Former Boston and Texas catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has the longest last name in MLB history at 14 letters. His last name was so long, it barely fit on his jerseys. Instead of just writing his name across the top of his letters, Rangers’ uniform makers were forced to curl his name around his back, his letters starting below his numbers. Since his retirement in 2018, Major League Baseball hasn’t had a similarly wacky long name to marvel at. Obviously, that’s not something the league needs, but it was fun to marvel at just how in the world jersey makers managed to fit the entirety of Saltalamacchia on the back. Well, in 2022, we see the return of the awesomely long name, and it’s from a player we’re all very familiar with.
We’ve grown to know and love this player by the name Dee Gordon. However, in 2020, he opted for the name Dee Strange-Gordon to honor his mother who was killed in the middle of that year. That’s 13 letters and one hyphen, tying it for the longest name (character-wise) in MLB history. And yes, it looks as great as you’d hope it does. As I said earlier, Gordon made the name change in 2020 but, of course, fans were unable to see it in all its glory due to COVID-19 that year. And since Gordon didn’t play at all in 2021, the first time we, as a collective fandom, got to witness the name up close was during Opening Day yesterday.
Here’s what we need to keep in mind when comparing the names Strange-Gordon and Saltalamacchia though. Saltalamacchia has two L’s and an I. It does have an M. I’ll give it that, but Strange-Gordon has zero thin letters meaning that every stitch on the back of his jersey takes up more space. When Strange-Gordon was with the Mariners, his name dipped below the ‘9′ on the back of his jersey entirely. It does the same with the Nationals, but not quite to the same extent. Still, given the Nationals’ affinity for large fonts on the back of their jerseys, it’s definitely a sight to see.