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Sicnarf Loopstok wins Moniker title08/29/2013 6:31 PM ET
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com
Sicnarf Loopstok grew up hearing remarks and questions about his name, but when a teammate told him he'd been selected to Moniker Madness, the Aruban catcher instantly embraced the moment.
"I thought, this is a great thing," said Loopstok, a backstop drafted by the Indians in the 13th round of this year's Draft. "My family noticed and they supported and voted for me -- they were great."
Loopstok's unique name and growing fan support officially earned him the 2013 Moniker Madness crown on Thursday when he edged Missoula catcher Stryker Trahan to finish No. 1 when voting ended at noon ET.
"I was pretty excited, I didn't think I would win it, but today [seeing the leaderboard], I knew I'd win," he said. "I'm just going to say thanks to the fans for all their support of me."
Moniker Madness Top 10
Loopstok owns one of the unique and unusual names in sports, making him an early favorite when Moniker Madness began its seventh annual voting contest earlier this month. A native of Oranjestad, Aruba, Loopstok moved to the U.S. and attended Penn Foster High School in Scranton, Pa. before joining Western Oklahoma State College, where he saw time at second, third and catcher.
His name? It's his father's name, Francis, spelled backwards.
"That's pretty much it," he said. "Everyone would ask, they'd say, 'Who the heck is that?' For me, I heard all the comments, but it's OK."
At the ballpark, Loopstok has earned a few nicknames, including Loopy, Loop and "Stick With It."
"I think it's a strange name for the United States," he said. "No one would think that's a person."
Loopstok said his family took to social media to help him win votes.
"They campaigned a lot for me, I got support on Facebook -- people would message me and tell me they'd vote for me until the last day," he said. "I was following it, and at the end, I thought [Trahan] might win, but it was a great competition. It was a good battle."
Loopstok beat out contenders like Giuseppe Papaccio, 2012 contender Forrest Snow, Game of Thrones-esque pitcher Storm Throne and the fabled Jose Jose. Damien Magnifico, Stone Speer, Zelous Wheeler and Mikie Mahtook rounded out the top 10.
Last year's champion, Rock Shoulders, was not eligible for the 2013 contest. Moniker Madness has previously been won by Seth Schwindenhammer (2011), Rowdy Hardy (2010), Dusty Napoleon (2009), Will Startup (2008) and Houston Summers (2007).
The 20-year-old Loopstok may have had an edge in campaigning globally for himself -- he speaks five languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, French and Papiamento, the latter being the most widely spoken language on the Caribbean islands.
On the field, Loopstok has appeared in 20 games for the Scrappers, batting .217 with two RBIs and a pair of extra-base hits in the New York-Penn League. The right-handed backstop is hitting .333 against lefties and has recorded multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games.
"It's pretty cool, it's been a good experience," he said. "I've learned a lot of things, so it's been a good experience for me."