Isabel Cochrane of Saco gets two distinct and opposite responses when she tells strangers the names of her sons.
“Guys love them. Other moms usually hate them,” she said.
On Aug. 21, just in time for Boston’s playoff run, Cochrane and her husband, Jeff, both avid fans, named their son Pedroia Wakefield, after Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and former Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.
They also have a son, Fenway Parke, named after the storied Red Sox ballpark. Two other sons have baseball names as well, although not Red Sox names. Griffey Junior Cochrane is named for former Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., who retired in 2010 after 22 pro seasons and had 630 career home runs to rank sixth all time.
Jeff Cochrane’s oldest son, Jackson, from a previous marriage, is named for Reggie Jackson, a Hall of Famer best known for his playoff success with the New York Yankees.
His daughter, Cassidy, also from his previous marriage, is the only Cochrane child who was spared a baseball name.
As the Red Sox shoot for their third World Series title in the last decade, the Cochranes will be among the many Mainers with strong interest in the outcome – and maybe more interest than most.
Some hardcore fans get tattoos to show their support. Many even pay tribute by naming their furry friends after players or teams. A survey of dog licenses in Greater Portland revealed dogs named Fenway, several named Remy – after former Red Sox player and current color commentator Jerry Remy – and even more named Brady, perhaps for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
If the Red Sox win the World Series again this year, there could be even more pets with player names. Xander may be the most popular, after 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts, who has played his way into the Red Sox lineup and looks like he will be a star for years to come.
But naming children after players is a bigger commitment.
“My mother hated the names at first. She wanted something more traditional,” said Isabel Cochrane.
Cochrane didn’t grow up a Red Sox fan. She is originally from Brazil, where soccer, not baseball, is the national sport. But her husband is a huge fan, and so she became a huge fan. When it came time to naming her children, she didn’t have to be convinced.
“I love all the names,” she said. “Of course, the kids will probably sue us when they get older and try to change the names, but what kid doesn’t hate their name at some point?”
Fenway wasn’t the Cochranes’ first choice. Jeff wanted to go with Manny, after former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, a crucial part of the 2004 and 2007 World Series teams. But after Ramirez was linked to performance-enhancing drugs, the Cochranes took Manny out of the lineup.
Whether their sons will grow up to be baseball fans is up in the air. Jackson, who is 11, plays Little League and loves watching baseball, but the other three sons are too young, Cochrane said.
Although many families are losing interest in baseball – World Series viewership has declined steeply and the median age is 53 – the Cochranes remain diehard. They’ll be watching Game 6 on Wednesday night – and Game 7 on Thursday, if necessary.
And although they don’t have any plans at the moment, if they do decide to have another child, they’ll have plenty of names to choose from.
Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @PPHEricRussell