What popularized the baby name Deron in the mid-1960s?

Baseball player Deron Johnson (1938-1992)
Deron Johnson

The baby name Deron, which first appeared in the U.S. baby data in the mid-1950s, hit peak popularity in the mid-1960s:

  • 1968: 185 baby boys named Deron [rank: 556th]
    • 24 (13%) born in Ohio
  • 1967: 212 baby boys named Deron [rank: 516th]
    • 38 (18%) born in Ohio
  • 1966: 270 baby boys named Deron [rank: 465th]
    • 58 (21%) born in Ohio
  • 1965: 263 baby boys named Deron [rank: 479th]
    • 65 (25%) born in Ohio
  • 1964: 127 baby boys named Deron [rank: 683rd]
    • 27 (21%) born in Ohio
  • 1963: 26 baby boys named Deron
  • 1962: 26 baby boys named Deron
  • 1961: 48 baby boys named Deron
  • 1960: 20 baby boys named Deron

The usage of the name tracks with the career of baseball player Deron Johnson, a power hitter who played for nine different teams during his 16 seasons in the major leagues.

After graduating from high school in 1956, Johnson signed with the New York Yankees — though he didn’t get called up from the minor leagues until 1960.

During the short time he was with the Yankees (and being touted as the next Mickey Mantle), there was an uptick in the usage of the name.

Usage was highest while Johnson was playing for the Cincinnati Reds, from 1964 to 1967. His second season in Ohio was one of his best: he hit 32 homers and drove in 130 runs to become that year’s National League RBI leader.

A final uptick in 1973 — while the name was on the decline — correlates to the year Johnson became a World Series Champion with the Oakland Athletics.

What are your thoughts on the name Deron?


Image: Deron Johnson trading card

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