Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What's In a Name?

As I promised Ibrahim and Josh, an explanation of character and team names from The Season.

Please don't laugh. Too hard.

You have not met all the characters yet.

Pete Towers: When I first came up with the idea of doing a baseball story, I was thinking of doing a story on a manager. I was in the bathroom, when I saw this book my dad was reading, Management by Pete Drucker, and the idea of 'Pete' as the name for a manager just stuck.

Paul Green: I remember “green” from the movie The Perfect Storm to describe a guy on his first fishing trip. As Paul is a rookie, he’s still…well…Green!

Ben Abraham: Named after my grandfather and my grandfather’s brother. Neither of them, to my knowledge, were athletes, but if they had played baseball, I imagine they would have played catcher.

Damien Riley: Damien’s got a lot of demons, the name just seemed to fit. Riley, as a last name, rolled right off of the tongue.

Terry Jones: Terry’s an older player, and not many young people nowadays are named Terry. Jones is one of the most common American surnames, and Terry’s not a commonplace character, but one that’s supposed to be a bit of Americana.

Richie Haus: Charlie Haus’s son. I don’t know where the name Haus came from, but Charlie Haus seemed to fit. I also don’t know where Richie came from, but again it fits.

Micah Garcia: I think I came up with his name right when Micah Owings had that gigandamundous game of his, but I might be wrong.

Daniel Lewis: After one of my brothers.

Monty Allison: I apparently once had an uncle named Monty, who was as wealthy and fabulous as the name Monty would imply.

Kent Andrews: My thesis advisor is a kiwi, and my SO is also a kiwi (my love life is complicated), so I wanted a kiwi character, and Kent just feels like a Kiwi name. Even if it’s an English name, and Andrews is a Scottish one. I want to get married at the castle in St. Andrews.

Bran Stromer: In one of my all time favorite series, a character is named Bran. However this Bran is completely different—that Bran is a six year old boy, this Bran is kind of like a young version of Vlad the Impaler Guerrero.

Cory Daniels: Named after my friend Cory, who was the first friend I made at Syracuse and remains one of my closest, and my friend Dan, with whom I share a passion for baseball, even if he cheers for the wrong team.

Steven King: The character is supposed to look a bit like another Steve you may have seen on ESPN, though certainly not the same personality. However, I couldn’t give him that Steve’s surname for obvious reasons, and when King came to mind I wasn’t even thinking of that Steve, but the name stuck and now it’s not right to change it.

TJ Redd: TJ to me are baseball initials. I don’t know where Redd came from, but Redd it is.

Eliot Zephyr: Zephyr is just a really cool last name, and I was astonished to find it is, in fact, a surname.

Dennis Howard: Like Ben Abraham, but the other side of the family, and these guys I do imagine as being coaches more than catchers.

Eduardo Gomez: Guys with the last name Gomez make good relief pitchers.

Adrian Martinez: Originally named Alfredo Martinez, and then I realized that the character looked way more like an Adrian than an Alfredo.

Dylan Offers: I don’t know if a three month relationship in high school can be called a romance, but Dylan did get me The Natural for Valentine’s Day.

Jeff Martin: NO idea where this came from, to be honest. Sounds more like a hockey player…

Leo Castiglione: The night I came up with all the characters, I was reading The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione. The surname was fine but I needed to bring the first name to the 21st century.

William Tully: I have no idea why a pitcher that’s supposed to be under the radar a la Chien Ming Wang has the name William Tully, but he does. Somewhere in my mind this makes perfect sense.

Liam Laurens: After my friends Bill T, who I met first online under the username liamstliam, and my friend Laura, also a fellow New Englander. Both, I’m afraid, root for the wrong team, but Bill actually knows Pete Abe, which is just weird.

Li Ming: I don’t know Chinese names well, so I kind of tried to go with something fairly commong—obviously, given Yao Ming, and Chien-Ming Wang, Ming is a common enough name, and I vaguely remember seeing Li before. Like the rest, once this name hit, it stuck, so I just really hope it’s not a girl’s name….I’ve done something like that in my writing before, and those who know me know I am notoriously bad at associating names with genders.

Graeme Johnson: Something about Graeme Lloyd, but I’m not sure what.

Team Names

Hope City Spartans: Hope City is supposed to be one of the dying industrial cities of the Northeast. Spartans came to me fairly easily---I am in love with the movie 300, and anyway, when I was 12 and learned about Ancient Greece, the class was divided into Athens and Sparta, and I went to Sparta. The love affair continues. THIS IS SPARTA!

New York Knights: Homage to Bernard Malamud. Plain and simple.

New England Tribe: I believe one of the earliest teams to play in Boston was known as the Boston Braves.

Washington Sox: I don’t really like teams named ___ Sox, and I don’t really like Washington, so there you go.

Florida ‘Canes: Hurricanes when they win, sugarcane when they lose.

Minnesota Berserkers: Vikings was already taken.

St. Louis Gold: Golden Gate Arch.

Chicago Lakemen: Well, the city sits on the lake, doesn’t it?

Cleveland Rivermen: See above and substitute “River” for “Lake”

Detroit Moose: Okay, so there probably aren’t moose in Detroit, but I imagine there might be a few in the upper peninsula.

Memphis Jazz: I needed one more team to make the league have an even number of teams, and when I said Memphis, my friend Dan said that I had to name them the Memphis Jazz.

Seattle ‘Nauts: Space Needle.

California Diablos: I really, really don’t like the Angels. I do like Vlad though.

Texas Stampede: Well, it’s Texas, and Rangers and Cowboys have been taken!

Denver Mustang: Broncos was taken, and if it was Detroit Mustang everyone would have thought I named the team for a car.

Kansas City ‘Nadoes: I am TERRIFIED of Tornadoes, and Texas Twisters just plain sounds bad.

I know a sixteen team league is a small league, but dude, YOU should try coming up with a complete, April-September schedule…took me about two days straight to do it.

NBA and NHL roundups in about 16-18 hours, and possibly another post between now and then, or after. I live a confusing life. I have no concept of time any more.


  1. I like the logic behind names. I definitely got the "green" thing associated with rookie. But a lot of the others were very not obvious and interesting.

    Especially the team names.

    Btw, better make this a happy story. I'm tired of all the sports movies I watch where the team MISSES the last shot, or comes up a yard short of the endzone or the LONG FLY BALL- WAY BACK- Caught. Ends the game.

    I suppose they're trying to say, it's not the win, it's the transformative journey that's the point of the story.

    But, darnit, I like it when the team I've been rooting for all movie long WINS it!

  2. Hehe, well, I got my ending planned out...but I won't spoil anything here =)

  3. I can probably predict an OPTIMISTIC ending. ;)

  4. very interesting read. I've always liked the name Mustangs for a team. It sounds majestic to me.