Teammates with the Same Repeating Initials

Friend of the VORG David Branson sent me the following message recently: David Branson @obxleatherman @dianagram Greg Gagne and Gary Gaetti were teammates on a WS winning team. Other teams with players sharing the same repeating initials? Well, using the Lahman Baseball Database as my source for names, I found at least 382 instances of … Read more

If All “Initialed” Players went by their Given Names

Yankees catching prospect J.R. Murphy has informed the club he wants to be known by his full given name, John Ryan Murphy.  This got the VORG wondering about the given names of other “initialed” players, and how long their names would be if they went by their full given names (we’re excluding all hyphens, periods … Read more

Zoilo Almonte is our First Z.A.!

Zoilo Almonte has gotten off to an unexpectedly hot start for the Yankees.  After being summoned to spell a slumping Vernon Wells in left field, the 24-year-old outfielder has compiled a line of .583/.643/1.000 in the first five games of his Major League career.

As you might know, Almonte is not the first Zoilo to appear in the Majors.  That distinction goes to Zoilo Versalles,  a shortstop for the AL pennant-winning Twins in 1965.  Versalles won the AL MVP that season, along with a Gold Glove, and led the league in runs (126), doubles (45, tied with Carl Yastrzemski) and triples (12, tied with Bert Campaneris).

So even though Almonte is only the second Zoilo (a name of Spanish and Greek origin, meaning “life”), he IS the first player with the initials Z.A. to ever play in the Majors.  Here are the counts, from 1871-2012, of players by their first and last initials:

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