Firstman: Most popular first names in baseball history

From SABR member Diane Firstman at Value Over Replacement Grit on July 7, 2012:

I went to Target Field last week as part of the SABR annual convention, and got to see a fellow named Liam Hendriks pitch for the Twins.  Liam, while a relatively popular name in the UK, is an uncommon name here in the US (William being the much more common variant).  Mr. Hendriks is the first “Liam” to ever play in the Majors.

That got me wondering of the differences in the birth names of Major Leaguers versus the US general public over time.  Here are the most popular boys names in each decade from 1880-1980, with “Public” coming from the Social Security Administration and “MLB” culled from the Lahman database.

You of course understand that there won’t be too much difference between Mike/Michael, Bill/William and the like.  Its still interesting to see how the popularity of certain names has changed.

Perhaps we’ll see a bunch of “Bryce”s starting in the 2030s?

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Originally published: July 10, 2012. Last Updated: July 10, 2012.