CHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina refers to its baseball playing facility as BOSH-a-mer Stadium, and the family it’s named after says ... that’s not quite right.
Add the UNC campus baseball stadium to the list of words with multiple – and sometimes misunderstood – pronunciations.
Tar Heels fans, students and even the baseball team’s “voice of choice,” announcer Mike Copeland, pronounce “Boshamer” Stadium’s name as “BOSH-a-mer.” But according to family members of Cary Boshamer, after whom the stadium is named, the correct pronunciation is “BOSS-hammer.”
“Just like ‘boss’ and ‘hammer,’ ” said Greta Boshamer of Morehead City. Her husband, Henry, was the nephew of Cary.
A member of the UNC class of 1917 from Gastonia, Cary Boshamer donated the money for the stadium. He also financed various scholarships and professorships and contributed an artificial turf field to the athletic program.
“He loved [UNC] the most in the world,” Henry Boshamer said.
Henry, 81, is not much of a baseball fan himself, but he remembers attending the inaugural game at his uncle’s stadium in the 1970s. The pronunciation of the stadium’s name as its first players stepped onto the field? BOSS-hammer, Henry said.
Luckily, he is no stranger to various pronunciations of his last name, nor does he mind them.
Steve Kirschner, UNC’s senior associate athletic director for communications, said he learned the actual pronunciation of Boshamer several years after he began working for the school in 1989. The “BOSH-a-mer” pronunciation had been accepted long before his arrival.
“I think as long as the family’s comfortable with that, that’s the way we’ll do it,” he said.
Fortunately for those who hold North Carolina’s baseball culture close to their hearts, the stadium’s nickname, “The Bosh,” is completely legitimate. Henry’s high school and college friends call him “Bosh” to this day.
The UNC baseball team plays Saturday at 12:05 p.m. at the stadium
“Whatever they call it, it’s still Uncle Cary’s stadium,” Henry said.