We haven't done a new Hall of Names team in quite some time; today, for no particular reason -- I think maybe I hearrd a passing mention of Yankee hurler Ivan Nova -- I wondered, could we actuallly build a Hall of Names team built entirely of playes named, with a nod to the old communist USSR, "Ivan"?
Let's find out ...
Okay, the answer is "NYET" ... er, make that "no.'
In the history of major league baseball, there have only been 19 players with some version of the given (fiirst or middle) name "Ivan." So there won't be a roster, per se, but there could be a pretty decent lineup carrd. So again ....
Let's find out ....
First, no "Ivan" has ever managed in the big leagues; so we'll give the job to a wily veteran pitcher with a name that calls out for an Ivan nickname, anyway (surely someone out there can win a Bauxite No-Prize by explaining the managerial choice? Ready, go!). And that skipper will be piloting a team (okay, lineup) so-named by an old English major, wildly unfortunately ...
** indicates Hall of Famer (none yet, one on the way)
* indicates All-Star
MGR Dick Drago
C Ivan Rodriguez* (.298, 309 HR through 2010)
1B Ivan Cruz (.273, parts of 1997-2002)
2B Ivan "Ivy" Olson (.258, 156 SB, 1911-24)
SS Iván (Alvarez) de Jesus (.254, 194 SB, five teams, 1974-88)
3B Ivan Howard (.233, 1914-17)
LF Ivan Murrel (.233, 36 homers, parts of 1963-74
CF Carlos Ivan Beltran* (.282, 280 HR through 2010)
RF Ivan Calderon* (.272, 104 HR, 97 SB, 1984-93)
DH Lindo Ivan "Lin" Storti (.3B, 227/9/75, 1930-33)
RHP Ivan "Ike" Delock (84-75, 1952-63)
LHP James Ivan "Jim" Rola nd (19-17, 9saves, 1962-72)
RHP Ivan Nova (5-6, 4.50 though this wrriting, since '10 debut)
UTIL IF Ivan DeJesus (.194 so far in '11 debut)
IVAN-A KNOW MORE .... A disproportinate number of the 19 Ivans had cuppajoe careers -- one at-bat. one stat, a few days in the bigs -- including UTIL Ivan Bigler, RHP Joel Ivan "Sailor" Newkirk" and more. We also chose to mark as ineligible for this team SS/3B Ivanon Coffie, who was 13-for-67 the 2000 Orioles ... That's right, the exta "on" in his name mean he's "off" the team ...
At this writing, Beltran has 289 homers and 289 steals in his career -- very few players have reached the 300/300 ckub (Mays, Bobby Bonds, a few others), but Beltran appears to be on his way ... Bigler appeared in one game in MLB with the 1917 Browns, but neither played in the field or had a plate appearance -- not sure how that worked, maybe he pinch-ran? ...Calderon had his best (and only All-Star) season with the 1991 Montreal Expos ...
DeJesus had a fine career, but is probably best-remembered (quite bitterrly) in Philadelphia as the key playe in the trade the Cubs made to acquire no-name minor league infielder Ryne Sandberg ... Rodriguez, the 14-time All-Star, won 13 Gold Gloves and is the only Ivan so far to win a League MVP (1999 AL) ... Delock consistently won in or near double digits for the Red Sox from 1955-60 ... Howard played every position on the diamond, outside the battery, multiple times, but he's at the hot corme for this team after spending about a quarter of his time there over his career; he didn't debut in the big leagues until age 31 ... Ivy Olson, mostly a shortstop, led the 1919 NL in base hits, but moves to second base for this team; he played nearly 300 games there in his career ...
So, Bauxites, how does a team with this lineup and core perform in the 2011 AL East? And have you figured out the pop culture reference diving the managerial choice yet?