This article was originally published here.
Professional athletes seem to reach a sort of pinnacle in their careers when they receive a nickname. Sometimes these monikers are simple — A-Rod, Air Jordan, A.I. Other times, they actually transcend their greatness, such as “Sweetness” (Walter Payton) or Mr. October (Reggie Jackson).
So, when you hear the name Joey Erace, perhaps it’s odd that he’s fashionably known as “Joey Baseball.” He looks like a great ball player and has more than 50,000 followers on social media. The only issue is he’s class of 2025 — 11 years old.
Think about it: A pre-pubescent boy, who is 70 pounds, has a nickname that encapsulates his entire self-worth and identity. How do you describe your own kids to others?
Being immersed in youth sports, we hear many of these. Most are innocuous, but some of these are actually as toxic as a participation trophy.