The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

“What’s with the name, Jhonny?”

Some less-enlightened baseball fans, moving on from PED digs at the St. Louis Cardinals and their new shortstop Jhonny Peralta, have taken potshots at the unfamiliar spelling of his first name.

It is hardly new. What seems more a trivia item than anything else has taken on a life of its own over the years, perhaps reaching urban legend status.

When the now-31-year-old first came up with Cleveland in 2003, the oft-repeated story was that the spelling of his name was the result a clerical error at the hospital when he was born. Another variation of the origin charges an error to his parents.

In a 2007 interview with the Santo Domingo Times, Peralta apparently had some fun with the “controversy”. He claimed his way of spelling “Johnny” is the only correct one.

I can relate, having spent my years asserting those unfortunate souls who spell their name “Bryan” have it all wrong.

Moving on to Detroit in trade, Peralta told Michigan newspapers mlive.com the following in 2010.

“It’s weird, I know,” Peralta said. “My father spelled it that way in the Dominican [Republic]. A lot of people actually spell the name that way in the Dominican.”

On the latter point at least, Peralta is absolutely correct. The reality is that “Jhonny” is not all that unusual in Spanish-speaking countries, let alone in the sport.

A simple name search at Baseball-Reference.com indicates 19 professional baseball players have gone by “Jhonny.” In fact, another one of them is currently in the Cardinals system. Jhonny Polanco, a Nicaraguan, pitched for State College this past summer.

Without having undertaken exhaustive research into the matter, I am still pretty sure all 19 have different parents and were born in different hospitals.

Pronunciation also seems no big deal to the player, who added the following:

“When I first came up to the Indians, fans would shout, ‘Hey, JAY-honny!’ It’s not a problem. It’s OK however people say it.”

Anyway, I am hoping that Peralta makes his first Cardinals appearance at January’s Winter Warm-Up in St. Louis. If so, I intend to see what his 2014 explanation will be.

I am guessing it will be entertaining.

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7 Responses to ““What’s with the name, Jhonny?””

  1. blingboy says:

    Maybe Shannon will call him the H man.

  2. blingboy says:

    It sounds like Cano wants ARod/Pujols money. This will be his age 31 season. He has 3 or 4 prime years left. But some GMs never learn.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    One of the larger weaknesses remaining is backup catcher. Matheny made modest use of Tony Cruz during 2013, heavy reliance on Molina, who would up on the DL We have so much money committed to Molina for years to come, DeWitt should not like the heavy use of Molina. We could use a better sub to protect our big investment.
    Three candidates among free agents…..
    AJ Piercynski would be a great fit, except he has been catching a lot of games and does not think of himself as a backup yet.
    Kurt Suzuki
    Dioneer Navarro is a switch=hitter who did well with the Cubs in 2013. He might be ready to play for a more competitive team.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        The Cards have shed C. Carpenter, Westbrook, and Lohse during the past two years, more than $30MM/yr in starting pitchers. Shifting to Lynn, Kelly, and Wacha saves a lot of money. This savings gives Mo a chance to redeploy the budget in new ways.

    • blingboy says:

      No point going overboard when we might be a year away from a homegrown candidate.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        It is clear no caching candidates will be popping up in a year. In any event, 2014 is the need. We do not want to be overhauled by the Reds or Pirates.
        With the Cards having a lot of financial flexibility right now, they can make fine tune adjustment to the roster. If there are some catchers on the market, we could snag one to serve as backup.

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