What's in a name?

by yokonashiwa - 15 cards (Last updated on Mar 3, 2017)

1. 1972-73 Topps #205 Warren Jabali

Birth Name: Warren Edward Armstrong
Year Name Legally Changed: 1965-1968

Changed his name to more accurately reflect his African Heritage during his college years. The word jabali is Swahili for "rock."

2. 1975-76 Topps #49 Zaid Abdul-Aziz

Birth Name: Donald A. Smith
Year Name Legally Changed: 1976

No real reason for the name change. He just did.

3. 1979 Brooke Bond Olympic Greats #21 Muhammad Ali

Birth Name: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
Year Name Changed Legally: 1964

Religious reasons

4. 1981 Topps #457 Ahmad Rashad

Birth Name: Robert Earl Moore
Year Name Changed Legally: 1973

Religious reasons

5. 1983-84 Star #228 World B. Free

Birth Name: Lloyd Bernard Free
Date Name Changed Legally: December 8, 1981

World was his nickname growing up and eventually he made the name change to honor that fact.

6. 1987 Topps #633 Jose Uribe

Birth Name: José Altagracia González Uribe
Year Name Changed Legally: 1985

He changed it because "There are too many Gonzálezes in baseball!"

7. 1990 Classic WWF #43 The Ultimate Warrior

Birth Name: James Brian Hellwig
Year Name Legally Changed: 1993

Changed his name to Warrior. His children use Warrior as their last name.

8. 1990 Score #401 Mark Duper

Birth Name: Mark Duper
Year Name Changed Legally: 1995

Changed his middle name to Super (once his Nickname)

9. 1991 All World #21 Marvin Hagler

Birth Name: Marvin Nathaniel Hagler
Year Name Changed Legally: 1982

Made Marvelous his first name legally because the sportscasters wouldn't call him by his nickname at the time.

10. 1993-94 Fleer #50 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

Birth Name: Chris Wayne Jackson
Year Name Legally Changed: 1993

Religious reasons



Mar 4, 2017 - 3:09AM
Billy Kingsley

Hakeem  didn't add the H for religious reasons, he changed it because too many people were pronouncing it wrong. Armen Gilliam (formerly Armon) did the same thing. Neat list, I just touched on 10 NBA players who changed names on my blog last week, http://cardboardhistory.blogspot.com/2017/02/nba-encylopedia-2-name-changes.html

I hadn't known most of the football or baseball changes before. 

Mar 4, 2017 - 12:20PM

Joe Theismann changed the pronounciation of his name. Theismann (pronounced THEES-min) became Theismann (THIGHS-min). It was part of a gimmick to get Heisman Trophy voters to think of the rhyming last name. It didn't work, Theismann finished second to Jim Plunkett.

Sugar Ray Robinson (Walker Smith, Jr.) http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Person.cfm/pid/39316/Sugar-Ray-Robinson-; Too young to fight in an AAU bout, he borrowed ID from his buddy, Ray Robinson. (stories vary as to exact type of ID used).

Maurice Jones-Drew (Maurice Christopher Drew) http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Person.cfm/pid/10952/Maurice-Jones-Drew-; Maurice added Jones to his last name to honor is grandparents who raise him (Maurice and Christina Jones).

Karim Abdul-Jabbar (Sharmon Shah). http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Person.cfm/pid/21854/Karim-Abdul-Jabbar; In college he changed his name to Karim Abdul-Jabbar. The NBA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sued and won a lawsuit forcing him to remove "Abdul-Jabbar" from his jersey on the grounds that he was profiting off someone else's identity.  His current legal name is Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar. 

Mike Danton (Mike Jefferson) http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Person.cfm/pid/31948 (Danton) & http://www.tradingcarddb.com/InaccuraciesP.cfm/pid/32165 (Jefferson). Mike Jefferson changed is last name when he became estranged from his family. In 2004, Danton was imprisoned for conspiracy to commit murder. He was released on parole on September 11, 2009. He resumed professional hockey in 2011.

Boof Bonser (John Paul Bonser) http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Person.cfm/pid/573/Boof-Bonser- Boof was his nickname since infancy. He made it leagl in 2001.

Nene (Maybyner Rodney Hilário)  http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Person.cfm/pid/7226/Nene-Hilario Changed in 2003 to his nickname. Hoping to become as famous as another one-name Brazilian, Pele.

Mar 4, 2017 - 1:20PM

I had seen those when I was putting this list together C2Cigars.  I was going to add them, but I was afraid the list would get to long. 

I might have misread the information on the reason for Hakeem's name change, Billy.  I really liked putting this list together.  Thank you.


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