I remember watching sports as a kid, specifically baseball and football, and would hear an announcer every now and then say, “Hey, now that is a football/baseball name.

It’s been years since I have heard that phrase, but I think there is some truth to it. There are some names that were just made to be said during a baseball or football game.

Sure, you don’t need one, but it makes it all the more fun, and the number of times they work and just sound right, is amazing.

A few examples? Sure. Dick Butkus. Ronnie Lott. Emmitt Smith. Bart Starr. 100% football names.

Maybe because they are three syllables or less, and football is a strong and powerful game. Not that baseball isn’t, but there is different kind of grace, strategy, and ability that happens in baseball.

The common perception is that football is fewer brains and more brawn, while baseball is the complete opposite. Obviously, that isn’t entirely accurate, but not many perceptions are.

But what about baseball names? Orel Hershiser, Terry Pendleton, Stan Musial, Willie McCovey, Roberto Clemente, and the one true baseball name, in my opinion, Tom Candiotti. Of course, you have names that could work in both ways, Joe Montana, Hank Aaron, Frank Thomas, there are some that could work. There is just something about a multi-syllable name that rolls of the tongue in baseball, and a powerful emphasis on a three-syllable name when someone makes a jarring tackle.

I have watched a few rebroadcast games from years ago during this time of quarantine, and it all remains the same. The names change, the announcer’s voices change, but the way it’s talked about, spoken to, described, the visual painting words give baseball is something I will always enjoy.

It took me back to those days as a kid with a ragged glove, a hat that sat crooked on my head, listening to the names being said: John Shelby. Mike Scioscia. Mike Marshall. Steve Garvey. Alfredo Griffin. Mike Piazza. Pedro Guerrero. And Tom Candiotti.

Baseball will come back. Never too soon. I’ll be looking forward to my kids hearing these baseball names again.
Clayton Kershaw. Cody Bellinger. Justin Turner. Mookie Betts – hopefully.

Featured Image: Jayne Kamin-Oncea
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