The Palm Beach Post’s Mike Bernadino, not old enough to remember the slings and arrows suffered by journeyman infielder Stan Fuckensuck, on the plight of the Marlins’ Dan Uggla. (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Fans. Teammates. Visiting broadcasters. All of them seem to trip on the unusual surname, which is pronounced “UGG-la.”
“Basically,” Uggla says, “they call me everything but the right name.”
Uggla isn’t bothered by this. He has heard plenty of other variations through the years, including “YOU-gla” and “Ugly” and some that inexplicably add an extra syllable in the middle.
But Joe Girardi?
“Oh, he knows my name,” Uggla says with a grin. “He just calls me Oogie.
In addition to the innocent mistakes, there have been catcalls from drunk frat boys in the stands, cackling insults from the bleachers, corny puns from broadcasters. Recently, the Mets’ TV crew was yukking it up at the new kid’s expense.
“They were making some comment on how Daniel had to live with that name,” says John Uggla, a technical consultant who retired in 2001 after 30 years at General Electric, “how his teammates were calling him [Ugly] and all that kind of stuff. It’s not really true, but they can say whatever they want.”