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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What's in a name: Robinson, Willie, Rosey, Mickey?

Robinson Cano is named after Jackie Robinson.  Why does a parent name a child after someone famous?

Birth Name: Jack Roosevelt Robinson
Born: January 31, 1919 in Cairo, GA
Debut: April 15, 1947 (Age 28)
Team: Brooklyn Dodgers 1947-1956
Final Game: September 30, 1956 (Age 37)
Career to date (may be incomplete) $296,250
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1962 (124/160 ballots
Died: October 24, 1972 in Stamford, CT

Birth Name: Robinson Jose (Mercedes) Cano
Born: October 22, 1982 in San Pedro de Macoris, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Debut: May 3, 2005 (Age 22)
Team: New York Yankees 2005-2013
2014 Contract Status: Signed through 2023, 10 yrs/$240M (14-23)

Jose Cano
Birth Name: Joselito (Soriano) Cano
Born: March 7, 1962 in Boca del Soco, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1980. (All Transactions)
Debut: August 28, 1989 (Age 27)
Team: Astros 1989
Final Game: September 30, 1989 (Age 27)
Relatives: Father of Robinson Cano

The announcement of the election of Jackie Robinson to the Hall of Fame probably occurred shortly before the birth of Jose Cano.  Jose pitched three innings in 1980 in the Yankees rookie league but did not pitch in 1981 or 1982, the year Robinson was born.  Robinson would have been almost seven years old when his father pitched in six games for the Houston Astros in 1989, his only games in the major leagues.


Theodore Roosevelt 1903
John Singer Sargent via Wikimedia Commons
(Jackie) Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, into a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia. He was the youngest of five children born to Jerry and Mallie Robinson, after siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew (nicknamed "Mack"), and Willa Mae.[7][8] His middle name was in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days before Robinson was born.[9][10] After Robinson's father left the family in 1920, they moved to Pasadena, California.

It's not indicated why his first name is Jack, not John or Theodore.  Note that Jack's father also had an informal first name: Jerry.

Taft 1911
Anders Zorn via Wikimedia Commons
Willie Mays
Birth Name: Willie Howard Mays (Say Hey Kid)
Born: May 6, 1931 in Westfield, AL (Age 82)
High School: Fairfield Industrial HS (Fairfield, AL)
Signed by the New York Giants as an amateur free agent in 1950.
Debut: May 25, 1951 (Age 20)
Teams (by GP): Giants/Mets 1951-1973
Final Game: September 9, 1973 (Age 42)
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1979 (409/432 ballots)


His father ... was named after president William Howard Taft

wikipedia has Mays listed as junior.  However, I think that a recent book indicates that his father's first name was William, not Willie.  Not sure.

Named after Willie Mays:

Willie Aikens
Birth Name: Willie Mays Aikens
Born: October 14, 1954 in Seneca, SC (Age 59)
High School: Seneca HS (Seneca, SC)
School: South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC)
Drafted by the California Angels in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 1975 amateur draft (January). (All Transactions)
Debut: May 17, 1977 (Age 22)
Teams (by GP): Royals/Angels/BlueJays 1977-1985
Final Game: April 27, 1985 (Age 30)

The New York Giants won the 1954 World Series October 2, twelve days before Aikens was born.  In 1954 Willie Mays returned from almost two years in the Army to lead the National League in batting average and be named NL MVP.

There is also the fictional character Willie Mays Hayes in the 1989 movie "Major League".

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Frank O. Salisbury via Wikimedia Commons
In the early 1960s I became aware of two National Football League (NFL) players with the first name Rosey.

Roosevelt Grier (born July 14, 1932)
New York Giants (1955-1962)
Los Angeles Rams (1963-1966)

Born in Cuthbert, Georgia as one of twelve children, Grier was named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was governor of New York at the time of Grier's birth and was elected president of the United States later that year.[2]

Roosevelt Taylor (born July 4, 1937 in New Orleans, Louisiana)
Chicago Bears 1961-1969
San Francisco 49ers 1969-1971
Washington Redskins 1972

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president from March 1933 to April 1945.

Frankie Mantle?  Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Frankie Frisch, the old Fordham (University) Flash, may have been the model for Elvin Charles "Mutt" Mantle (1912-1952) in teaching his son Mickey to hit both his natural righty and also lefty, to switch hit.  If that's the case then one wonders why Mutt named Mickey after Mickey Cochrane.    Both Frisch and Cochrane are in the Hall of Fame.  Both threw righty.  Cochrane, a catcher, chose to bat lefty.  Frisch, a second baseman, chose to switch hit...

Mickey Charles Mantle was born October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma.  St. Louis, Missouri was the closest major league city and Mutt Mantle, born in 1912, must have followed those World Series between Cochrane and Frisch in the newspapers and possibly on the radio.  If Mutt knew enough about Cochrane to name his son after him he must have also known enough about Frisch to have his son switch hit starting just a few years later...

Mutt could have named his son Frankie.  Maybe Cochrane impressed him more than Frisch.  Maybe Mutt Mantle just liked the alliteration of Mickey Mantle.

Mantle family in the 1940 U.S. census  Friday, July 12, 2013

Mickey's father was Elvin Charles Mantle, known at Mutt, whose father was Charles.

Line 38
1940 U.S. Federal Population Census
National Archives

Members in Household

Lovell Mantle 36 yrs, Female
Mickey Mantle 8 yrs, Male
Ray Mantle 4 yrs, Male
Roy Mantle 4 yrs, Male
Barbara Mantle 2 yrs, Female
C Mantle 56 yrs, Male ...

C.E. Mantle was born in Missouri around 1884 and was widowed.
Occupation: Mill Man
Industry: Lead & Zink Mine
Eighth grade of school completed? 8

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