Thursday, November 27, 2008

How do you say...?

When I worked at the newspaper, I used to write a column every year about the names of football players around East Texas . I’d scan the rosters and pick out unusual names.

I had a weekly column to write and was always looking for something, and the different names served a purpose, sort of like blogs do now. In other words, I’m always searching for things or thinking of something to write about. It’s a sports writer’s habit, I guess you could say. The only thing is, when I wrote something in the newspaper I had more of an audience, and not all my readers agreed with things I had to say.

And they usually let me know what they thought, too. When I wrote something about a player’s name being funny, it drew a parent’s comment. “What do you mean, making fun of my boy’s name? Or, is there something wrong with my boy’s name?” Geeze, lady, I was only trying to get your son’s name in print, I wasn’t trying to make fun of it.

One of my favorite’s was Carniverous Dews, who played for East Texas Baptist University . Another was James James. I mean, really, think about it. When he tried to tell anyone his last name, they would automatically say, “No, I don’t mean your first name.” Then the kid would say, “Sir, that is my last name.” Then the person would say, “Well, okay, what is your first name?” The kid would say, “I already told you, it’s James.” Names, to me, can certainly be funny.

The same way in the pro sports, too. Major League baseball, for instance. You always here about baseball being “ America ’s favorite pastime.” Nowadays, every major league has a Chin-Lung Ku, or Shiw-Soo Choo, Hogn-Chih Kuo or Hedecki Matsui, or Kazou Matsui or Cha Seung Baek playing for it. America ’s pastime? Are you sure it shouldn’t be called America ’s Foreign pastime, since there are so many with Japanese and/or Latino names playing now.

Or how about the Molina catching brothers trio of Jose (Yankees), Yadier (Cardinals) and Benji (SF Giants). I bet the Molina parents had fun coming up with their son’s first names. And don’t forget about Yordany Ramierz, Koyie Hill, Hirokie Kgroda, Mashahide Kobayashi, Yhency Brazoban and Yovani Gallardo. Fun times for a radio broadcaster, huh?

Then there’s the easy ones such as Yusmeiro Petit, Esmerling Vasquez or Endy Chavez. Don’t forget Yunel Escobar, Diori Hernandez, Asdrubal Cabera and Melky Cabrera. Pitchers for the Boston Red Sox have names like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hidecki Okajima and the rival Yankees have Chein-Ming Wang to deal with. The above mentioned position of catchers also has Yorvit Torrealba and Dioner Navarro and Raul Chavez as partners.

How about infielders Akinon Iwamura and pitcher Jae Kuk Ryu on the same Tampa Bay Rays team that advanced to the World Series?

What happened to the good ole’ baseball names like Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris?


At November 27, 2008 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

Having gone through life with the last name of Lazalier, I can sympathize with those who have unusual names. Some time ago, one of your blogs listed a website where one could check on others who shared the same name. Per that website, there are about 336 people in the US named Lazalier, and only one named Glendon Lazalier (me).

At December 6, 2008 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Pat Burroughs said...

It's amazing that you can remember all those names. I get my granddaughters mixed up--have to call the roll to get the right one. The James James reminded me of what the late Wally Fortner said about names. He said if you can't think of someone's name, you should say, "I can't pull up your name." If they say, for instance, John, you would say, "Oh, I knew it was John. It was your last name I couldn't pull up." And if they said their last name was Smith, you would say, "Oh, I knew it was Smith. It was your first name I couldn't pull up." That way if you had no idea at all who the person was, you didn't have to admit it.


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