The Arizona Fall League season recently wrapped up for the year, but it left us with an intriguing player to ponder: Rangers prospect Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa, a Hawaiian-born pitcher who played for the Surprise Saguaros.
Hoopii-Tuionetoa’s official MiLB page lists his surname as “Hoopii-Tuionetoa” (which is also what was printed on his Arizona Fall League Media Day identification card). That would be prodigious enough on its own — 15 letters plus a hyphen, which would put him in the same rarefied air as Simeon Woods Richardson (15 letters plus a space).
But as you can see in the screen shot above, Hoopii-Tuionetoa’s Arizona Fall League NOB included two apostrophes: HO’OPI’I-TUIONETOA.
As it turns out, the guy’s full name is actually Anthony David Maui La‘akea Ho‘opi‘i-Tuionetoa. And those two marks in his surname aren’t apostrophes — they’re ‘okinas. If you’d never heard of an ‘okina before, I’m right there with you, but it’s apparently a Hawaiian punctuation mark that looks like a backwards apostrophe. So instead of HO’OPI’I-TUIONETOA, his NOB really should have been HO‘OPI‘I-TUIONETOA.
Either way, that would give him 15 letters, a hyphen, and two additional punctuation marks — an MLB record, for sure! Or it would be, if Ho‘opi‘i-Tuionetoa were playing in the big leagues. He only made it to High-A ball this past year, so he’s at least a few years away from the majors. (Preliminary photo research indicates that his Arizona stint may have been the first time he’s ever worn an NOB.)
I love that Ho‘opi‘i-Tuionetoa is with the Rangers, who are up there with the Reds as having the clunkiest, most overdesigned NOB font. But his surname would still be entertaining on pretty much any MLB team’s jersey. Let’s just hope he never ends up with the Yankees.
(Big thanks to Neal Dorfman for teaching me about ‘okinas.)