Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Vintage Fridays: Arnie Portocarrero, 1960 Topps #254

What's in a name? Sure, many of the pitching greats in baseball history didn't have names that struck fear in their opponents. Christy. Walter. Cy. Hell, even Nolan Ryan's first name was "Lynn". But those names still had a certain ring to them. If you ever take a trip to Cooperstown, chances are good that you won't find any Arnies in among those bronze plaques.

Nope, Arnie is a name that I associate with slow children. But I have to admit that half the enjoyment that I derive from owning this card comes from the name, writ large in alternating yellow and white block letters: Arnie Portocarrero. It doesn't make you think of pitching mastery, but it rolls off the tongue and is good for a laugh.

But what does it mean? Well, first of all, it's Italian, I'm guessing; Arnie was born Arnold Mario Portocarrero in New York, NY. In Italian, "Porto" designates a person who lives near the harbor. As for "Carrero", the nearest name I could find was "Carrara", which is the famous "city of marble" in Tuscany, or perhaps another town near Padova that bears the same name. So, he's Arnold, from a town near the harbor in Italy. Not terribly exciting.

Then again, "Arnold" is German in origin, and means "Strong as an Eagle". That's more like it.

Besides, who am I to talk? My last name means "Bread maker".


--David said...

If it makes you feel any better, my last name means "Henry's Son" and so far we know, we have never had a Henry in our family tree... Go figure!

And the only Arnie I can think of has Palmer for a last name... :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey ... I just happened to have 'googled' my Dads name ... and saw your comments.
P.S. Portocarrero is Spanish and not Italian.
Not only was he my Dad ... he was also a REALLY great guy and not 'slow' at all. :)

Kevin said...

It's a small world, especially with Google! Glad you found the blog, and I hope you realize that it's all in fun. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

I am Arnie's daughter in law, and he was not Italian. Do some research before you post. Puerto Rican.
Karen Portocarrero

Anonymous said...

Actually, "porta" means "gate," and "carrera" means "road." So, my guess is that the original Portocarreros lived on a road that led to the city gate.

Unknown said...

Portocarrero played winter league in Puerto Rico sevreral years. To do that-- play in the local league 4 or more years-- the requirement was that the player be native born or od Puerto Rican parents.