Make That Zack Britton, Please

Make That Zack Britton, Please

A Yankees reliever has a new name, or at least a new spelling.

After eight seasons in the majors as Zach Britton, the pitcher announced Thursday that he would now be known as Zack Britton.

Britton said the change reflected his legal name, which is Zackary.

In response to a query on Twitter about why he waited to make the switch, he replied, “It’s a long story.” He added that the years of misspelling “never bothered me.”

Britton, 31, acquired during the 2018 season from the Baltimore Orioles, pitched in 25 games for the Yankees, mostly in short relief, with a 2.88 earned run average.

He joined a surprisingly long list of major leaguers who have changed their names midcareer.

Just last month, B.J. Upton, a former major leaguer, opted to reclaim B.J. after four years as Melvin, his legal name. Upton’s father was nicknamed Bossman, making him Bossman Junior, or B.J.

Pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested in 2012 in the Dominican Republic and accused of being someone else. Carmona had given a false name and a lower age when he signed his contract. After the fallout, he added three years to his age and began using his real name: Roberto Hernandez.

Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton went by Mike for years, because of teasing in school. As a major league star, he returned to his first name, Giancarlo.

A quick look at other sports turns up Metta World Peace (originally Ron Artest) and Chad Ochocinco (Chad Johnson). We’ll leave it at that.

The spelling of the short form of Zachary is varied: The new coach of the Bengals is Zac Taylor, and the Black Power Ranger was Zack Taylor.

In the world of acting, there is Zac Efron, Zach Braff and Zach Galifianakis. The character on “Saved by the Bell” was Zack Morris. Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist is Zakk Wylde (born Jeffrey Wielandt). President Zachary Taylor went mostly by his full name.

Elsewhere in baseball, the Mets have Zack Wheeler, and the Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke, suggesting that “K” is the better letter for pitchers.

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