Halladay or Holliday: That is the Question

michael eisnerCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2009

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:  American League All-Star Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

Don't you just hate it when you're listening to the radio and your local broadcaster mispronounces Roy Halladay's name by calling him Holliday?

Doesn't that make you angry?

Well, I'm here to tell you that there have been many mispronunciations and misspellings throughout the years that have really gotten my goat, so to speak (I don't really own a goat, but if I did his name would be Fred). In the interest of time, I have decided to list out a few for you. Feel free to comment and add to the list:

David Cone

Back when Cone appeared in the New York sports scene in 1988, there were so many people who thought his name was David Cohen. I admit that I was one of them. At the time, Cone was on the verge of having his first big season as a pitcher and was already being anointed the second coming of Sandy Koufax. Years later, we now know that David Cone's last name is spelled C-O-N-E, and not C-O-H-E-N.

Mark McGwire

Ever since he burst on the scene in 1987 by slugging 49 home runs and winning the American League Rookie of the Year award, Mark McGwire's last name has always been the subject of great spell-check debate.  Commonly misspelled by swapping the "W" from McGwire with a "U," Mark McGwire has done a favor to the chronic misspellers across the world by crawling in a hole for the last four years and refusing to come out—even for Groundhog Day. Now that he has been named a coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, I'm sure that the phantom U that magically turns M-c-G-W-I-R-E into M-c-G-U-I-R-E will return in triumphant fashion.

Cal Ripken Jr.

Another iconic baseball figure of the past 30 years, Cal Ripken Jr. has the benefit of being the second in a long line of Ripkens to take part in a Major League baseball game. In fact, he wasn't even the first Cal Ripken to don an Orioles uniform. That honor belonged to his father, Cal Ripken SENIOR. So there was plenty of time to practice the proper spelling of Ripken. Instead, you will commonly find the "E" in Ripken incorrectly replaced with an "I."

Brett Favre

After all the traveling Brett Favre has done over the past few years—from Green Bay to New York to Minnesota—it's a damn shame that this future Hall of Famer's last name has been butchered more times than my takeout order at The Outback. Despite the fact that Favre owns many distinct gridiron records, including the most appearances in the movie "There's Something About Mary," the so-called sports writers of America still have a hard time remembering that the "v" goes before the "r" in F-A-V-R-E. Perhaps it will take another retirement and subsequent comeback from Favre for the beat writers to get it right.

Isiah Thomas

Personally, I prefer to call him by his nickname Zeke. Isiah Thomas has proven that he can run a professional basketball franchise about as well as a dead person can run a marathon. However, that is no excuse for the blatant disregard for the proper spelling of his first name: Isiah. There have been Isiah's before and Isiah's after, but none have quite left their mark on the hardwood like Zeke, who once professed his love for Magic Johnson by gently kissing him on the cheek before an NBA All-Star game (I know, they were just boys). But Zeke's real first name has been incorrectly spelled I-S-A-I-A-H far too many times for my taste. Perhaps if he wasn't such an NBA franchise-home wrecker, the newspaper and magazine editors would spend an extra 24 seconds spell-checking his first name.

There you have it. Five professional athletes whose names have been commonly misspelled throughout the years. In my next installment, I will focus on five athletes whose names have been mispronounced.

Happy reading.