For Emeralds first baseman, Goose Kallunki, success on the field is nothing new. With a name like Goose Kallunki, there are always going to be a few confused looks and questions upon introduction, but that is nothing new for Kallunki who has received quite a few accolades for it.
The most recent one is inclusion in Minor League Baseball Moniker Madess. The field is a bracket style tournament to advance to the next round, in hopes of being crowned the best name in Minor League Baseball. Kallunki is matched up in the first round with M.P. Cokinos of the Tri-City ValleyCats. Voting for round one runs through Monday, July 16th.
This season, Kallunki is batting .313 with the Emeralds and is coming off a tremendous season for Utah Valley University. He batted .419 with 86 RBI's en route to being named the 2012 Great West Conference Player of the Year. He also received several great honors such as, 2012 Louisville Slugger First Team All-American and was named a semifinalist for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award.
To cap off his award resume, Kallunki was named as the captain of the ESPN All-Name team in college baseball. The name Goose was given as a nickname by his father who was a huge fan of the pitcher Goose Gossage. The name stuck, and he has really embraced it as of late.
The name was tough at times growing up with. "In kindergarten I would run home crying since I hated playing the game Duck, Duck, Goose," remembers Kallunki. He did grow into it since, "the college scene really liked it a lot."
Fans are encouraged to help Goose advance to the next round by voting early and often at MiLB.com/MonikerMadness. Get your friends and family to help out, too!