If you’ve watched any Mariners games on TV or in person this season, you may have noticed something different when the King has been on the mound. No, we’re not going to dwell again on his decline and quasi-reinvention - in this case it’s the back of his jersey that matters. What was, for thirteen years, Hernandez is now, finally, Hernández.
Félix’s jersey change comes as the latest in the #PonleAcento movement - an initiative sparked by LatinWorks, an Austin-based ad agency, to encourage MLB players to add the appropriate diacritical marks to their uniforms. Robinson Canó was an early adopter and last year, perhaps in the wake of the WBC, Edwin Díaz joined in, too.
I, and others, have written about the context of this movement, and about what the addition of these diacritical marks means for the acceptance and recognition of the influence that Latino players have had, and continue to have, in the majors. But let’s clarify something here: writing a player’s name with the proper diacritical marks is not a choice - it does not add to your cache of “wokeness,” nor does it represent the proliferation of “PC culture” - it is simply writing a player’s name correctly.
Let’s take everyone’s favorite 44-year-old starter. Here is Bartolo Colón:
And here is Bartolo Colon:
Another example is Wily Mo Peña:
vs Wily Mo Pena:
Since the start of this season the accents haven’t simply appeared on the backs of jerseys, they’ve finally started to show up consistently on broadcasts, and within press releases. ROOT Sports and the Mariners PR department deserve major kudos for the effort they’ve made to consistently spell/display names with their appropriate accents, and even MLB Network has added the accent to Hernández (when they deign to devote time to the Mariners). Currently SB Nation’s platform doesn’t tag player names if you add accents to them, but Kate and I have reached out to the higher-ups at SB Nation to request that this be changed. If mainstream media can make the effort, we can too.
Below are some quick reference points, to make it even easier to add the accents to players’ names.
The appropriate diacritical marks for each player on the 40-man roster:
*These players have not currently requested accents on their uniforms
If you’re using a newer keyboard, or a smart phone, all you need to do is hold down the letter that you wish to add an accent or tilde to. Otherwise, the character codes are as follows (h/t to Chris from Bothell for clarifying that these need to be typed via the number pad):
á - Alt + 0225
é - Alt + 0233
í - Alt + 0237
ó - Alt + 0243
ú - Alt + 0250
ñ - Alt + 0241
Whether you add the marks via character code, copy/paste, or setting names to autocorrect, it doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t want your name to be written incorrectly, so why not take the time to correctly write theirs?