Top 15 Player Names In Washington Nationals History
Washington Nationals Pregame Introductions
Before the 2013 season begins and things get serious for the Washington Nationals, let us take a look at some of the great names in franchise history. In their nine year existence as the Nationals, Washington has gone from a revolving door of players to championship contenders. The constant changes have brought some of the most unique names in baseball to the Nations Capitol.
For the most part, the 2013 Nationals roster consists of names we hear every day. There are two Zimmermans in third baseman Ryan and pitcher Jordan. Everyone knows a Stephen, Jayson, Kurt, Bryce and Danny. It is likely we will meet a Gonzalez or two in our lifetime. However, there are still a couple of good names on the Nationals roster.
Thankfully for Washington fans, this has always been the case. When the Nationals were bad, they may have led the league in unique names. Not all of the players on this list played together, but many were with Washington when they couldn't win 60 games in a season. Some were traded for players whose names were just as memorable as theirs.
The criteria for making this list is simple just play a few games for the Nationals. If a player pitched, played the field or batted in a Washington uniform then they are eligible to make the all-name team. So there is nothing to be ashamed of if you don't remember or recognize some of the men mentioned. Die hard Nationals fans do not.
Here are the top 15 names in Washington Nationals history along with when they played. Despite the team's short history coming up with them was not hard at all.
15. Tom Gorzelanny
He is the only man in MLB history with the last name Gorzelanny, maybe the only one in sports history. Gorzelanny pitched for the Nationals in 2011 and 2012. He is now the first of his name sake to pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers having signed with them in the off season.
14. Wily Mo Pena
Pena had the misfortune of being traded to the Nationals by the Boston Red Sox in 2007. He finished with a last place team while Boston went on to win their second World Series in four years. Pena played two seasons for Washington and is now playing in Japan with the Fukuoko SoftBank Hawks.
13. Odalis Perez
Washington was his last stop in a 10 year career. Perez finished 7-12 for a Nationals team that won only 59 games in 2008. If his name were simply Dalis he would not be on the list. It is the O that gets him ranked.
12. Yunesky Maya
A name with three Y's in it has to be on the list. The native Cuban has pitched for Washington since 2010, but did not in 2012 after suffering an elbow injury playing winter ball. How could anyone not like a first name that can be a slang term meaning 'You in the sky?'
11. Jhonathan Solano
If you spell it Jonathan, then you are wrong. If this were the all-nickname team he'd be in the top 10. Solano is known as Onion because he rode on a truck full of them out of his native Columbia to a tryout camp in Venezuela where the Nationals signed him. Solano made his MLB debut last season and played against his brother with a much more conventional name in Donovan who plays for the Miami Marlins.
10. Levale Speigner
Another name from the Nationals inglorious 59 win season of 2008. Somehow he got two of those wins. Speigner entered the revolving door in 2006. His name is pronounced SPY-nur which makes one wonder what the E and G are for.
9. Shairon Martis
The name is Shairon Shairon Martis. He pitched for the Nationals in 2008 and 2009. Shairon Shairon finished 5-3 in 2009 and at age 22 looked like he might stick with Washington. However, he has not pitched in the majors since then. Martis is now on the roster of the Minnesota Twins.
8. Jonathan Albaladejo
A name with five syllables, three vowels and three A's has to be on the list. Albaladejo pitched one season for the Nationals, 2007, before being rescued by the New York Yankees. Albaladejo is now a member of the Miami Marlins which means his career has gone full circle.
7. Micah Bowie
The University of North Carolina once had a linebacker named Micah Moon. The Nationals countered with Micah Bowie. Bowie pitched for Washington in the dark ages of 2006 and 2007. He now runs a baseball academy in Central Texas.
6. Lastings Milledge
He has a cool first and last name. How many Lastings or Milledges does anyone know? Milledge is one of a boatload of men who have played center field for the Nationals. This position seems to have the most unique names as well. Milledge was traded for one of them in 2009 and now plays in Japan with the Yukalt Swallows
5. Nyjer Morgan
Known by some as Tony Plush, Morgan is the man that Milledge was traded for. Needless to say, he played center field. Morgan is best remembered in Washington for getting upset after failing to make a leaping catch of a fly ball hit by Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles. Morgan kept the ball in the park, but thought it had gone over the fence and slammed his glove in anger. While the ball lay on the warning track Jones circled the bases for an inside the park home run. Like Milledge, Morgan is now in Japan with the Yokohama team.
4. Wiki Gonzalez
The name that comes up on every internet search engine, Gonzalez was part of the early revolving door of players coming in and out of Washington. His real first name is Wiklenman. Gonzalez caught and played in 12 games for the Nationals in 2007 finishing with a .229 batting average.
3. Nook Logan
Don't call him Nuke. The name is pronounced Nook as in book. His real name is Exavier. Logan got the name Nook from his mother who named him after a baby pacifier made by the Nuk Company. The Dave Chappelle look a like played for Washington in 2006 and 2007. Of course Logan played center field and was one of many projects there that did not work out.
2. Terrmel Sledge
Yes, this is his real name. He was a part of the organization when they were the Montreal Expos then played 20 games for the team after they moved to Washington in 2005. Sledge had his best season with the Expos in 2004, batting .269 with 15 home runs. He did not play center field, but was an outfielder. Sledge also, played in Japan after his MLB career with the Hokkaido-Nippon Ham Fighters. Seems like a perfect fit.
1. Atahualpo Severino
If you can pronounce this first name without having ever heard it then pat yourself on the back. There is no use in putting the correct pronunciation here. Google it or call the Nationals offices. Atahualpo (just wanted to see if you looked for the pronunciation) was signed by the team when they were in Montreal and pitched six games for the Nationals in 2011. Now, Kansas City Royals fans can get tongue tied saying his name.