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Nice read on Uggla. (Rest of article added)


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BERARDINO: Tough to say it, but Uggla a beauty




Blending into the major leagues as a rookie second baseman hasn't been the hardest part for Dan Uggla.


Getting people to pronounce his last name properly has been the larger challenge.


Fans. Teammates. Visiting broadcasters. All of them seem to trip on the unusual surname, which is pronounced "UGG-la."


"Basically," Uggla says, "they call me everything but the right name."


That trouble extends, surprisingly, to Marlins manager Joe Girardi.


Now, it would be one thing if former manager Jack McKeon were butchering the kid's name. But Girardi is among the most detail-oriented people in the game.


Asked the name of his second sacker, Girardi swallows hard.


"OOH-gla," he says. "He may pronounce it differently, but that's how I pronounce it."


A shrug.


"Danny OOH-gla," Girardi adds. "We love him."


Uggla isn't bothered by this. He has heard plenty of other variations through the years, including "YOU-gla" and "Ugly" and some that inexplicably add an extra syllable in the middle.


But Girardi?


"Oh, he knows my name," Uggla says with a grin. "He just calls me Oogie."


Mention all of this to John Uggla and he laughs over the phone from his Columbia, Tenn., home. He and his ex-wife raised two boys, Dan and older brother Mike, and they have heard just about everything possible.


In addition to the innocent mistakes, there have been catcalls from drunk frat boys in the stands, cackling insults from the bleachers, corny puns from broadcasters. Recently, the Mets' TV crew was yukking it up at the new kid's expense.


"They were making some comment on how Daniel had to live with that name," says John Uggla, a technical consultant who retired in 2001 after 30 years at General Electric, "how his teammates were calling him [ugly] and all that kind of stuff. It's not really true, but they can say whatever they want."


Annoying, right?


"Yeah," says the elder Uggla, 59, "but it makes 'em tough."


For all the times he heard "Dan Ugly" growing up, the Marlins rookie has a relaxed take on his name now.


"People always had a hard time saying it but it was always normal to me," Uggla says. "It didn't bother me. I thought it was a pretty cool name. Different. No one else had it."


As his baseball career blossomed, however, things got trickier.


"People started making a bigger deal out of it, especially in pro ball," Uggla says. "Whenever I'd tell somebody my name, they'd just kind of look at me funny. Like, `Excuse me? Where is that from?'"


Sweden actually.


John Uggla's family has its roots in that country, where their surname means "owl" and has descended from a long line of noblemen. Extensive family research has traced the name back to the 1300s. They even have a 1,500-page book filled with Swedish family crests.


It's called the Sveriges Adels-Kalender, and, yes, it's entirely in Swedish.


Carl Magnus Helmfrid Uggla, Dan's great grandfather, emigrated from the Stockholm area around the turn of the 20th century and settled in Schenectady, N.Y. There is a family coat of arms, which prominently features an owl.


Arnold Helmfrid Uggla, Dan's late grandfather, was extremely proud of the name and built quite a collection of owl-related items. He created a 4-foot-tall hook rug of owls that hangs in a place of honor at John Uggla's home.


They have found owl candelabras, owl earrings and owl pins. One of Dan's favorite possessions is an owl paperweight that was a gift from his grandfather, who died in 1996 at 83.


"You don't walk into our house and get overwhelmed," John Uggla says. "There's probably more Coke stuff than owl stuff, but my dad spent a lot of time on his collection and my brother also collects. My father was very, very proud of our name."


Just imagine how proud he would be of Dan's unlikely baseball career. An afterthought out of high school, the undersized scrapper signed with the University of Memphis and slowly worked his way onto the radar.


The Diamondbacks took him in the 11th round in 2001, but he never got past Double-A in five seasons. Then the Marlins took him in December's Rule 5 draft, which meant they would have to keep him on their major league roster or offer him back to Arizona.


Pokey Reese freaked out, Uggla had a big spring and here he is: The first Uggla to make the majors. Back in Sweden, they must find all this to be ofattbar (incomprehensible).


By the way, how do you pronounce Uggla in the old country? Would you believe "OOH-gla"?


Nothing gets past that Girardi.




This is from Sun-Sentinel.



How do you pron his name? Oooh-gla or Ugg-la?





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In the picture that accompanies this article Uggla looks particularly young. Looks like a high school kid. Also looks like he's juggling the ball. All in all, I bet he's pi##ed at that picture. He does look young, he is young, but he normally doesn't look this young. Must be the angle.

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