Spellczechs (and others)

The stories behind hard-to-spell athlete names

Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Doug Wayne Gwosdz

with 4 comments

Image (c) Baseball-Almanac.com Tale of the tape:

English Pronunciation : Doug Wayne Goosh

First/middle/last names subject to misspelling: Last

Spellczechs degree of difficulty (1 – 5 diamonds, 5 being hardest)♦♦♦♦♦

Valid in Scrabble (name(s) also valid Scrabble words in and of themsel(ves)?: None

Playable in Scrabble (name(s) able to be formed with standard 100-tile English set)?: All

Best Anagram Genius anagram: (None of any quality)

Method for remembering spelling: Acronym phrase

The story:

Doug Wayne Gwosdz was a career backup catcher for the San Diego Padres, batting a putrid .144/.244/.202 (for those of you not familiar with “slash stats”, this refers to batting average / on-base percentage / slugging percentage) from 1981 through 1984.  He possesses an unremarkable first name (I can find no record of his first name being anything other than Doug.  You didn’t even think to name him “Douglas”, Mrs. Gwosdz?).  He also has a non-descript middle name.   These however are overcompensated by his “consonant jambalaya” of a last name.

Gwosdz appears to be a variant of the “rare to begin with” surname of Gwozdz, and gwozdz would seem to be the Polish word for “nail” (which seems to be a good sign if you aspire to be a major league catcher).

Approximately 17,000 different players have suited up for a Major League Baseball game.  Of those 17,000, about 4,300 of these players had last names of exactly six letters.  Of those 4,300, a mere 330 or so had but ONE vowel in their name.¹ So what Doug lacked in on-field performance, he made up for in alphabetic rarity.

Upon hearing “Goosh”, I can only wish that Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh could have been the real-life batterymate of Gwosdz.   It would have rivaled “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain”.  We could have had “LaLoosh and Gwosdz . . . and the batters go whoosh!”

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by dianagram

July 19, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Baseball

Tagged with