Daniel and Mackenzie Sandberg wanted to make sure their first child was born with a home-field advantage.
Ellie Sandberg was born on Aug. 31 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, California, on a piece of Ohio State turf, with help from a medical professional who some might call a natural-born enemy— a nurse who was born at the University of Michigan and is a huge U of M fan.
Daniel, a 2009 OSU graduate, said he had to convince his wife to give birth on a piece of turf, which was used at the Ohio Stadium from 2007 to 2012. After he convinced her to “give birth on Ohio soil,” the medical staff was on board.
Daniel said he bought the piece of turf at Buckeye Corner on Lane Avenue during one of his trips back to Columbus.
Daniel said he has always been a diehard fan of OSU football, never missing a home game for seven consecutive years.
He met his wife Mackenzie at OSU and proposed to her at Mirror Lake. Five years later, after relocating to California, the Sandbergs found out Mackenzie was pregnant with their first baby hours before the 2014 Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin.
Daniel said he wanted to give their daughter an OSU-inspired name and have the child born on Ohio turf. Daniel said his wife needed persuading here, too, but agreed to name the baby something OSU-related.
“When my wife and I found out we were having a girl, I spoke to my brother who suggested naming our daughter Carmen Ohio,” he said.
Prior to their daughter’s birth, the Sandbergs said they came up with some other prospective names like Cardalia Jones Sandberg. On Mackenzie’s Facebook page, they posted some ideas, hoping to get responses from friends to help name their daughter.
Mackenzie suggested naming her Ellie Carmen, but Daniel said he wanted to add Ohio to her name as an ode to “Carmen Ohio”. Thus, the couple agreed to name their daughter Ellie Carmen Ohio Sandberg.
Daniel said Ellie’s mother sings “Carmen Ohio” to her as a lullaby.
But Ellie isn’t California’s only little OSU fan. At a Buffalo Wild Wings in San Jose, the Sandbergs met a couple whose son was named Braxton Ohio.
However, all three Sandbergs, as a family, have yet to attend an OSU game.
“There is a good chance that we would name our future child an Ohio State-influenced name,” said Daniel. “Ellie has a cool story that goes along with her name.”
When his daughter is old enough, Daniel said he hopes that she will attend OSU.
In the meantime, Daniel said he wants to bring Ellie to an OSU game when she turns 4 or 5, so she can once again be on Ohio turf.