The Cubs this week signed much-traveled two-time Tommy John surgery patient outfielder Xavier Nady to an incentive-laden one-year contract. While this signing would normally indicate just another moment when the Cubs aim low and strike dirt, it also marks the first signing of a sixth in team history.
Nady’s full name is Xavier Nady VI (Note to Sox fans: that’s pronounced “the sixth” not “Vie”). While such enumeration often indicates royal blood, in Nady’s case it’s all about lack of imagination. For seven generations, no one in the Nady family has thought of a better name for its first-born sons than Xavier (Nady’s own son is Xavier VII).
This lack of imagination promises that Nady will fit in well with the Cubs, as imagining things like taking an extra base on a ball hit to the gap, hitting a grounder to advance a runner into scoring position, or not swinging at the first pitch from a new reliever have defined Cubs hitters since the arrival of Milton Bradley in 2009.
Howmanyofme.com claims “Xavier Nady” is the 108,153rd most popular name in the United States, but that was before the arrival of VII, so it’s probably broken in to the top 100,000. “Xavier” was a Basque Jesuit Saint, and is pronounced “HAV-a-yer,” as in a Sox fan saying “Hav’a’yer sister call me up when she gets outta jail.”
By Bill Savage, Heckler reader and baseball expert