The Baby Name Lastarza

boxer, roland lastarza
Roland LaStarza
The baby name Lastarza debuted in the U.S. data in 1953:

  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 6 baby boys named Lastarza
  • 1952: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Roland LaStarza, the Bronx-born, Italian-American boxer whose pro career lasted from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. He won 57 out of his 66 professional fights. Two of the fights he did not win were against the legendary Rocky Marciano.

Marciano barely won the 1950 bout, and in the much-hyped 1953 rematch — with the World Heavyweight title up for grabs — LaStarza won four of the first six rounds. Marciano had started off “overeager and awkward,” at one point swinging “so wildly that he missed and slipped clumsily to the canvas.” But “[i]n the seventh, Marciano changed his tactics, started aiming at LaStarza’s body as well as his head in an attempt to wear the challenger down. He succeeded.” Marciano won by technical knockout in the 11th round. The match was declared Fight of the Year by boxing magazine The Ring.

(Usage of the baby name Marciano also saw an uptick in 1953.)

After retirement, Roland LaStarza made guest appearances on several TV shows including 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, and Batman. His surname never reappeared in the baby name data, though, making it a true one-hit wonder.

Source: “A Champ Too Tough For Anyone Around.” Life 5 Oct. 1953: 32-33.


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