Names are a frequent source of amusement around here, and in that spirit, SC wants to follow up on a comment made last night by Ted Leitner, play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres.
Remarking on Colorado Rockies catcher J.D. Closser, Leitner claimed "J.D. doesn't actually stand for anything; his parents just gave him those initials as a name" (I paraphrase, but this is approximately what he said). Right idea, wrong player, Ted -- J.D. actually stands for Jeffrey Darrin in this case, but there's nevertheless something to Ted's instincts.
The initials "J.D." and "D.J." do seem to have a hold on some players, so much that they want to go by them even when those aren't really their initials. Dodgers pitcher "D.J." Houlton is actually named Dennis Sean, and perennially underachieving outfielder "J.D." Drew is David Jonathan. For that matter, Twins pitcher "J.D." Durbin goes by Joseph Adam on his birth certificate.
Of course, all this J.D./D.J. silliness only concerns nicknames, but one really has to wonder about the attraction of going by nicknames that are just initials when baseball has such a glorious history of doing better, like The Iron Horse, The Yankee Clipper, or The Big Train. To paraphrase legendary manager Casey Stengel, can't anybody here nickname these players?