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A Baseball Baby Doubleheader?

My husband and I are expecting identical twin boys in July. He plays for a minor league baseball team. We would like to incorporate baseball into the names we choose for our boys, but would like to stay away from the traditional Ty (Ty Cobb). Any suggestions? - Baseball Mom

A twin name set with a creative theme! Congratulations on this double play of attention-grabbing name dilemmas. There are two elements you have to consider for your Boys of Summer: how "twinsy," and how...err, "ballsy."

Even more than most sibling names, twin names have to sound fair. A set of twins named Ichabod and Steve would raise eyebrows and suggest oddly different expectations for the two boys. Yet with your twins being identical, it's especially important that their names not be. Imagine if two little boys who looked exactly alike walked into kindergarten class sporting the names Ray and Jay (in a nod to the American League East). The boys' names should be distinct enough to establish that you, at least, acknowledge them as two complete, individual people. So the goal is complementary names that don’t sound like a set of bookends.

The second question is how in-your-face you want the baseball connection to be. You mention that you want something less “traditional” than a Ty Cobb homage. But how subtle do you want to go? Should the names scream baseball to even a casual fan, or just to those steeped in the game -- or can it be a private meaning for only the family to cherish?

With those considerations in mind, here are three approaches you could take to naming stylish Minnesota Twins.

With over a hundred years of baseball history, you can find names of every description to honor. Not every name of a baseball great, though, carries a great baseball feeling. Twins named Joe and Ted, for instance, don't necessarily summon up the Yankee Clipper (DiMaggio) and the Splendid Splinter (Williams).

Players: Banks, Foxx, Gehrig, Gibson, Satchel, Seaver, Wynn (honoring Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Bob Gibson, Satchel Page, Tom Seaver and Early Wynn)

Managers and Executives: Alston, Branch, Mack, Weaver (honoring legends Walter Alston, Branch Rickey, Connie Mack and Earl Weaver

Twinsy Bonus: Evers and Chance (Cubs infielders, immortalized in verse)

If naming after a specific person doesn’t appeal, consider a baseball landmark. In addition to the places below, you can choose places linked to a favorite team. For instance, Cubs fans have been known to favor Addison, the name of the street that's home to Wrigley Field. With twins, you could claim a whole intersection.
Ballparks Past and Present: Camden, Crosley, Ebbet, Forbes, Shea

The Game
These are the most universal homages, resonating beyond any one team or time period.
The Slang: Ace, Homer, Rally, Skip
The Hall of Fame: Cooper (for Cooperstown, New York)
The Ball Itself: Rawlings, Spalding (baseball manufacturers)

Whichever direction you choose, as long as you and your husband love your twins’ names, there’s no way you can strike out.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

June 13, 2011 10:16 AM
By emily (not verified)

What about Cal (like Cal Ripken jr?)

June 13, 2011 10:22 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I second Cal!

And how about Nolan (Ryan) ?

June 13, 2011 10:31 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I notice many baseball players are named Casey, and I always wonder if they refer to the book "Casey at the Bat". And whenever I hear of a little boy named Nolan, I think baseball!

June 13, 2011 10:35 AM
By Marsha (not verified)

Lots of twins in Chicago named Clark and Addison, for the streetcorner address of Wrigley Field.

My son's Hebrew name is Rafael, and I always joke that it's because I was there when Rafael Furcal turned his unassisted triple play, so I'm right there with you, Baseball Mom!

June 13, 2011 10:45 AM
By joyce (not verified)

Ok, now I want to have twins so I can name them Evers and Chance.

June 13, 2011 10:54 AM
By ClaireP (not verified)

If you were looking for Jewish names, I'd go with Henry Benjamin "Hank" (Greenberg) and Sanford Braun "Sandy" (Koufax). Two Jewish boys named Hank and Sandy? The homage would be clear.

June 13, 2011 11:04 AM
By Amy (not verified)

I love the Branch suggestion and Ebbet, names that would stand out to knowledgeable baseball fans.

I've thought about using Jackie or Robinson myself.

June 13, 2011 11:10 AM
By Amy (not verified)

not for twins though

June 13, 2011 11:21 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Wil Wheaton's stepchildren are named Nolan and Ryan. Too matchy?

June 13, 2011 11:23 AM
By Annie (not verified)

We named our son after his grandfathers (Charles Roland), but before he was born had decided to use the nn "Rollie." We love it, but people have a lot of problem spelling it (they use "Raleigh" instead) and/or calling him "Riley." But baseball fans always know how to spell and pronounce it.

June 13, 2011 12:37 PM
By sharilyn (not verified)

Ok, so my uncle is named Mickey (after Mickey Mantle). The other option his dad gave his mom was Yogi (Berra). Mickey and Yogi as twins! (Yikes!)

June 13, 2011 1:32 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Do you have a team you love? You could certainly trace back favorite players on that team or something to do with that area as well.

June 13, 2011 2:15 PM
By Jason (not verified)

I immediately thought of Wil Wheaton's stepsons, Nolan and Ryan. They're both good, solid names of the same type and go well together. I think it might be a bit too matchy for twins, though. (Wil's sons are a couple years apart.) You can't help but say them in that order. 'Ryan and Nolan' just sounds wrong, at least to anyone who knows anything about baseball.

June 13, 2011 2:28 PM
By hillary (not verified)

Another fan of Nolan Ryan here. Either of the names are great. I like these other baseball-connected names too:

William (Willie Mays, Ted Williams)
Theodore (Ted Williams)
Aaron (Hank Aaron)
Henry (Hank Aaron, Hank Greenberg)
George (Babe Ruth's given name)

June 13, 2011 4:48 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think Camden and Mack would be very cool names for twin boys.

June 13, 2011 5:41 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My two votes:

Nolan and Cal
(the repeating "L" sound ties them)

Evers and Chance
(their uniqueness and similar "s" sound endings tie them together)

Good luck!

June 13, 2011 7:04 PM
By Lucille (not verified)

I think Nolan's a good name :) that's my son's name and it's neither at the top of the popularity list or the bottom. I was in the same situation with my twin oldest daughter Maisy wanted to give them "princess-y" names. We named one of them Isabelle "Belle" after Maisy's favorite Disney Princess, and the other one is named Ariela (Are-rye-ella) after my son's favorite princess lol :) BTW IM ALL FOR NOLAN!!!!!!!!!

June 13, 2011 11:06 PM
By Alli (not verified)

I vote for Harmon, after the recently deceased Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew. A great baseball player and from everything you hear, an even better person. So maybe...
Harmon and Theodore (Ted Williams)
Harmon and George (Babe Ruth)
Harmon and Rodney (Rod Carew)
Harmon and Wade (Wade Boggs)
Harmon and Louis (Lou Gehrig)
Harmon and Cal (Cal Ripken)
Harmon and Brooks (Brooks Robinson)
Harmon and William (Willie Mays)

Harmon Rabb on JAG was usually called Harm.

June 14, 2011 2:26 AM
By janfi (not verified)

I know someone whose children are named Gehrig, Maddux, and Maris, after baseball players. (Maris is a girl, Gehrig and Maddux are boys). None are twins, though.

June 14, 2011 12:01 PM
By kjw70 (not verified)

Kirby and Nolan!

Each has two syllables and 5 letters, making them sound equal.

Both names are easy to spell and easy to pronounce. Both are masculine without sounding like a thug.

Kirby Puckett and Nolan Ryan = AWESOME and distinctly "baseball" names without sounding cheesy.

That's my vote!

June 14, 2011 12:01 PM
By Erin (not verified)

I googled a list of "Famous Baseball Players":

Babe Ruth
Johnnie Damon
Joe Medwick
Mickey Cochrane
Addie Joss
Eddie Collins
Ryne Sandberg
Pete Rose
Rube Waddell
Roy Campanella
Fergie Jenkins
Charlie Gehringer
Kirby Puckett
Carl Yastrzemski
Eddie Plank
Nolan Ryan
Willie Stargell
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Carlton Fisk
Mel Ott
Harry Heilmann
Carl Hubbell
Sam Crawford
Greg Maddux
Hank Greenberg
Jackie Robinson
Luke Appling
Rod Carew
Lou Gehrig
Hank Aaron
Joe DiMaggio
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Whitey Ford
Ozzie Smith
Mark McGwire
Ty Cobb
Willie McCovey
Christy Mathewson
Barry Bonds
Duke Snider
Bob Gibson
Warren Spahn
Jimmie Foxx
Reggie Jackson
Frankie Frisch
Bob Feller
Tris Speaker
Lou Brock
Dizzy Dean
Frank Robinson
Mordecai Brown
Grover Alexander
Paul Molitor
Lefty Grove
Roger Clemens

I love the twin names:

Nolan & Ryne
Mel & Tris
Jackson & Gibson
Ozzie & Brock
Kirby & Reggie
Damon & Gibson

Ugh! Now I want twins. :)

June 14, 2011 12:05 PM
By nikki (not verified)

Like so many others, I'm all for Cal!
My son's name is Grady and folks often ask if we're Cleveland Indians fans. (No. Though I do like Sizemore.)

June 14, 2011 12:11 PM
By Laura Helen (not verified)

I think Cooper after Cooperstown & Camden after Camden Yards would be nice! I'm a huge baseball fan so I plan on using baseball names for my boys as well!

June 14, 2011 12:14 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Our 4-month old is named Gehrig after Lou Gehrig. He was almost Gehrig Nolan (after mine and my husband's favorite players), but it seemed a little much. If there is ever another boy, he will be either Nolan or Harmon.

June 14, 2011 7:25 PM
By NameLove (not verified)

More votes for:

Nolan and Cal
Evers and Chance (LOVE this pairing)

And a vote for:

Casey and Cooper

By the way, as a person who doesn't follow baseball, I didn't think Ty was too obvious.

June 14, 2011 11:27 PM
By michelle - a mother of twins! (not verified)

I have a friend who named her sons Cooper and Easton after their love of hockey and baseball. We live in Canada so hockey is important up here.

What about Easton and Wilson?

It would be really easy to find stuff with their names on it!

June 14, 2011 11:38 PM
By Lysis (not verified)

I'm going to rain on the parade a little, sorry. I'm a baseball fan and I would be thrilled to meet someone with a really great baseball themed name. However, this kind of thing has to be PERSONAL. If you are naming after a baseball player, it would have to be someone you and/or your husband really feel a connection to. Suggestions from strangers on the internet really can't give you the name you are looking for b/c we can never know which players or teams would transform your name from a entry on a roster to a special gift to your child.

Your husband is a ball player but do you love the game too? These children should have a name that both of their parents feel a strong connection to.

Another thought is, don't namesake someone who could end up making it a negative connection. Any of the 'roid era players are off limits, plus any current players who could break out in some kind of scandal.

June 15, 2011 11:07 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Finley & Camden

Each pick your fav team... then go from there on a name using either a player or the field or mascot or whatever reminds you of why you like that team.

You can also pick other names and nickname your boys something baseball (yogi and slugger)
Pick names YOU like and don't worry about a theme

June 15, 2011 11:21 AM
By mk (not verified)

Who are some of your favorite players? Is there one or two you particularly admire? Who is your favorite team? I think it makes more sense to start there than randomly pick baseball players or teams. For example, it doesn't makes sense to me to go with Camden unless there you also are a fan of Baltimore or the Orioles. Since your husband plays in the minor league, there could be minor league players who would work well for you.

Or go with non-baseball names that you like for first names, and use the theme in for middle names.

June 15, 2011 3:50 PM
By Momma Boudica (not verified)

I am just making pairs form the article's suggestions as i am unversed in baseball.

Early & Satchel

Camden & Forbes

Rawlings & Spalding

I agree with the other moms who love Evers & Chance, but have always myself been hesitant to see how the name "chance" would play out in a life.

and from the list of player someone posted i like the ones people will ask the origin of like
Dizzy & Lefty
Ozzy & Kirby

June 15, 2011 3:52 PM
By nedibes (not verified)

Well, for something completely different, how about something like Homer and Fielding? I imagine there would be other concepts and phrases that might lend themselves to naming--maybe something to do with your husband's position. Good luck, and welcome to the exciting world of parenting multiples!

June 15, 2011 5:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree with Lysis, above. Picking an arbitrary name just to go with the theme could lead to some regret later on. And also make sure you like each name individually, not just as a set.

That being said, my husband keeps suggesting Jeter for a boy. And when I say NO, he comes back with Derek. We may as well just name our son New York Yankee.

June 16, 2011 3:08 PM
By Rei (not verified)

I am not big into baseball but have been looking through the answers and I like these pairings the best:
Evers and Chance
Henry and Aaron
Harmon and Rodney
Harmon and Louis

June 16, 2011 4:48 PM
By Pamela (not verified)

Do you have a favorite team? As a big baseball fan, I think that's important. As a Yankee fan, I would never name my child anything associated with the Red Sox, just as I'm sure there aren't many little Gehrig's floating around Beantown!

Overall, I think last names could be kinda fun-like, Robinson Cano is named for Jackie Robinson...

Also, if your husband ever played for a summer league, like the Cape Cod Baseball League, there might be a name inspiration from there!

June 17, 2011 9:01 AM
By ClaireP (not verified)

Another Jewish baseball theme, not that anyone was asking for it:

When Kevin Youkilis was on the field with Adam Stern and Gabe Kapler in 2005, it set the American League record for most number of Jews on the field at once.

So I'm voting for Adam and Gabe. Kevin is probably too dated for most baby-namers today.

June 17, 2011 10:24 AM
By HiLary (not verified)

I know a family who has all of their girls named in a football theme because the dad is a high school football coach. The first two are twins.


I would consider doing a theme like that rather than naming the boys after actual players. These are just a few that came to mind:


June 17, 2011 10:32 AM
By HiLary (not verified)

I just had another thought - maybe after a movie theme.

Crash (after Crash Davis from Bull Durham)

June 18, 2011 6:22 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I would go for either

Ryan and Aaron


Casey and Cal

June 22, 2011 12:02 PM
By Sibyl (not verified)

Cooper and Cal
Cooper and Casey
Cooper and Camden

June 27, 2011 8:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

There is a player that used to play for the Tigers with the name Clete.

I can't seem to think of another one without getting weird, but here are a few.


July 5, 2011 11:45 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Late to chiming in here, but was reminded this weekend when picnicing with the extended family ...

Need to preface by saying we're a northeat Ohio family, very close to Cleveland. A cousin's husband is a basketball freak. When they learned a little boy was on the way he started pulling out the theme names. His first name is also basketball themed, but his middle name is James, as in LeBron James.

At least James is universaly enough that unless they tell people where the inspiration came from, people won't automatically know.

Off the top of my head, some older, retired players to consider as inspiration:

Jackie Robinson
Cal Ripken
Nolan Ryan
Willie Mays
Mickey Mantle

There are also stadiums like Wrigley, Camden, Turner, Miller, Fenway or no longer in existance like Cominsky and Shea.

Want to really confuse people, try Wrigley and Cominskey.

July 5, 2011 9:40 PM
By Sasha (not verified)

What about after teams?
Brewer and Ranger?

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