Jersey Boys

Isringhausen baseball jersey from behind

I didn’t get around to publishing this during the regular season, and the Phils’ 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 Joe Piscopo, 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 chuckling at how densely packed his name was. Since then, I’ve tried to keep an eye out for other contenders in the Awkward Jersey Derby.
At eleven letters, Paul Goldschmidt’s last name is one shy of Isringhausen’s twelve, 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.

Rzepczynski pitching with back of jersey facing us

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 arch a feat to beat. Until I saw...

Saltalamacchia baseball jersey from behind

His old Braves togs didn’t do the fourteen letters of Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s last name justice. Now that he’s with the Red Sox, well, that’s a thing of art. 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.


  1. Saltalamacchia is hard to beat, but I do have a soft spot for Rzepczynski just for, as you mentioned, all the consonants.

    Locally, we used to have AJ Pierzynski, but he's a dick, so I much prefer Doug Mienkiewicz. While not quite as long as Saltalamacchia, it does feature the mass of consonants like Rzepczynski, as is as much fun to mispronounce as it is to pronounce.

  2. I wish I'd never found out that Bill Sienkiewicz's last name was pronounced "sinkehvitch" because you can't help but giggle after saying "sinkywiks".

  3. You're right, Blam; "Isringhausen" is really catchy to repeat. Also, I think his name is The Hulk's answer to the question "What's that glowing building where all the Green Lanterns are coming from?"

    I loves me the baseball but it always comes back to comics.

  4. Nice find, Arben! I don't recall seeing that when you submitted it, so I'm glad that I took a peek at the comments while going through posts in my never-ending attempt to clean up things up.