Who coined the nickname of ‘The Cowboy’ for Jeff Brantley?

Ever wonder how former Reds closer and current broadcaster Jeff Brantley got the nickname of “The Cowboy”?

No? Well, you’re about to find out anyway.

I honestly thought there was the outside chance that Brantley gave the nickname to himself. But, alas, that’s not the case. It actually came from one of his former teammates due to the attire that Brantley wore to then-Riverfront Stadium before every game.

“Lenny Harris gave it to me,” Brantley said during a Fox Sports Ohio telecast. “I was playing here for the Reds and Lenny said, ‘You look like a cowboy riding off into the sunset,’ and that’s just kind of how it stuck. Lenny was from Miami and he wasn’t used to seeing someone wear cowboy boots and blue jeans to the ballpark everyday like I did. So, he was the first to say it and it kind of took on a life of its own with my teammates.”

Sorry, but for some reason, I was actually curious how Brantley got the nickname and now we know. And I’m relieved to learn he didn’t give it to himself. That would have been pretty lame. Kind of like when Brantley refers to himself in the third person (which, to his credit, he has toned down quite a bit). For example: “Cowboy likes spicy chicken!” OK, he hasn’t copied any George Costanza lines, but he will break off a 3-P reference from time to time. “If you’re asking the Cowboy, I’d say it’s a lack of intestinal fortitude on his part.”

I actually get a kick out of Brantley and I’m glad he’s part of the Reds’ TV/radio crew. The only time I don’t like him is when he attempts to do play-by-play on the radio. He’s atrocious at that. But as a color man on TV (or radio) I like him. He’s definitely an acquired taste though and I can see how some Reds fans strongly dislike him. But he has a passion for what he does, he gives very good insight on pitching and is just a solid all-around color broadcaster. Just keep him away from doing PBP and he’ll be fine.