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Finally, a Player Whose Name Benefits from Smaller Lettering

Twins pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson has appeared in only two major league games — one at the end of the 2022 season and another in April of 2023 — but that’s enough for him to hold the record for the longest NOB in big history: 15 letters plus a space.

Because of the Twins’ 2023 uni redesign and Nike’s new template this year, Woods Richardson’s prodigious NOB is on its third iteration. Here’s how it looked when he made his MLB debut on Oct. 2, 2022:

Ugh — way too clunky. But things looked significantly better the following April 22, when he made first and only appearance of the 2023 season:

And here’s how he looks with Nike’s new template:

It’s hard to be sure, but it looks like they already gave him smaller lettering last season, so this year’s lettering size is unchanged. But the arch is much steeper. Clearly, they need a compressed lettering font for this guy.

While Woods Richardson holds the big league record for the longest NOB, he’s not the longest-surnamed player currently playing in spring training. That distinction, I’m pretty sure, goes to this guy.

Comments (15)

    I guess this answers the question of whether some players who have prodigious last names will use the same NOB font sizes as their lesser-letter-endowed compatriots.

    And I guess we shouldn’t be surprised … even when teams had larger NOB fonts, many teams wouldn’t used compressed letters then either.

    I know some Eq. Mgrs. have gone out of their way to created diacritical marks and lower case letters so I was kinda-sorta hoping they might also break out compressed lettering when necessary (like this).

    I really think teams, really in any sport, should just let players use their first names if they want, like soccer does. This looks ridiculous, even with the smaller font. I have a fairly long last name myself, 11 letters, and I tend to get my first name on any custom jersey I ever buy.

    I know some folks are not fans of custom jerseys but I’ll only ever get someone else’s name on there once they’ve retired. Otherwise I just get my own.

    It has happened before (Vida Blue and Ichiro Suzuki), but I’m not sure what strings you have to pull to get permission.

    Someone explained the Ichiro situation recently, it had something to do with multiple other Suzukis on his Japanese team so he always wore Ichiro over there and Seattle let him keep it since that’s how he was recognized.

    I also had read a long time ago it was simply because at the time, the guy who did the uniforms for Seattle was unfamiliar with East Asian naming conventions (in which the family name generally comes first), so he just assumed Ichiro was his family name.

    Frankly the first story seems more plausible.

    I went to school back in junior high with a guy that had one of the longest I remember. It was “Digivonantonio”. But, that take the cake!

    I’ll bet he’s going be telling people he had the largest Nob in big league history for decades to come. Wow, that could’ve been rephrased.

    I think I mentioned it the first time he appeared, but I’m still disappointed that in just the past five years or so, a number as high as 78 is so normal that nobody even notices it.

    The first player I remember creatively shortening his name was Twins’ pitcher Paul Thormodsgard, who went by “Thor”.

    I’m somewhat surprised they never tried double-lining the double-barreled name. Surely that would look more sensible?

    Said it before: get rid of all NOB’s in team sports. It distracts from the number(s) and the full canvas of the back of the jersey. Less is more in this case.

    Last night I was playing MLB The Show and was facing him as pitcher. I went to check how his name would look on the back and they had it as ” W’ Richardson”.

    If you buy into the MLB/Nike nonsense about reducing the size of letters to make the jerseys lighter and thus enhance performance, this guy is at a decided disadvantage over, say, Hyun Jin Ryu, who is carrying much less weight on his back. If Woods Richardson struggles early in the season, maybe he should drop “Richardson” and just have “Woods” on his jersey.

    In what world is Woods Richardson a longer last name than Encarnacion-Strand?

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