer got the "Hammer" nickname?

From 1972 to 1980, [Stanley Kirk] Burrell served as a batboy with the Oakland Athletics under colorful team owner Charlie Finley, who lived in the Midwest and for whom Burrell was his "eyes and ears." Reggie Jackson, in describing Burrell's role for Finley, took credit for the "Hammer" nickname:

Hell, our chief executive, the guy that ran our team, uh, that communicated [with] Charlie Finley, the top man there, was a 13-year old kid. I nicknamed him "Hammer," because he looked like [Hammerin'] Hank Aaron.

Ron Bergman, at the time an Oakland Tribune writer who covered the A's, recalled that:

He was an informant in the clubhouse, an informant for Charlie, and he got the nickname "Pipeline."

According to Hammer:

Charlie said, "I'm getting you a new hat. I don't want you to have a hat that says "A's" on it. I'm getting you a hat that says 'Ex VP,' that says 'Executive Vice President.' You're running the joint around here." . . . Every time I come down to the clubhouse, you know, Rollie would yell out "Oh, everybody be quiet! Here comes Pipeline!"


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