GLAVIN GARNER: Braves fan stays true to his heritage with son’s name
As a teenager, Jordan Garner followed one of the greatest stretches in Atlanta Braves history with admiration. As the Braves won 14 straight division titles and one World Series, Garner's favorite players included Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
Garner, 32, is from Warner. He was 15 when the Braves won the 1995 World Series. Fourteen years later, when Garner and his wife, Amanda, 30, were having their first son in 2009, he paid homage to his idols.
Glavin Garner was born in September 2009. The "e" was dropped for pronunciation reasons.
"Actually, my favorite pitcher is John Smoltz," Garner said. "Well, (my wife) told me Smoltz is not a name, and I said I can agree with that."
Glavin is the Garner's second child. Their first, a daughter, is named Anistyn, after actress Jennifer Aniston - again with a slight spelling change. Anistyn is 7.
Garner's father grew up rooting for Braves greats like Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews, so he thought Glavin's name was neat. Other family members took slightly longer to convince.
At 3 years old, Glavin is doing everything left-handed, just like his namesake. Garner said he has a friend who named his son Maddux.
If that left arm begins to throw a baseball, Garner said the family won't mind. They are big sports fans. Garner coaches girls basketball at Eufaula High School.
And because both Garner and his wife are teachers, they will have summers off to watch young Glavin play.
"We'll gladly give up our summers to go watch him pitch," Garner said.
GARVEY, MCGWIRE AND MADDUX LINDQUIST:
Lindquist family goes three for three
While recovering in a hospital bed, the autographed card meant the world to a future father of three boys.
Nick Lindquist, 41, was a Memorial High School freshman when he sustained major head injuries in a car accident on March 30, 1987.
A huge baseball fan, Lindquist frequented a local card shop in Tulsa and got to know many of the usual customers. They knew him well, too. They knew his favorite player was Steve Garvey.
Garvey, a longtime Los Angeles Dodger, was playing for the San Diego Padres in 1987, and from April 28-30, the Padres were in St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. One of the card shop regulars, a scout for St. Louis, had an idea to lift Lindquist's spirit.
While the Padres were in town, the scout got a signed baseball card from Garvey.
"To Nick: Good luck, Steve Garvey," it says on the card.
"I was talking to a friend about how cool that card was," Lindquist said, "and I was like, man, it's such a big deal. I wish there was something - I don't know how to respond to something like that.
"One of my buddies said why don't you name your son after him."
Lindquist spent four months in the hospital recovering, but in the years after the injury, the name stuck with him. There was no doubt his first son would be Garvey, and his wife, Julie, 41, was on board.
And actually, when it came to their next two kids, Julie helped come up with the names, wanting to continue the baseball theme.
"We found out we were going to have our second son, I was like, I don't have a name," Lindquist said. "That was when (Mark) McGwire was on a tear and Julie was like 'How about McGwire?' "
McGwire, named after the former slugger who hit 70 home runs in 1998, is the only one of the three sons who does not play baseball. Maddux, named after former Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux, and Garvey, play.
Lindquist used to host a radio show on Sunday mornings on KMOD fm97.5. While there, he said he had a chance to meet Bob Carpenter, a former broadcaster for the Cardinals. Carpenter told him McGwire became a popular baby name in the St. Louis area. He said he has also been told Maddux became a popular name in the Atlanta area.
Lindquist still has the card Garvey signed a quarter-century ago. Now, he shares the joy of his favorite player with the son he named after him, pausing the television when Steve Garvey makes an appearance somewhere and pointing him out.
"They relate to it," Lindquist said of his sons. "They get into it."
Boy is named after former OU star
Ashley Winton was born and bred to root for Oklahoma athletics. No one was as captivating to her as Blake Griffin, who took college basketball by storm in 2008-09, averaging 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds per game and winning Naismith College Player of the Year, given to the best player in college basketball.
"Watching Blake Griffin play basketball really made basketball fun to watch," said Winton, from Skiatook.
While awaiting her son's birth, Winton, 28, said she was the one pushing Griffin as a name. Their fandom followed Griffin to the Los Angeles Clippers, and they watch him whenever the Clippers are on television.
Winton tried ordering a Blake Griffin jersey for her son, but they don't have baby sizes. Until he grows a little larger, Griffin will need to stick with T-shirts that have his name emblazoned on the back.
Whether baby Griffin is destined for the same hoop success as the Sooners and Clippers star remains to be seen.
"I hope so," Winton said. "I hope they don't make fun of him, but I hope it's a positive."
CALE ESPN AND LANCE EASTON EVANS:
Not your everyday namesakes
Chris Evans vividly remembers the moment Cale Espn Evans recognized his middle name.
"He goes 'Hey, that's my middle name!' " Evans said of his son.
Of course, the television network ESPN came about long before 8-year-old Cale was born. But Evans' love for sports and a requirement that all of his wife's family's middle names start with "e" combined to give Cale a unique middle name. Pronounced "espin," Espn has become a hit in Guthrie, where the Evans' live.
The Evans' 3-year-old son, Lance, also holds a sports-related middle name: Easton.
Evans, 34, umpires high school, collegiate and American Legion baseball around Guthrie. All the junior high and high school players who come around the ballpark soon find out about Cale's middle name.
They all call him Espn, too, as if it is his first name, not Cale.
"When the big boys think you're cool that goes a long way," Evans said.
Evans said his wife, Samantha, 31, was on board with Espn from the moment he pitched the name, liking the sound of Cale Espn. Lance Easton, with the middle name coming from the sports equipment manufacturer, was also an easy choice.
"Our 3-year-old's named Easton," Evans said. "Obviously Espn2 wasn't going to be a good idea, or Espnnews, but we thought through it with Easton."
The kids have not yet picked up on where Easton's name comes from, but Cale might soon: He uses an Easton baseball bat.