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Short Shifts

Meet Finn, the littlest Sharks fan in San Jose

Four-month old dons fitting onesie for games at SAP Center

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / Staff Writer

Nathan Nava and Olivia Rich didn't make the initial connection with that name or plan to get that onesie, but once their newborn was given both, it was clear he was the perfect extension of their San Jose Sharks fandom.

Finn, born four months ago during the Stanley Cup Final (but not in conflict with the game schedule), made his Jumbotron debut at the Sharks' home opener at SAP Center last week and he'll be in the house again for their game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Decked out in his shark costume, Finn took in his third Sharks game with mom and dad against the Kings on Oct. 12 when the cameras spotted him.

They'd taken him to two preseason games where other fans had asked to take pictures with him. He's been perfectly content to sit and watch games in his soft, fuzzy outfit every time.

"He's a pretty happy baby so we can put him in just about anything," Rich said. "He doesn't fuss at all at the games. He just watches. He likes the sounds I think."

Video: LAK@SJS: Shark baby brings good luck to San Jose

There might be a reason for Finn's comfort in the arena environment. When he was ready to come home from the hospital, Nava made a stop at the Sharks' practice facility, where he plays in an adult league.

"I thought I was going to miss the game, but they released us from the hospital in time and before I brought him home, I took him to the ice rink," Nava said. "He didn't go straight home from the hospital, he went to an ice rink to smell the ice and feel the cold."

When they found out they were having a boy, Nava and Rich had only picked out names for girls, but soon agreed on Finn. Nava wanted his son to carry the name of a little adventurous sidekick, Huckleberry Finn. The name became an obvious fit given he'd been a die-hard Sharks fan for the last decade and Rich had joined the cause when they became a couple.

"I wanted to name him after Huckleberry Finn because I thought it would be cute," Nava said.

"But everyone said he's a Sharks fan," Rich said.

The shark costume was a baby shower gift from Rich's best friend and it'll be a while before he grows out of it.

So the Sharks-crazy couple is now the Sharks-crazy family, with the smallest member known as "Shark baby" to friends, family and anyone who happens to see them at Sharks games.

Nava hopes Finn follows in his hockey-playing footsteps someday. But hanging out with mom and dad during Sharks game is plenty perfect.

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