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Friday, August 13, 2004

Khalil Greene

I've only known one person named Khalil in my life, and he was a black guy. So I was surprised the first time I saw San Diego Padres shortstop Khalil Greene play because he is white. Khalil is an Arabic name meaning "best friend" or "companion", it turns out, and when I noticed this anomaly back during the Padres visit to Fenway, so did some other Sox fans. A poster to that message board says, "his name is from the baha'i faith."

This made ignorant little me want to investigate what the hell this Baha'i faith is about, so naturally, I went to Bahai.com. There I learned the following:

The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. Its central theme is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society.

If we're all "one single race" then white kids should be given any old name--even a "black name"--since such a thing can't exist in the Baha'i worldview.

A search for "Khalil Greene Baha'i" turns up this article about his dominant college baseball career at Clemson, where we learn more:

Jim and Janet Greene named their only son Khalil because it means "friend of God" in Bahai. His middle name Thabit means "steadfast."

There's also some interesting info on how he follows a special diet, is very quiet and introspective, etc. I guess ESPN the Magazine had a piece on him in June as well, an excerpt of which is online.

This post was inspired by Greene getting the winning hit in the Padres win over the Cubs yesterday, pulling San Diego within a game of Chicago's wild-card lead. My Padres knowledge is seriously lacking, something I'll need to improve if they manage to qualify for postseason.

To close, here's Khalil in action: