Why Were Two Washington Nationals Named For A Canaanite God?

The Forward

Now that my home team, the Washington Nationals, is in the World Series, their opponents, the Houston Astros, will find themselves facing a Nationals pitcher named Aníbal Sánchez. A second Nationals player, Asdrúbal Cabrera, played various infield positions until recently and will probably be pinch hitting. Both of these players were born and raised in Venezuela. I have wondered what was behind their rather unusual first names, which I had never heard before they joined the Nationals. The key, it turns out, is in the “bal” ending of the names. We all know the Bible stories of how the Israelites conquered the Land of Canaan and were warned many times not to associate with the indigenous Canaanites

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