Apt Sporting Names
Here is my list of apt sporting names - people's names that are appropriate to their talent or sport. The correct term for it is an aptronym. They may seem like they are made up, but I have checked most of these and they are true. See my list of top 10 apt sporting names. Do you know of more? Let me know.
Apt Football/Soccer Names
- George Best — Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer, considered to be one of the best ever players.
- Zhu Ting — a chinese soccer striker, pronounced shoo-ting.
- Alan Ball — English footballer, played in the 1966 World Cup winning team.
Apt Names in Track and Field
- Usain Bolt — 100m and 200m world record holder and Olympic Gold medalist.
- Marina Stepanova — 1986 400m hurdle WR holder
- Yordanka Donkova — Bulgarian female hurdler who won an Olympic gold and bronze medal
- James Jett — 1992 Olympic 4 X 100 relay runner
- Nathan Leeper — an American high jumper, finished eleventh at the 2000 Olympic Games.
- Jesus someone, a little known Spanish steeple chaser, who must have not mastered the walking on water bit.
Apt Baseball Players
- Thomas Diamond — (a baseball field is sometimes called a "diamond"). He played four MLB games for the Chicago Cubs in 2010.
- Homer Bush — a former MLB second baseman who played for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins from 1997 - 2004.
- Homer Bailey — played for the Cincinnati Reds from 2007 - 2018 and the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics in 2019.
- Cecil Fielder — baseball player, and his son Prince Fielder also played baseball.
- Zack Short — shortstop for Major League Baseball team the Colorado Rockies.
- Jake Striker — pitched 3 games in 1959 and 1960.
- Bob Walk — Pirates 1980 - 1993
- Roy Hitt — Reds 1907
- Roland Fingers — former Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics (1968–76), San Diego Padres (1977–80) and Milwaukee Brewers (1981–85).
- Grant Balfour — an ironic name (Ball-Four), considering he was a pitcher. Balfour was an Australian former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in MLB for the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays, and Oakland Athletics from 2001 till 2015.
- Tiger Woods — obviously a good driver with his wood.
- Gary Player — professional golfer.
- Chip Beck — professional golfer.
- There are also a number of golfers named 'Green' but not as successful.
Apt NFL Players
- Chuck Long — former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams.
- Takeo Spikes — NFL linebacker
- Mac Speedie — former Cleveland Browns wide receiver.
- Ryan Longwell — NFL placekicker who holds the record for longest field goal in Green Bay Packers history.
- Michael Ball — played safety for six seasons for the Indianapolis Colts
- Willie Thrower — former NFL quarterback.
- Scott Player — former NFL, CFL, and UFL punter.
- Kenneth Gainwell — an NFL running back for the Philadelphia Eagles
Apt Names in Motor Sports
- Will Power — an Australian motorsport driver.
- Lake Speed — former Nascar driver.
- Scott Speed — Nascar racing driver, formerly in Formula One, GP2 and A1GP
Apt Names in Ice Hockey
- Miroslav Satan — a Slovak professional ice hockey right winger whose last club was the KHL's UHC Dynamo Moscow.
- Paul Lawless — Canadian professional ice hockey left winger, played 7 seasons in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Jim Playfair — former professional ice hockey player and a former head coach of the Calgary Flames.
Apt Names in Basketball
- Tim Duncan — played for the San Antonio Spurs
- Gilbert Arenas — NBA player (basketball is played in an arena)
- Paul Pierce — Boston Celtics player who was stabbed
Apt Tennis Players
- Tennys Sandgren — professional American tennis player
- Margaret Court — champion Australian tennis player.
- Anna Smashnova — a former professional tennis player from Russia.
- Katie Volynets — American tennis player
Apt Names in other Sports
- Jeffrey Float — a former deaf American swimmer, world record holder, world champion and Olympic champion.
- David Hookes — a cricketer who had success hooking the ball.
- Rope Myers — Rodeo athlete
- Derek Kickett — former Australian rules footballer. Played 152 games with the North Melbourne, Essendon and the Sydney Swans from 1989 to 1996 and kicked 179 goals.
- Lloy Ball — American volleyball player.
- Layne Beachley — Australian world champion surfer.
- Albert Champion — French road cycling Champion in the past
- Chris Moneymaker — World Series of Poker Champion 2003.
Apt when Translated
- Marco Velo — professional cyclist (vélo means bike in French).
- Žydrūnas Ilgauskas — currently second tallest NBA player ("ilgas" means "tall" in slang in Lithuanian - literally "long").
- Derek Jeter — New York Yankees shortstop (jeter is French for "to throw").
- Eric Gagné — French-Canadian baseball pitcher ("gagné" is French for "win").
- Simon Gagné — hockey player ("gagné" is French for "win").
- Peter Bowler — English-born Australian cricketer who was primarily a batsman.
- Lance Armstrong — former professinal cyclists, so should it be leg strong?
- Steve Slowly — Jamaican sprinter
- Amateur boxer Joe Flanagan apparently named his two sons Bob and Weave.
- Top-10 apt sporting names
- Funny names in sport
- Unusual Sports Names — some of these are pretty funny.
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- London 2012 Women's 400m hurdles - not run very well by Vania Stambollova (from Steve Ballantyne, UK, Aug 2012)
- Appropriate names for athletes: There's a triple jumper called Leevan Sands. There's a French rugby union player called Damien Traille (the surname sounds rather like "try"). (from Timothy Barton, Sept 2011)