Let's hope we don't have any errors called on us in building this team, then! ...
E-lliptical Information ... Just three "E" players are in the Hall of Fame, now that Dennis Eckersley has joined the gang in Cooperstown ... He was preceded there by second baseman Johnny Evers, the middle part of the famed "trio of Bear Cubs fleeter than birds" Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance combination, as well as the man who, along with Cap Anson, received the most votes in the first-ever Hall of Fame balloting, early backstop great Buck Ewing ...
The Evans boys, 1B/3B Darrell and RF Dwight, both have legions of backers who believe they should be Hall-enshrined as well ... of the active "E"s, the only one with a seemingly reasonable chance at a ceremony in upstate New York someday is Cardinals CF Jimmy Edmonds, and even erstwhile Batter's Box Hall Watch guide Mike Green isn't sure he'll get there ...
The aforementioned Evans boys ride tandem atop the all-time E home run list, Darrell with 414 and Dwight with 386; Edmonds had 302 by the conclusion of 2004 and at least an outside chance at passing both; the next guy on the list is long-retired Del Ennis with 289 ...
Hall of Famer Ewing is the all-time E leader in steals -- that's right, the catcher -- with 354, while Evers "runs" second at 324 and turn-of-the-20th-century Highlander/Yankee shortstop Kid Elberfeld is a distant bronze medalist with 213 ... Edmonds' former teammate Darin Erstad is the active leader with 159, and he could catch Elberfeld if he sticks around until 2008 or so ...
As you'd expect, Eckersley is the clear leader in career saves among E pitchers, as his total of 390 accounts for nearly 44 percent of all E-pitcher saves heading into 2005 ... Ex-Red Rawly Eastwick had 68 while '50s and '60s Cub closer Don Elston had 63; running fourth and fifth are old Blue Jay stalwarts Kelvim Escobar and Mark Eichhorn with 56 and 32, respectively ...
Bet you didn't realize that Eckersley is also the clear leader in career wins among E pitchers, as only 10 E's have notched at least 100 wins, and none more than Eck's 197 ... The #2 guy is Howard Ehmke, whose 166-166 career mark sees only Scott Erickson, still hanging on with the Los Angeles Dodgers of the Greater Anaheim area within shouting distance, with 141 wins ... Completing the vaunted Triple Crown of E pitching leadership, Eck's 2401 career strikeouts is almost double that of Erickson's #2 total, currently approaching 1300.
Some fine RHSP didn't make the cut as only three fit in the rotation ... These include Erickson (141-132 through 2004), Adam Eaton (just 36-36 so far, but a future All-Star?), Red Ehret (139-167 in 19th century ball), Cal Eldred (85-74 through 2004), Bob Ewing (124-118 with a career ERA of 2.49) and Hod Eller (60-40, 2.62)... The fifth starter's role originally went to Dock Ellis (138-119), but he was eventually bumped by a moderately more successful -- and much cleaner, chemically speaking -- Carl Erskine ...
In picking the right-handed setup man, Elston was effective longer than Eastwick, though the latter had a higher peak -- but neither could beat out Escobar to get the ball to Eck ... Sorry, Mr. Eichhorn ... The left-handed setup role came down to Alan Embree, Jamie Easterly, Scott Eyre and Joey Eischen, and we went with Embree, who at least has the resume line of essentially being traded for David Justice ... The lefty long man was going to come from Jim Joe Edwards (26-37, 1922-28), Harry Eisenstat (25-37, 1935-42) and Jumbo Elliott (63-74, 1923-34) ... Jumbo once led the NL in wins, so he gets the nod ...
We have a few options behind the plate, to put it mildly; even with Ewing the obvious starting backstop, we can choose among Bruce Edwards (10 years, two-time All-Star), Johnny Edwards (14 years, two Gold Gloves, three-time All-Star), Al Evans (12 years), Tom Egan (10 years), Tony Eusebio (nine years), Jim Essian (12 years), Johnny Estrada (2004 All-Star) and Andy Etchebarren (15 yers, two-time All-Star) for the bench role ... Until Estrada plays a little longer, the best of these fine gentlemen is probably the pre-Bench Reds All-Star, Johnny Edwards, so he gets the nod ...
Speaking of catchers, who knew that there were not one, but two Bobby Estalellas to play in the majors? ... Bobby M. has hit .216 from 1996 through his short failed stint in Toronto in 2004, while Roberto E. played OF and 3B on and off for several teams from 1935-49, hitting .282 and enjoying his greatest success during the WWII years ...
Among the many names you would have recognized had they actually made the team (they didn't) are current players Juan Encarnacion and Morgan Ensberg ... Middle infielders Alvaro Espinoza and Sammy Esposito (nickname alert: "Dos Espos") had long careers, but did nothing noteworthy enough to earn mention on the All-E team ... IF/OF Dick Egan did everything but catch while hitting .248 with 167 steals from 1908-16 ...
If the squad needs help at the infield corners, there are options including former Twin phenom Dave Engle (as well as Ensberg) at 3B while across the infield are 1B Mike Epstein and Nick Esasky, both former 30-homer guys, as well as 1944 AL home run leader Nick Etten ... Esasky is probably best known for having to retire due to a bout with vertigo ... Also better known, unfortunately, for his disability than his .290 career average was OF Jim Eisenreich, who battled (largely successfully) Tourette's Syndrome ...
Most of our All-Letter teams so far have had player/managers, almost out of necessity due to the lack of choice in skippers. Two of the longest-serving and arguably most successful E-Managers have been Buck Ewing (489-395) and Johnny Evers (180-192) but neither ever won a title of any kind and both are going to make this team as players ... So to avoid another player/manager dual role, we'll award the helm of this ship to foul-mouthed Lee Elia ("Bleep those bleepin' fans who come out here and say they're Cub fans that are supposed to be behind you rippin' every bleepin' thing you do."), just 238-300 in his career, but at least -- oh, wait. He never won a title either. Oh well! ...
So what to name this team? In the early days of the sport, they obviously would have been the E-9, much to the consternation of starting right fielder and perennial Gold Glover Dewey Evans. But with the designated hitter in place, can we really call a baseball team the E-10? That just sounds wrong. So in the spirit of the modern world of communications that makes the publication of this team even possible, please greet ...
**indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR Lee Elia (238-300)
C Buck Ewing** (.303, 1880-97; played all nine positions)
1B Darrell Evans* (just .248 but 414 homers)
2B Johnny Evers** (.270 hitter was 1914 NL MVP)
SS Kid Elberfeld (.271, 1898-1914)
3B Woody English* (.286 hitter mostly a SS, made only All-Star team as 3B)
LF Del Ennis* (Whiz Kid hit .284, 288 homers, 1946-59)
CF Jim Edmonds* (.294, 302 homers through 2004)
RF Dwight Evans* (.272, 385 homers, eight Gold Gloves)
DH Luke Easter (Negro League great hit 93 homers in just 1725 MLB at-bats)
C Johnny Edwards (.242, 81 homers)
IF Kevin Elster (.254/24/99 for 1996 TEX)
IF/OF Bob Elliott* (mostly a 3B: .289, 170 homers, 1939-53)
OF Mike Easler* (.293, 118 homers)
OF Carl Everett* (.277, 168 homers through 2004)
OF/1B Darin Erstad* (.289, 107 homers, 159 SB through 2004)
RHSP Howard Ehmke (166-166, hero of '29 Series)
LHSP Dick Ellsworth* (115-137, all-time E leader in lefty wins)
RHSP George Earnshaw (67-28, 1929-31, 127-93 career)
LHSP Shawn Estes* (92-81 through 2004)
RHSP Carl Erskine* (122-78)
CL-RH Dennis Eckersley* (191-171, 390 saves)
RHRP Kelvim Escobar (69-67, 58 saves through 2004)
LHRP Alan Embree (28-28, seven saves through 2004)
RHRP Sammy Ellis* (10-3, 14 saves in '64; 22-10 in '65)
LHRP Jumbo Elliott (from 1930-33, made 94 starts, 65 relief appearances)
So, Bauxites, you've got E-Males ... how do you reply?