Wagner: When Spanish names flummox English-speaking baseball announcers

From James Wagner at the New York Times on June 12, 2018:

Dan Baker, the Philadelphia Phillies longtime public address announcer, read out the starting lineups for a recent game. Certain names he was particularly proud of, but not for anything they had done on the field.

“Leading off for the Philadelphia Phillies, No. 16, second baseman César Hernández,” Baker boomed.

That was, César (SAY-sar), as it is said in Spanish, or pretty close for someone whose only formal instruction in the language was three years in high school. Many people, after all, just say it the Anglicized way, like the salad (SEE-zar).

“Even if I don’t get it 100 percent correct, the players appreciate the effort,” Baker, 71, said.

Major League Baseball this season has players from a record 21 countries and territories outside the continental United States. The majority of them are Spanish-speaking, with players’ names that can be tricky for English-speaking broadcasters and public address announcers to pronounce accurately.

Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/sports/baseball-spanish-names-announcers.html

Originally published: June 12, 2018. Last Updated: June 12, 2018.