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Britton spells out why it's Zack, not Zach

Yankees pitcher Zack Britton sign autographs for fans

Yankees pitcher Zack Britton sign autographs for fans outside the Yankees minor-league complex in Tampa, Florida on Monday. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. — It always has been Zack with a “k,’’ Zack Britton said Monday.

He even has the birth certificate to prove it.

So why did he announce last week that he now will be known as Zack with a “k’’ instead of the “h,’’ which is how it always previously appeared in public?

It’s best to let the reliever explain.

“I was born with the ‘ck,’ ” said Britton, who arrived in Tampa on Monday. “I didn’t know until I went to get like a passport that my name was actually with a ‘k.’ My parents had told me it was with an ‘h.’ So I’m blaming my parents.”

Yes, Britton, who began his career with the Orioles, was laughing.

“I talked to the Yankees and they were like, ‘Why were you going with an “h” forever?’ ” he said. “The Orioles, they knew it was with a ‘k,’ but I just went with the ‘h’ and they went with the ‘h’ and it just kind of took off. So they [the Yankees] were like, ‘Can we just do it with the “k,” it’s so much easier?’ But I’ve always signed my name with a ‘k.’ ”

Britton, who spent much of last season recovering from surgery on his right Achilles, said he is healthy. His role in what should be a loaded bullpen isn’t a concern; winning is, the reason re-upping with the Yankees was a no-brainer in his eyes.

“Playing against the Yankees for seven years in Baltimore, I knew that they were going to build a winner and so you always had a chance to win a World Series,’’ he said. “At this stage of my career and the options I had out there . . . I could have gone and closed for a bunch of teams, but I felt like this was probably the team closest to winning a World Series, so that was the biggest draw.”

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