Magallanes' skills stand out, any way you say it

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

Sergio Magallanes has long plagued opposing baseball teams with his double-barreled skills from the mound and at the plate.

All the while, the Crimson Bear senior's last name has given fits to the region's radio broadcasters and public address announcers.

When Magallanes the player takes the Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park field for the last time as a Juneau-Douglas High School player this weekend, Magallanes the name will echo across the dusty field.

Just how it will be pronounced is up to question.

For the record, a good approximation of the correct pronunciation is "MAHG-ee-on-ess." Magallanes is the Spanish form of "Magellan," as in the explorer who wandered the world's oceans in the early 16th century.

During last weekend's home series, several well-meaning announcers gave the name their best shot - but it was heard in such varied forms as "Mah-gann-es," "May-guy-on-us" and "May-gill-on-us." One time, somewhat appropriately, the name came out sounding like "Mangle-on-us."

"May-ga-lanes" is one that sticks out in Magallanes' memory from years past. The pronunciation problems have followed him from his earliest playing days, through a run with the Gastineau Channel Little League Junior All-Stars to within a game of the Little League World Series in 1999, and into the Crimson Bear uniform.

But the days of it bothering him are long past.

"I'm used to it," he said. "Going up to the plate, it used to be that I'd laugh when I heard it. But now I've heard it so much, I block it out."

And if someone finally got it right this weekend?

"It'd probably make me laugh," he said, to hear it pronounced correctly.

Correct pronunciation or not, Magallanes - a pitcher and outfielder - said he is going to savor his last few at-bats at Adair-Kennedy.

"It's definitely going to be emotional," he said. "We've played here forever. One good thing is if I move on (to play at a higher level), I know I can play anywhere."

• Andrew Krueger can be reached at andrew.krueger@juneauempire.com.



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