In honor of Jhonny's solo shot and hopes that his offense sticks around, I'd like to address something that's been eating at me for a couple of years now--the spelling of Jhonny Peralta's first name. As you may have noticed it's spelled Jhonny, which causes people pronounce it funny--and it's is exactly why it's spelled that way! You see, Jhonny is from the Dominican Republic. If he spelled it "Johnny," the locals would pronounce it "Yawn-Ee." Instead, Jhonny's parents decided to go with the more anglo version, hence the "J" followed by an "H" to keep it "Jaw-Knee." It's a common name. There are thousands of Jhonny's and they live in a continent near you if not the same one.
When the crack reporters from esteemed dailys such as the Plain Dealer noticed the funny spelling, their journalistic instincts took over and they questioned the young infielder as to how he received such an interesting misspelling of such a obvious name. Jhonny told the reporters (through an interpreter) that it was just the the way his dad spelled it on his birth certifcate. Hilarious and Quirky! Print It! That was 2005.
Unfortunately I keep hearing this story. The fact I met a guy in Ecuador named Jhonny prior to the "Jhonny origin" blurbs made me uncomfortable. Subsequently I've met a handful of Jhonny's--whose fathers have surprisingly never met. Currently there is a world class ranked bantamweight boxer from Mexico named Jhonny Gonzalez who was born a whole year prior to the alleged creative spelling incident at a Santiago, DR, hospital.
I'm all for baseball myth, but this one borders on ignorance. Are we pronouncing Johann Santana's first name "Joe-Han" because he didn't have the courtesy of using a "Y" and living in the U.S. t the same time? I'm sure someone pointed this out before, but I look forward to not having to hear the whole "misspelling" story regurgitated at the ballpark this season--although I'm sure you can set your watch to it showing up again in a Hoynes article.