I know even as I hit the "publish" button that the question posed in the title to this post may strike some LGT readers as a bit on the whimsical side, but I think it is still worth asking. And please be advised that I’m looking for a little help here, so any commenters are politely asked to try to keep snide remarks to a minimum.
The question arises as our fine shortstop makes his first appearance (and may there be many more) as an All Star. When his name is announced tomorrow night and is flashed across the nation’s television screens, some viewers will undoubtedly wonder about the origin of his unusual first name.
My own take on it has always been this. Hannibal was a great Carthaginian general. His brother Hasdrubal was also a great general. Together they created much difficulty for the Romans in Iberia and elsewhere in the empire. The name Hasdrubal must have survived in Iberia, which later became Spain. Spain colonized Venezuela and brought along with it names like Hasdrubal (or Asdrubal, as it would have been shortened to). And hence Asdrubal got his name.
I assume this is right; in fact it has always seemed kind of obvious. Does anyone know if this is actually the origin of his name?
Now that’s a pretty straightforward question. But here is where I fear that I may be departing into a flight of fancy.
Asdrubal is affectionately referred to as Droobs on this site. I think it’s a great nickname. But I have a question about it. Where did the nickname actually come from?
I know that soldiers often have affectionate nicknames for their generals: McClellan was Little Mac to his troops, Robert E. Lee was Bobby Lee to his, and so on. But does anyone know if Hasdrubal was called Droobs by his? I just have this vision of Hasdrubal riding past his soldiers as they beat their spears against their shields and cried out, "Droobs! Droobs!" But did this actually happen?
If not, then where did the nickname come from? Was it merely invented by someone writing on LGT? I can hardly wait for the comments.