It is a foregone conclusion that the Chicago Cubs will win the 2016 World Series. How, you ask? Well Dr. Mallory Katz of BabyNames.com analyzed the names of both the 1908 and 2016 rosters and came to the realization that, by any other name, this year the Cubs will be champions once again.
First, I must admit that I am a die-hard Cubs fan from a die-hard Chicagoland family, growing up in Evanston, Illinois. As co-founder of BabyNames.com, I have compared the rosters of the 1908 and 2016 players and have determined, even if in name only, the Cubs will win the 2016 World Series.
Who else is from Evanston? Why, John Cusack of course. Of note, John (God is gracious) and derivations of John (Jon, Johnny, Jack) are the most common name on the 1908 Cubs roster and also appear on the 2016 roster twice (Lackey and Lester). Lackey and Lester, along with 1908's Jack Fiester, pitch. The other most common name of pitchers from the two years is Carl (Lundgren, Spongberg, Edwards), meaning manly.
So what names are the least alike on the two rosters? Well, 1908's hall of famer pitcher, Mordecai (warrior) Brown and infielder Heinie (ruler of the home) Zimmerman stand out from the rest. From 2016, pitcher Aroldis (likely from Harold, meaning army ruler) Chapman and outfielder Dexter (dyer of clothes) Fowler also are among the most unusual names.
If you look just at the meanings of names, however, the name Vin (Campbell) means victorious. Other "fighting" names include Mordecai (warrior), Bill (strong willed warrior), Harry/Aroldis (army ruler), Jimmy/Jake (supplanter), Hector (steadfast), and Pedro (rock). But the 2016 Cubs also have religion on its side, with names Mike Montgomery and Miguel Contreras (Who is like God?), Kris Bryant (Christ bearer), and the aforementioned John Lackey and Jon Lester (God is gracious).
Now, although I'd rather not, I must discuss the challengers, the Cleveland Indians. First of all, if we are talking about names, it is mandatory that we mention the horrifyingly monickered "Chief Wahoo." But the Indians are already on the hot seat for their "mascot" (can a culture actually be a mascot?) and we will move on to the given names of the 2016 Cleveland Indians roster. For sure, there are peaceniks on the Cleveland team, including Jeff (peace of a stranger) Manship and Francisco (free) Lindor. One name means chocolate bean (Coco Crisp) and another means hollow (Corey Kluber). There are other names that have meanings that are more cryptic, such as Cody Allen (descendent of Oda), Trevor Bauer (from the big settlement), Tyler Naquin (tile maker) and we cannot forget Brandon Guyer (from the broom hill). Do these meanings equate to champions? I think not.
I know some of my readers will say that it is too early to predict who will win the World Series. And yes, names don't necessarily indicate whether a team will prevail or not. To these naysayers, I answer Cubs fans do anything for a chance to win the big one - from rituals such as chants and dances to non-ticket holders descending upon Wrigleyville just to sing Go Cubs Go and smell the air of excitement. Yet, this is the year that the men in blue stripes can channel their 1908 counterparts and repeat the win of the century. Oh, and we cannot forget Addison Russell, whose given name is defined as "child of Adam," although I would argue that it means "child of Wrigley Field." To Chicagoans, however, aren't we all?
Dr. Mallory Moss Katz is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner and co-founder of the foremost baby names websites, BabyNames.com. Dr. Katz has written several pieces on a variety of subjects for the Huffington Post, The Hill, Eurasian.com and Foreign Policy Daily. Her expertise includes adult psychiatry and psychotherapy, Eurasian foreign affairs, celebrity baby names, and (of course) Chicago Cubs baseball!