I didn't get around to publishing this post during the regular season, and the Phillies' early exit from the playoffs left me too bitter to come anywhere near the subject of our national pastime. Since yesterday's unnecessary behemoth of a disquisition tied a belated bow on 2011 baseball for me, however, it's now or next year to discuss my favorite jersey accents.
We're not talking about Tom Kean, Danny DeVito, or Joe Pesci here.
The first time I saw the back of once and future Met Jason Isringhausen's baseball jersey, I couldn't help but chuckle at how densely packed his name was. Ever since then, I've tried to keep an eye out for other contenders in the Awkward Jersey Derby. At 11 letters, Paul Goldschmidt's last name is one shy of Isringhausen's 12, but it's stuffed with consonants; even so, perhaps because of how the Diamondbacks place names on their jerseys, it doesn't take up the space that the equally lengthy — and much more challenging to spell — Marc Rzepczynski's does on his Blue Jays uniform.
Despite the fact that Isringhausen's name is somehow more fun to say the more you say it, the placement on his jersey clearly made the Rzepczynski rainbow a mark to beat. Until I saw...
His old Braves togs didn't do Jarrod Saltalamacchia's name justice. Now that he's with the Red Sox, well, that's just a thing of beauty. Wikipedia says that his is the longest last name in the history of Major League Baseball, and various sources agree that it translates from Italian as either "jump over the spot/mark/stain" or "jump over the shrub/bush/thicket". (From the same Latin root as "salta" we get the English word "assault"; "macchia" is also found in "macchiato", an espresso drink marked with a spot of milk.)
Share your own favorites in the comments!
Images cadged from other websites, uncredited, and used in good faith.