What started this train of thought was that while sorting a bunch of junk wax I came across a card of Kal Daniels. I vaguely remember him from his time with the Red and Dodgers. He even ended his last season (1992) as a Cub. I guess it was knee problems that shortened his career to just seven seasons.
Here's the card :
Here's the origins of the name as reported by Bill Plaschke in an L.A. Times article from 1991, "Need an Enigma? Go See Kal : Dodger Is Loved in Hometown, but Not by Some Teammates"
"His mother had hoped it would be easier for him. That is one of the reasons she named him Kalvoski.
She had endured a difficult labor before his birth, and when he was finally born, she was too exhausted to remember any of the seven possible names she had picked out.
"I'm laying there all tired, and the nurse says, 'Why don't you name him Kalvoski?' " Ella recalled. "I said, 'What?' She said, 'It means, 'the great one.'
"I thought that sounded good to me.""
Here's a couple of Kal's Dodgers cards:
Needless to say that Kal is the only "Kalvoski" ever to play in the major leagues. In fact it's hard to find another person in the United States with that name.
I wondered about some of the current players on my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, who have some unusual names themselves. Using Baseball-Reference.com as the source I did a little research and came up with this:
There are five current Cubs players who are the only major leaguers ever with their first names. They are:
In two more cases Cubs players are only the second major leaguers with their first names:
Darwin Barney -- Darwin Cubillan pitched for 4 different teams between 2000-2004.
Marlon Byrd -- Marlon Anderson played for 6 teams in his 11 year career ending in 2009.
That's a lot of unusual names on one team. Or is it? How does your favorite team stack up?