Baker Mayfield grew in popularity during his time at Oklahoma. Even non-Sooner fans could appreciate his rise from unheralded Texas Tech walk-on to Heisman winner.
From there, his legend has only grown. Mayfield wound up being a somewhat surprising No. 1 NFL Draft pick, and has helped give the Cleveland Browns the most hope they’ve had in a generation.
Mayfield deserves at least some credit, too, for a surge in babies being named “Baker.” The name has crossed gender lines as well.
Per a new study, Baker had the third-biggest jump in the boys’ name rankings between 2017-18, and has steadily grown since Baker Mayfield broke into the public in 2014.
Before Mayfield suited up for the Sooners, no babies were named Baker in the state in 2014 when he transferred from Texas Tech.
From The Oklahoman:
Among boys’ names, it had the third-largest leap in nationwide popularity from 2017 to 2018, according to data from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Its rank jumped 431 spots to No. 712.
The number of Bakers born in Oklahoma has increased each year from 2014 to 2018, according to information from the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Vital Records Service. Although it is unknown whether all of these infants were named after Mayfield, the jump correlates with his rising fame.
In 2014, the year Mayfield left Texas Tech for OU but couldn’t play because of transfer rules, no Bakers were born in Oklahoma, per state records. During his first year as the Sooners’ starting quarterback, there were 10. The number escalated to 48 in 2018, when Mayfield made his NFL debut with the Cleveland Browns. These statistics include baby boys and girls.
While baby boys named Baker represent the majority of that number, there are some girls being named after the fiery QB as well.
The Shomos, who live in Durant, put a spin on the trend when they named their daughter Baker, but they aren’t alone. Bailey said a friend who went to OU with her named her daughter Baker May, making the Mayfield reference especially obvious. The moniker might seem like an unusual choice to some, but Bailey reminds people about her baby’s namesake.
“They’re kind of confused, and then I kind of explain to them, I’m like, ‘Yeah, we’re big OU fans,’” Bailey said. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, Baker Mayfield.’”
The Cleveland Browns enter 2019 with significant hype, thanks in no small part to the expectations placed on Mayfield entering his second year. If he lives up, this boom will almost definitely continue for years to come.