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Hyphenation Nation: Rangers Shorten Shortstop’s Name

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How do you fit shortstop prospect Tyler Depreta-Johnson’s unwieldy surname on the back of his spring training jersey? If you’re the Texas Rangers, you don’t even try — you just go with “D-Johnson.”

Or at least that’s what the Rangers have chosen to do this year. Last year, however, as you may recall (we covered it briefly here on Uni Watch), they managed to fit Depreta-Johnson’s entire name on there. These shots are all from spring training of 2019:

If you look closely at the first one of the 2019 photos, you can see that the nameplate is actually two separate strips of fabric, with the seam running underneath the “J.” That’s the only time I’ve ever seen that!

The Rangers have some experience with long NOBs. Jarrod Saltalamacchia played for them from 2007 to 2010, his famously long surname looking extra-awkward in the team’s clunky NOB font. But they didn’t extend Salty’s NOB onto his sleeves like they did for Depreta-Johnson. They just used a really steep radial arch:

Depreta-Johnson has played for several minor league teams, but they all appear to have been NNOB, so we can’t see how his name was handled by other clubs. Too bad.

Meanwhile, Depreta-Johnson is the latest athlete whose hyphenated surname raises questions about NOB length records. He has no chance to make the Rangers’ final spring roster cut, but if he ever makes it to the bigs with a fully spelled-out NOB, his 14-letter surname would match Salty’s, plus he has the hyphen so his NOB would be 15 characters. Would that count as a new record? Should hyphenated names be a whole separate category? (I’d say yes, but I know some folks may disagree.) And what if he makes it to the bigs and they give him “D-Johnson” — would it even matter that he has long name, or does it only matter to us if the full name appears on his jersey?

In any case, Depreta-Johnson’s name definitely makes him a prospect to keep an eye on. I’m rooting for him to make it the majors someday, just so we can revisit all these issues.

(My thanks to Twitter-er @InGodsCountryOK for alerting me to Depreta-Johnson’s abbreviated NOB.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

The 1908 song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is certainly the most famous baseball song ever recorded, and it’s also the title of this 1952 78-rpm record featuring big-leaguers Phil Rizzuto, Ralph Branca, Roy Campanella, and Tommy Henrich on vocals. Singing along with the stars are the Sandpipers, all conducted by Mitch Miller. Just 35 cents!

(Note that Rizzuto and Henrich are shown wearing the Yankees’ home pinstripes, but with “New York” on the chest!)

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Ever seen this type of key ring? This was a BMW promo item for the New York Rangers. The little circular BMW logo in the middle spins around. I had one of these type key rings and I used to spin that thing all the time. It’s addictive!

• Never seen one of these before: This 1960s Oakland Raiders window sticker is a variant of the classic helmet decal. It says “The Oakland” above the usual “Raiders.”

• Never seen this one before, either — a 1970s Cincinnati Reds plush doll wearing No. 00. Definitely needs some cleaning up, but still fun to look at.

• Here’s a print ad for the Adidas Americana, the official shoe of the ABA back in the early 1970s. Had a pair of these myself and loved ’em, even if the white mesh got dingy pretty quick.

• Look at these NBA bed sheets from the 1970s. Notice that some official team logos are used for some clubs, while plain team names are used for others.

• You too can be a member of the Jr. Seahawks Club when you tote around this autographed Seahawks gym bag.

• This 1950s-’60s-era Chicago White Sox popcorn megaphone (“Watch the Fighting White Sox”) features an elf-like mascot character who could be a distant relative to Brownie in Cleveland.

• White Castle was the sponsor of this Detroit Tigers school binder of unknown vintage.

• NHL Action Players is the title of this 96-page “word and picture album of NHL players and teams” from 1974. Brought your way by Loblaws, the Canadian supermarket chain. Similar in design and format to the 1972 NFL/Sunoco stamp album from 1972.

• The logo registration is off just a bit on this 1970s Steelers milk mug, but I like it like that! Gives it a quaint feel. Sponsored by 11 Alive, WIIC-TV in Pittsburgh.

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ITEM! One-day sale: Teespring is running one of its periodic flash sales. Up until midnight Eastern today, you can get 10% off by using the checkout code MARCHFLASH. You’ll save some coin and Uni Watch will still get our full cut — a win-win.

This discount applies to everything in the Uni Watch Shop and the Naming Wrongs Shop. That includes the latest Uni Watch Pin Club design, which is already more than halfway toward being sold out, so move fast.

Also, as I’ve done in the past, I’m matching Teespring’s sale by taking 10% off the Uni Watch Classic Cap. For today only, it will be priced at $35.99, instead of the usual $39.99.

My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsLots of number shenanigans in the Yankees’ game yesterday: OF Rosell Herrera, normally No. 12, wore No. 17 — which is manager Aaron Boone’s number. Third base coach Phil Nevin (normally No. 88) wore prospect Ezequiel Duran’s No. 60. Anyone know what was going on there? (From Bryan Prouse.) … The A’s and Phillies will wear throwbacks when the two teams square off in Philadelphia on June 12-14. The Phillies will wear this cap, indicating they’ll likely be wearing 1915-1920 era uniforms (from Phil). … The Mets will have a jersey giveaway for their 16th annual Taiwan Day on Aug. 29 (from Phil). … Marucci, one of the largest makers of MLB bats, has been sold (paywalled) to a holdings company. … Hey, that’s why they have spring training: On Sunday, a Twins catcher and the plate umpire both threw balls simultaneously to P Tyler Duffey, who bailed out. Whoops! …  The Padres have a throwback cap section at their team store, broken down and labeled by year (from Jonah La Margo). … Over on, there’s a great profile of author/illustrator Anika Orrock, whose new book, The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, comes out today (from Mike Chamernik). … A brewery in St. Louis is releasing a Stan Musial beer in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday this year (from Kary Klismet). … Longtime Astro IF (and current team broadcaster) Geoff Blum had his No. 11 retired by his high school alma mater, Chino High in California (from Timmy Donahue). … The Great Lakes Loons, the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate, will wear Star Wars uniforms on July 18 (from Alex Dewitt). … The father of MLBers Hunter and Braden Bishop has a Giants/Mariners frankenjersey for his sons’ teams (from Joe Farris).

Pro Football News Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins had his number retired by his high school alma mater, South Fort Myers High in Florida and was also inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. As part of the ceremony, he was given a red jacket (from Timmy Donahue). … The XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers wore white jerseys with green pants for the first time on Sunday (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The CFL’s Calgary Stampeders appeared to tease new jerseys on Twitter yesterday. The neckline on their jerseys is typically black. … New helmets for the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League (from Chris Mycoskie). … Also from the IFL: New uniforms for the Iowa Barnstormers (from Nate Dorton).

College Football NewsReader Steven Woj notes that this Rutgers recruit was lacking a maker’s mark on his jersey when he dressed up in uniform during a recent visit. Rutgers signed a short six-year deal with Adidas in 2017, and at the time, many industry insiders expected the school to renegotiate the deal. Could a change be coming? … New year, new uni numbers for some Oklahoma Sooners (from Sam McKinley)

Hockey NewsNHL linesman Derek Amell worked his 1,500th game on Saturday in Pittsburgh, so the Pens and visiting Caps presented him with No. 1500 jerseys before the game. “I suppose an official can’t be honored only by the home team,” says Jerry Wolper . … The Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL wore late-’70s/early-’80s throwbacks on Sunday, and the coaches played along with orange jackets (from Wade Heidt). … It’s an annual tradition: Here’s the video featuring this year’s Minnesota high school hockey tournament hairstyles (from JM Fisher).

Basketball NewsSaginaw High School in Michigan is poaching the Pacers’ current uni design (from @btownmoose). … Texas retired No. 24 for legendary women’s basketball great Clarissa Davis on Sunday (from Timmy Donahue). … The Hawks’ scoreboard showed a hand-drawn version of the visiting Hornets’ logo last night. “They run a skit during timeouts sometimes where a player attempts to draw the opposing team’s logo. Hilarity ensues, then the Hawks keep the drawing up as the logo for the opposing team for awhile,” explains Bryant Singleton. … Here’s Oklahoma’s record so far this season broken down by uniform (from Sam McKinley).

Soccer NewsActor Andy Samberg wore a Megan Rapinoe USWNT jersey on last week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (from Max Weintraub). … The Nashville SC kit tracker for the team’s inaugural season has been updated through week 2. … Celtic FC’s new away kits may have just leaked (from Ed Żelaski). … LA Galaxy wore memorial patches for Kobe Bryant last weekend (from Josh Hinton). … For more soccer updates from yesterday, check out Ed Żelaski’s Twitter feed. … Scotland’s new away kit has been officially released, confirming earlier leaks (from several readers). … Here’s a look at the Portland Thorns’ practice kit.

Grab Bag: The lighting of the 2020 Olympic flame in Greece on Thursday will be held without spectators due to the coronavirus outbreak. … In a related item, the Paris-Nice cycling race will not have spectators at the start or finish (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … For decades, cartographers have been hiding secret illustrations in Switzerland’s official maps. … Here’s a good piece about the custom helmet wraps some Air Force fighter pilots wear to mark their squadron (from @FormerDirtDart)

Comments (57)

    Personally, I wish the Rangers would’ve gone with Depreta-J. D-Johnson makes me think there are multiple Johnsons on the roster (which there might be).

    Jim sees what’s up.

    Particularly if you’re going to have a font with complex shadowing and little spikes edging off the numbers, just ditch the names and have only numbers.

    link Same for the Mets when they had shadowed numbers a few years ago.

    They should force him to pick a shorter name. Having a long name like that is pure grandstanding.

    And yes even with the “look at me” name it wouldn’t be a problem if the Rangers didn’t have a ridiculous font.

    I anticipate a “Tikki Tikki Tembo” problem arising from the metastasizing surnames of children born to pairs of hyphenated parents.

    For the Steelers milk mug in Collector’s Corner, WIIC changed their call letters to WPXI in 1981. So I think that mug is probably from 1975-80.

    Wikipedia disagrees with Jerry Wolper too, saying that it adopted the “11 Alive” slogan “around 1977”. I’m sure there is an old issue of Broadcasting and Cable that confirms one way or the other.

    In addition, WIIC adopted the 11 alive theme in about 1977. This moniker was popularized in NYC (WPIX) the main NBC affiliate in the country

    No, WPIX was not the NBC affiliate in New York (that would be WNBC, natch). They were an independent station, owned at the time by the Tribune Company which also owned the New York Daily News. The Daily News was known as “New York’s Picture Newspaper,” hence the call letters WPIX. They started using “11 Alive” in 1976.

    The Atlanta NBC affiliate (WXIA) also goes by the moniker 11Alive (since 1976, according to Wikipedia). I didn’t realize that wasn’t an Atlanta-specific thing. I wonder if it’s an NBC-thing.

    WXIA was an ABC affiliate in 1976. Wikipedia says the “Alive” branding was used at the time by all the stations owned by a company called Combined Communications.

    That doesn’t explain WPIX and WIIC also using “11 Alive,” since they were not owned by Combined — but the phrase spoken/sung aloud seems oddly mellifluous to me (at least, better than any other number followed by “Alive”), so I suggest that those other two Channel 11s encountered WXIA’s slogan and stole it for aesthetic reasons.

    WPIX in particular had an “11 Alive” jingle that’s been stuck in my head for 40 years: link

    If I had to guess: Herrera and Nevin had forgotten their jerseys and had to borrow someone else’s jersey. #60 is also the number for Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey.

    I’d love to see the A’s in either road pinstripes or the stationary green elephant uniforms when they return to Philadelphia for that throwback series.
    Is there still an argument to be made that the wrong team left town?

    “This is weird: The Hornets’ scoreboard showed a hand-drawn version of the team’s logo last night”

    That is the Atlanta Hawks Scoreboard at State Farm Arena. They run a skit during timeouts sometimes where a player attempts to draw the opposing teams logo. Hilarity ensues, then the Hawks keep the drawing up as the logo for the opposing team for awhile.

    The item now says “The Hawks’ scoreboard showed a hand-drawn version of the team’s logo last night”, but never says what team.

    Football Ticker correction needed on “CFL’s Calgary Stampedees”.

    Love this from the Stampeders. They send out this photo showing just the collar with little information and it has everyone guessing. Is it a new primary uniform? Is this a throwback jersey for the team’s upcoming 75th anniversary season?

    Really hopeful, but if this is a change to the primary uniform and they are getting rid of black, going back to just red and white, I will have an ecstatic freak-out.

    Re: Tampa Vipers. Their green is an awful color for football, practically blends into the turf.

    And a follow up from the Rams news yesterday, while it is an informal yahoo poll, the results are overwhelmingly negative.
    Might be better that this got leaked than released on schedule. A lot of ifs here, but if this is the primary and a recolored version of their current logo was going to be the secondary, and if this LA logo isn’t on the uniforms, they could save face and just make this the secondary logo, no harm no foul.

    So what happens when a hyphenated name person marries another hyphenated name person and has kids? I read an article a few years ago about a Scandinavian country (don’t remember which one) that has a whole generation of hyphenated names marrying and having kids. Many have decided to make up new family names that both the parents and kids take. Amazing that people didn’t originally think about this when they gave these names to their kids.

    Amazing that people didn’t originally think about this when they gave these names to their kids.

    Maybe they *did* think about it but don’t view it as a problem.

    I’m thinking few if any thought about their grandkids having four last names, or great grandkids having eight. Having 3 daughters, I get it that only taking the husband’s last name isn’t a great solution. Also with sex marriage. TReally last names haven’t been around that long, and now with long overdue equal rights this tradition of only naming kids after the father seems outdated. Here’s an Interesting article about how Germany has banned hyphenated names. link

    Yes, there have been a few articles about this. Essentially noting that the hyphenation thing only really works for one generation and is not sustainable.
    Really comes down to, if the wife does not like the idea of taking a husband’s name (or if unmarried and having kids), it becomes far more practical to pick just one of the parents’ family names, or to create a new one. Of course the later has other problems, in that neither legal guardian / parent shares a family name with the child. Perhaps when couples marry they both change their name and create a new family name?
    Short of a society wide reinvention of naming conventions, anything other than the traditional method is going to have its hiccups and impractical issues right now.

    Perhaps when couples marry they both change their name and create a new family name?

    Or, if two hyphenate-named people meet, marry, and procreate, *they* can create a new family name.

    I honestly don’t see the problem. People can call themselves whatever they like. What could possibly more personal, or less anyone else’s business?

    As I’ve written several times, my own surname has no connection to the rest of my family tree (outside of my nuclear family), because my parents changed their surname before I was born. So what? Hasn’t hampered anything.

    Paul I actually agree with you. I was just pointing out how bucking the naming convention creates various practical issues for people. And I find stories like your family name to be incredibly interesting, something that probably occurs far more than people realize, especially when immigrants came to America.
    I think people should have whatever name they want, as they are the ones who have to live with it. And I think the idea of creating new family names upon marriage to be unique. Were that to become a new naming convention it would create a far more personal and immediate connection to family names, even if they often didn’t last more than a generation.
    It creates an interesting line of thought as to the reason for our current naming conventions, and how out of place they have become as society has changed.
    And from a purely uni-centric perspective, can’t go wrong with NNOB, the numbers are there for identifying purposes to begin with ;)

    from a purely uni-centric perspective, can’t go wrong with NNOB, the numbers are there for identifying purposes to begin with ;)

    Indeed! Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Greg.

    “society wide naming conventions”

    Interestingly, my wife is Icelandic but her family adopted north American names (e.g. a fixed last name) on coming to North America.

    When my kids did projects on their Icelandic family heritage in grade school, they actually renamed themselves for a little while (to Michaelsson and Michaelsdóttir).

    All of which is to say, there’s nothing magical about a fixed last name surviving generation to generation. When you get married, or have kids, take a name that represents your family.

    And don’t tell other people what they should call themselves.

    The “50s-60s” White Sox popcorn box is actually an early 70s item. The key is the depiction of a red cap and red trim on the uniform.

    “New uniforms for the Iowa Barnstormers ”

    Thankfully they kept the helmet with the goggles. One of my faves!!

    Random observation: I just realized that the hockey puck is the only anthropomorphized icon among The Ticker subtitle icons.

    While it’s not technically a hyphen, there was a Dutch soccer player named Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. link
    I’m told that, in Dutch, “of” is more like “and,” and he was named thusly because it was the combination of two high class families. Had he been born in the US, a hyphen likely would have taken the place of “of.”

    The Rangers NOB issue is a good example of why NOB lettering should be small and one color

    What is going on with the number font on the Capitals’ jersey given to Derek Amell? All kinds of wrong

    RE: Rams Logo… according to some sources that’s not the actual main logo, but a secondary like how Brownie the elf is with cleveland. i was listening to Cleveland Browns Daily and one of the co-host does a morning show with with James Laurinaitis (who claims to be plugged in with the team still, all time leading tackler and all) and that he knows for sure that the leaked image isn’t the primary logo

    Not sure how many folks here are club/race cyclists, but it’s the time of year for new kits. The club I’m with updated the design and the club name is less prominent and uses the initials in sans serifs rather than the full name which was a script font across the chest. I like the new look just fine but don’t like it as much as the old logo as the prominent feature of the kit. Anyhow, it always gets me to think about I should collect images of amateur kits and write something to contribute to the weekend content, the amateur cycling scene is a treasure trove of content!

    This 1950s-’60s-era Chicago White Sox popcorn megaphone (“Watch the Fighting White Sox”) features a elf-like mascot character who could be a distant relative to Brownie in Cleveland.

    *an* elf-like mascot

    Could also be a distant relative to the Brownie from St Louis.

    A brewery in St. Louis is releasing a Stan Musial beer in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday this year

    It’s still his 100th birthday…he’s just not around to celebrate it.

    Very interesting NOB. I have a long name too, 16 characters with the hyphen, but I didn’t have a NOB when I played youth sports lol. My Uni-Watch membership card reflects my full last name but if I had to shorten it woulda gone the D-Johnson route.

    *If I missed it, I apoligize…

    No mention of the woman who inspired Rosie the Riveter the last 3 days?

    I’m from Chicoutimi, and I’ve missed the Sagueneens vintage game because it was cancelled earlier this season. I’m pissed about it.These uniforms are gorgeous. The helmet didn’t match, and we were able to see the blue pants of some players, but it was a nice gesture by a team who don’t have a lot of money.

    Still, I don’t know why they don’t bring back the baby blue uniform of the 80’s. It was a beauty.

    Yeah, man. Would have been better if all the equipment matched, but still pretty cool. Don’t see many hockey uniforms that are orange with kelly green trim. There is even a special beer can out there celebrating the vintage Sagueneens colours and logo:


    The look today is pretty iconic too with the multiple stripes in the shoulder yokes. I do remember a Sagueneens uniform oddity back in the early 1990s. Wearing the navy blue with light blue trim, but appears they could not get Cooper to get them navy helmets. They were rocking the royal blue helmets. The team in triple blue:


    Yaaaa, nice picture. My godfather used to ??house?? some players during these years. One of them was Stéphane Morin, a really nice guy who died while playing for Berlin. I still use his Titan stick while playing outside.

    Perhaps this topic has been covered on a previous thread that I missed, but does anyone have any information regarding the Detroit Tiger’s decision to put their 90’s logo on the side of their spring training hat? I haven’t seen this logo used in an official capacity for a long time.

    Whoa — that’s freaky-deeky (even with the slightly different spellings).

    We used to have yet another reader named Mike Hersh (not sure of his birthday), who unfortunately passed away in 2013:

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