If you were paying attention last week, you knew this Hall of Names was
coming ... completing All-Birthday teams for my nuclear family, after
seeing teams for Mom (Feb. 17
), Dad (Oct. 20
), big sister Eileen (Aug. 27
) and even myself (July 20
we finish up with the oldest sibling -- and frankly, the one who likes
baseball the least in the family, though maybe she'll still appreciate
this roster -- in big sister Mary.
So let's see if a decent team can be built from the 56 men who
have played in the big leagues bearing a birth date of September 5.
The clock has turned to Sept. 3, the first Monday in September, and
here in the U.S.A. and in Canada, that means it's a holiday --
And a holiday, of course, means a visit to Batter's Box's
own Baseball Hall of Names, where in the past we've seen rosters built for Christmas
, Valentine's Day
, St. Patrick's Day
, Canada Day
and others. But where sometimes we will simply build a team of players born on the designated holiday (Dec. 25
for Christmas, etc.), with a "floating date" holiday like today, that would be, well, entirely too laborious
So instead, we invite your contributions to build a team of players who
sound like they deserve the day off today ... for instance ...
So as you know by now, young Clay Buchholz has tossed a no-hitter
for the Red Sox, in just his second big league start. Does this earn
hima a place on an All-Clay Hall of Names roster? Let's find out ...
The All-Birthday Hall of Names team started off some time back quite narcissistically, as I compiled a team of players with whom I shared a birthday, July 20
. Since then, several dozen dates have taken on roster-shaping posts (from me and from others) and of course, I built teams for my own mom (Feb. 17
) and dad (Oct. 20
). Well, I have two sisters -- neither one a huge baseball fan -- who have birthdays over the next two weeks, and to complete the (nuclear) family tree, we'll see if teams for their birthdays can take root (see, that's a "family tree" joke) as well.
That means today, my #2 sister, Eileen -- the middle child, the golden girl who was high school valedictorian and all that other soul-crushing perfect role model stuff -- but to whom baseball growing up was no more than "Oh, that Davey Concepcion is cute ..." gets an All-August 27 team.
Seems an obvious set of initials has been overlooked in our Hall of Names journeying ... ballplayers with a moniker shortened to "B.S.," a great and powerful pair of letters, initially speaking, which of course, anyone can tell you, stands for ...
Yesterday, young Diamondacks righty Micah Owings put on a
positively Ruthian display of hitting and pitching, holding the Braves
to three hits -- all solo homers -- over seven innings, while hitting
two homers and driving in six runs hisownself. Owings is 7-for-14 with
two doubles and three homers in his past five games and has evened his
rookie W-L record at 6-6. Does this power/pitching modus operandi already make him, at the age of just 24 (25 next month), the greatest M.O. in major league history?
Well, the answer to that, of course, is "Mel (Ott) No!" Young Owings
isn't even the best M.O. currently active (and we don't mean "Mo
Rivera") as there is a fellow named ...
A long, long time ago, Mick presented his all-July 20
team, and it was
pretty good. He's done other days too (like August 9
, December 25
, April 14
, and the devilish June 6s
.) But, were any of these teams the best? So, it's Friday and time for a
Just three men in major league baseball history have gone by the
initials "J.R." as their "first name." Just one of those, former
Houston ace J.R. Richard was truly a star of Ewing Oil magnitude, so
it's only appropriate that he played on a Texas-based ballclub. The
others were J.R. House, a career .105-hitting catcher with the 2003-04
Pirates and the '06 Astros and J.R. Phillips, a .188 career hitter from
1993-99 with the Giants, Phillies, Rockies, and yes, the Astros.
So all three men named "J.R." played in Houston, where presumably
plenty of Astrodome and Minute Maid photographers -- maybe even our own
Named For Hank -- photographed them at work, leading to the obvious
Shaun Marcum is off to a nice start in his big league career; so nice,
in fact, that he is already the greatest player named "Shaun" in the history of the game. (Albeit true, his only competition, Shaun Fitzmaurice, had two singles in 13 AB in nine games as an OF with the 1966 NYM).
Of course, there have also been a fair number of players named Sean,
Shawn and even Shawon, so young Mr. Marcum, with his (so far) 12 career
wins and (as yet) 119 career ERA+ still has a ways to go to catch the
Caseys, Chacons and Dunstons of the baseball universe.
All of which leads us to ...
So we are well past the time of this season's Midsummer Classic, headed into the heat of the pennant races and still months off from the annual awards-fest that follows the crowning of the World Series champion. But favorites are already emerging to win, for instance, the '07 Rookie of the Year awards (FWIW, Vegas says Ryan Braun in the NL and Daisuke Matsuzaka in the AL).
But that leads to an interesting question ... historically, which league produces the best Rookies of the Year? And to answer that, let's dive into a special edition of Baseball's Hall of Names ...
Jason Frasor turns 30 today.
Nobody born on Aug. 9 has (yet) been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, though one may "percivere" into the shrine one day and another has "neon"-ed his way to consideration for the NFL Hall in Canton.
Actually, no less than 55 men born on this day have played in the major leagues, including a half dozen or so (like Frasor) still active. So presumably we will be able to cobble together a pretty decent 8/9 ballclub in this "Frasor" edition (even though Jason isn't even going to make the team!) of the Hall of Names, which we can only call ...
I'm not quite sure what it was that got me thinking about the name "Joel" -- maybe it was the acquisition (and insertion into the rotation) of ex-phenom Joel Pineiro by the Cardinals. Maybe it was the debut with the Nationals of young righty Joel Hanrahan, whose two-game career OPS+ (347!) and ERA+ (130) portend great things. Heck, maybe I just heard a song on the radio by Billy Joel.
Regardless, it was off to BaseballReference.com, where I found that a search for the name "Joel" currently has 25 returns
-- and 25 is a magic number in the baseball world. The question is, can we flip that 25 into a passable 25-man roster? Let's see ...
Well, it's August -- the trade deadline has passed, we are well into
that time of the season known as "the pennant race," even closing in on
that related time called "the stretch drive."
But it's August ...
I'll be honest -- I'm not much of a fisherman. Been out maybe four or
five times in my life, mostly for perch on Lake Erie when I was
much younger. So when the idea came to do an All-Fish Hall of
Names team, I had some misgivings. Most of what I know about fish
comes from the menus of fine seafood restaurants.
And did you realize ...
"Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."
-- Richard P. Feynman
Feynman was a great man, a brilliant physicist and one of the leading thinkers of the 20th century. But, at least as far as this chapter in Baseball's Hall of Names is concerned, when it came to PR, he didn't know jack.
Or, more appropriately, he didn't know Pete -- as in Rose (Sr. or Jr.) or Reiser or Runnels, just a few of the many players in big league history with a name that bore the initials "P.R."
But given my own chosen profession -- make that PRofession -- of corporate communications, maybe by invoking the help of baseball's marketing godhead Bill Veeck, we can formualate a decent roster of players from these PR (take your) "hacks." Maybe not.
Let's find out as we meet ...