The back of his Andover High warmup jersey still has the name Spellacy stitched into it, many of his friends still call him “Spell,” and his coach continues to accidentally write the name Spellacy on lineup cards.
But the Golden Warrior catcher knew that, in his heart, his name was Nathaniel Giammasi.
“It was a family decision and I talked to my mother and grandparents a lot,” Giammasi said. “But in the end, the final decision was my own. I felt like it was right.”
In the summer before his senior year, after considerable soul searching, then-Nathaniel Spellacy made the decision to change his last name to Giammasi, the maiden name of his mother, Andover High graduate Diane Giammasi.
“My father has not been a part of my life for a long time,” he said. “I don’t really want to comment on the circumstances, but it has pretty much been the case my whole life.
“I started thinking about changing my name over the summer. I told my mom and she was totally with me. But she left the decision up to me. My mom is the best. She has always been there for me and supported me.”
While the decision required considerable thought and exploration by Giammasi and his family, he said since making the change, the transition has been fairly simple.
“Coach (Dan) Grams gets confused sometimes,” he said. “They still call me Spell, since we already have a Gio (Mike Giannone), so I’m not going to be Gio 2. My mom has been supportive, and so has the team.”
It is sports, he said, that have been a key to Giammasi dealing with the challenges of his youth.
“Playing sports was great for me,” he said. “It was very rewarding to have teammates and coaches in my life. They helped me through the good times and the bad times.