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Name game: Former Orioles reliever Britton says wife, Yankees were behind changed spelling

Associated Press

Even Zack Britton gets confused about the proper spelling of his first name.

Known throughout his baseball career as Zach, the 31-year-old New York Yankees reliever said last week that going forward his name should be spelled Zack.

“I was born with a `ch', sorry, excuse me, the `ck,’ ” Britton said Monday after his first pre-spring training workout at the New York Yankees' minor league complex.

Britton was traded to the Yankees from the Orioles last summer, became a free agent and agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with New York last month. The contract initially used Zach before it was changed.

“My wife is an attorney, and she's like legally we need to change it because legally that's not your name,” Britton said. “The Orioles always put `k' on any, like, legal documents and then they just went with an `h' [on printed rosters]. The Yankees just felt like it was better for everybody if I just kept it with a `k,' and I was like, ‘Yeah, why not?’ ”

Britton said with a smile that he's “blaming my parents” because they had told him it was an `h.’

Britton tweeted last Thursday “I will be going by my legal name `Zack' instead of my stage name,” and added “everyone continue to breath normally.”

The attention it drew on social media came as a surprise.

“I was just like kind of a funny joke and it kind of took off,” Britton said

His name was spelled “Zachary G. Britton” by Major League Baseball when the Orioles selected him in the third round of the 2006 amateur draft with the 85th overall pick and he was listed as “Zach” in each of the Orioles’ media guides starting in 2007. He made his major league debut in 2011 and was an All-Star in 2015 and `16.

He is listed as “Zackary Grantantero Britton” in the California Birth Index, “Zackary Grant Antero Britton” in his 2017 Texas voter registration and “Zackary G. Britton” in his 2015 Nevada voter registration. His auto registrations have been as “Zackary” and “Zack.”

Britton had Achilles' tendon surgery in December 2017 that delayed his first big league outing last year until June 12. He ran a mile Monday for the first time since the surgery.

It's a drastic change from one year ago.

“I was learning to walk again on an underwater treadmill probably at this time,” Britton said. “A huge difference. So, I just feel like a normal guy.”

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