Skip to content

Royals Pitcher Makes MLB NOB History

Royals pitcher Daniel Lynch had something new on his uniform when he took the mound for last night’s start against the Tigers: A Roman numeral “IV” had been added to his NOB. He had previously just worn “Lynch.” I’m fairly certain it’s the first time an MLB player has worn the “IV” suffix.

Several MLB players in recent years have worn “Jr.” (including current players Fernando Tatis Jr., Vlad Guerrero Jr., and  Luis Robert Jr.), but Roman numerals are rare. Atlanta outfielder Michael Harris II has one, but I can’t think of any other MLB examples, past or present. Anyone..?

Lynch made his MLB debut in 2021 and has always included the “IV” on his glove:

Of course, putting “Daniel Lynch IV” on the glove (or anywhere else) makes sense, because using the generational suffix as part of a person’s entire name is proper and appropriate. It is not appropriate, however, for such suffixes — whether “Jr.,” “Sr.,” or a Roman numeral — to be used solely with a person’s surname, and as such they should not be included in NOBs. It’s a bit disappointing that Lynch has gone this route after following the correct protocol earlier in his career, but that’s the uni-verse we live in now.

(My thanks to Brian Hansen for bringing Lynch’s NOB to my attention.)

Comments (36)

    Unless his father, grandfather, or great-grandfather also plays for the team, what is the purpose of this?

    The purpose is to call attention to the fact that his family is unoriginal with its naming convention. (And I say that as Michael Joseph V.)

    Because he considers his name to be “Lynch IV”? What is the purpose of adding correct accent marks, like Acuña Jr, Lafrenière, or Báez? Because that’s their name and that’s the way it should be written.

    Player jerseys have last names on them. IV is not part of his last name. The diacritics you mention are part of those players’ last names. Your analogy doesn’t fly.

    I believe Yandy Diaz of the Rays just had a boy named Yandy Jr. the other day. Maybe he will change his NOB to “Diaz Sr.”

    The only legacy Robert Griffin left the sports world was the fascination with these generational suffixes. Until he came along and insisted on having ‘III’ on his jersey, such things were very rare. I remember the fascination with this stuff when both Ken Griffeys were on the same team in the early 90s. That made a lot of sense. Now it just looks like desperate grasping.

    Speaking of father and son on the same team, as far as I know, Cal Sr., Cal Jr., and Billy Ripken all just had “RIPKEN” on their jerseys with their respective numbers.

    I like that Paul’s response here can be both descriptive (they just had RIPKEN as the NOB) and prescriptive (just having RIPKEN is the right way to do a NOB).

    Really? Memory can be a crazy thing. I could’ve sworn that they started this trend, but I trust your knowledge over my memory.

    I suppose you know, and have likely written about it at some point, but who was the first major-sport player to wear a generational suffix?

    I can certainly understand a JR, and especially at IV taking pride in their name being passed down their family. But the pushback needs to come from the leagues. Even in the case of a father and son playing on the same team, their uniform numbers already differentiate them.
    I used to appreciate a good FIOB wen players shared the same surname, and likewise would be fascinated how it was handled if their given name started with the same letter. But I am completely over it all now. Between the generational suffixes and attempts to squeeze hyphenated surnames into tiny spaces, at this point I am team NNOB throughout sports.

    “… and likewise would be fascinated how it was handled if their given name started with the same letter.”

    Immediately reminds me of the twins, Rich and Ron Sutter, who went FullNOB when they played together with the Flyers and the Blues.

    Almost forgot Mark and Marty Howe going FNOB with the Aeros and Whalers, along with dad Gordie.

    I think this is the first UW post I’ve disagreed with; while it may not be proper to list the generational suffix with just the last name, we know these athletes by their full names. To specify the specific individual, I refer to Griffey Jr, Griffin III, Harris II, or Guerrero Jr. If I simply referred to them as Griffey, Griffin, Harris, or Guerrero, it would be at least slightly ambigous, even with context. As such, I’m perfectly fine with generational suffixes on NOBs. Just my two cents.

    With the Griffeys and Guerreros, it matters. If its 1989 and you ask me “Did you see that homerun Griffey hit the other night?”, I need the clarification: Ken Griffey, Sr., or Jr.?

    If you asked me if I saw the touchdown that Griffin threw, I’m probably going to know what you’re asking, because I’m not even aware if his father or grandfather ever played the game.

    We only know him as Robert Griffin III because it was rammed down our throats–not because we needed to distinguish him from his ancestors.

    When there’s a Sr., a Jr., and a III, those numbers change when someone dies. Jr. becomes Sr., III becomes Jr., IV becomes III, etc.

    If Lynch is using this properly (likely not), then Great-Grandpappy Lynch Sr. is still around.

    The operative word is “properly”. People generally change Senior and Junior when appropriate, but nobody I know with numeral suffixes changes them when the older generation passes away. Myself included. For all I know, I am Michael Joseph XXV, rather than V, but I am not combing the Irish church records to find out.

    Whoa whoa whoa. Senior and Junior change when senior passes away..? What? Is that really a thing? And if so, why? That seems completely unnecessary, not to mention wrong… and also not to mention a legal nightmare.

    One thing I find annoyingly confusing about the suffixomania plaguing uniforms today is that almost nobody uses FNOB to differentiate teammates with the same last name. People insist on being SMITH III but couldn’t suffer being M. SMITH if their teammate is D. SMITH – keeping in mind that the teammates each have uniform numbers to distinguish one from the other but the guy’s dad (or son) probably isn’t playing pro sports at the same time as the player in question.

    As Billy said to The Kid in Purple Rain: “The stage is no place for your personal sh**, man.”

    The insistence on the suffix is self-indulgent BS. And this takes it to the extreme. You want to honor your ancestors? YOU’RE ALREADY DOING THAT.

    I think when players put “Sr.” on their jerseys it takes it even more to the extreme (UNLESS) their child also plays on the same team. But usually it’s young guys who just had babies.

    I find the whole senior, junior, etc. thing annoying. An individual is Steve Jr., not Smith Jr.. The senior thing is even worse as the title is created by himself for himself. Yes, I’m looking at you, Steve Smith Sr..

    Wow, and here I thought I was the only one who got ticked off by this. I’m a little verklempt.

    I’m actually surprised the uni community appears to largely be anti-generational suffix — I would have thought it was one of those occasional quirks that piques interest. I like them, whether proper or not. It tells a little story about the person.

    I hope I’m around for the first NOB with “Esq.” so I can watch Paul go through the roof!

    A big “hear, hear” to Paul for calling out suffixes as not being part of the surname and thus being at least out of place on NOBs. I’ve thought this for a long time but apparently forgot that Paul had addressed it in the past.

    The more I think about this, I agree 100% IV does not really belong. The IV delineates him form the previous Daniel Lynch’s…it is not his surname. If he had a brother, the NOB would be Lynch. If he named his son Michael, the son would have a NOB of Lynch.

    Yes! This had been bugging me for a long time, and I wasn’t sure of the Uni-Watch community’s general take. It’s a relief to see Paul and so many others on the rational side of NO to generational suffixes on uniforms. I keep pointing at them and saying to my wife, friends, cats: “But the Jr corresponds with the first name! Doesn’t belong there! I hate this expanding trend!” None of them cared.

    Love the commentary.

    He should change his last name “Lynch IV” so can name his kid after him and then be Lynch IV, Sr.

    Get rid of all NOBs in sports. The fans already know who the players are, otherwise the numbers will help them out as will the scoreboard and/ or the game program. Team first, individual names much later!

    Seconded. We’ve got graphics on screens to tell us the players’ names anyway.

Comments are closed.