What brought the baby name Ryne back in 1982?

Baseball player Ryne Duren
Ryne Duren

In the late 1950s, the name Ryne debuted impressively in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1960: 10 baby boys named Ryne
  • 1959: 31 baby boys named Ryne
  • 1958: 21 baby boys named Ryne [debut]
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: unlisted

Where did it come from?

It was inspired by professional baseball pitcher Rinold “Ryne” Duren, known for “[staring] down batters through thick-lensed eyeglasses and then [delivering] fastballs that might go just about anywhere.”

In fact, Duren was the inspiration for the character Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (played by Charlie Sheen, clearly #winning at the time) in the 1989 movie Major League.

Duren was in the Major Leagues from 1954 to 1965, but in 1958 was a member of the World Series-winning New York Yankees. It was also the first year he was selected for the All-Star Game.

He inherited the name Rinold from his father, whose family came from Germany. Rinold, like Renault, is related to the more familiar name Reynold.

Baseball player Ryne Sandberg
Ryne Sandberg

But that’s not the end of the story!

Because one of the 1959 babies named Ryne was Ryne Dee “Ryno” Sandberg, who also became a professional baseball player (second baseman). He started with Chicago Cubs in 1981 and went on to become a Hall of Famer.

He boosted the name Ryne not just back into the data, but into the top 1,000 for the first time:

  • 1985: 286 baby boys named Ryne [rank: 516th]
  • 1984: 199 baby boys named Ryne [rank: 605th]
  • 1983: 38 baby boys named Ryne
  • 1982: 31 baby boys named Ryne
  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: unlisted
Graph of the usage of the baby name Ryne in the U.S. since 1880.
Usage of the baby name Ryne

Ryne Sandberg had a son in the mid-1980s, but didn’t give him a baseball-inspired name. Instead, Justin Ross got a theater-inspired name. Ryne had seen “A Chorus Line” in New York around that time and been impressed with the name of performer Justin Ross.

Do you like the name Ryne? Would you use it for a baby boy?


6 thoughts on “What brought the baby name Ryne back in 1982?

  1. Perhaps Ryne is destined to be a name associated with baseball.

    Ryne Harper is major league pitcher. He made his debut in the majors with the Twins in 2019, but is currently a reliever with the Nationals. Ryne Harper was born in 1989. Perhaps if his career goes well there will be another boost in usage.

  2. Another Ryne? That’s so nuts. :)

    Yes we’ll definitely need to keep an eye on him (and on the name). Here’s what Ryne had to say about his name earlier this year:

    I was named after [Hall of Fame infielder] Ryne Sandberg. I was born kind of in his prime years or whatnot. My parents wanted another “R” name, because that’s kind of what’s in the family with all the males in it. They were going to go with “Ryan,” but they saw [Ryne’s] name and they liked it. I didn’t really grow up thinking to be a baseball player. I just did it because it was fun. I just thought it was a cool name, and I liked Sandberg. I really like the name and he’s a Hall of Famer, and it worked out that I actually ended up playing baseball, too. For people that don’t understand it, it’s like watermelon “rind” or say “Ryan” with one syllable [Rine].

    Thank you for the heads-up on this!

  3. Thanks so much for the link! I can’t believe I missed finding that.

    Love knowing Max was named after a dog!

    And it includes a few of the other names I’d been wondering about, especially Yan & Asdrubal. I do wish they’d included Wander Suero though — I know he’s named after his dad, as are two of his brothers, but that’s it.

    Baseball is a great sport in and of itself, but the names it gives us is such nice a bonus.

  4. You’re welcome! Thank *you* for inspiring me to look for more information. :)

    I loved finding “Asdrubal” in that article. What a fascinating name.

  5. There is a seemingly never ending supply of interesting names in baseball. In this year’s playoffs you have Gleyber, Dansby, Ender, Aroldis, Kenley, Starling and Jasrado (Jazz) just to name a few.

    And of course looking back to earlier days you have a slew of unique names including Drungo, Purnal & Smead (which I just realized written together they sound like a law firm).

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