Where did the baby name Marichal come from in 1965?

Baseball player Juan Marichal
Juan Marichal

The curious name Marichal popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 1965:

  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: 8 baby boys named Marichal [debut]
  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: unlisted

That was the only time it ever appeared in the data. (Marichal was one of the top one-hit wonder names of 1965, in fact.)

Where did it come from?

Dominican-born professional baseball player Juan Marichal (pronounced mah-ree-CHAHL).

He was a high-kicking, right-handed pitcher who played primarily for the San Francisco Giants (1960-1973). He was the winningest pitcher of the 1960s; his bronze plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame states that he “won 243 games and lost only 142 over 16 seasons” and “won 20 games six times and no-hit Houston in 1963.”

But his name was in the news more than usual in 1965 thanks to a specific incident that happened in August.

While he was at-bat during a game with the Dodgers, he ended up attacking Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with the bat, and this resulted in a 14-minute brawl, stitches for Roseboro, and a suspension and hefty fine for Marichal. (This was just weeks after Marichal was on the cover of SI for the first and only time.)

What are your thoughts on the baby name Marichal?


Image: © 1965 Sports Illustrated

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