So rumor has it that your Toronto Blue Jays might soon be Blue no more. If anything good comes out of this, at least it's another opportunity for ...
Baseball's Hall of Names: Episode III
The True Colors Edition
Let's see if we can build a team entirely composed of players whose last names are colors. (Are the color wheels whirring in your head already? You got your Whites and your Browns and your Greens ...
Ah, but there is one rule (of course) ...
Every single member of this team must have been named to at least one major league All-Star team. So yes, that does limit us to players of the post-All-Star-Game era, but that's still nearly seven decades. Ready to go?
First, we need a manager with a World Series title, meaning he would have managed the ensuing year's All-Star Game. As much as we'd like to stretch our definitions to include Chuck Tanner (use it in a sentence: "Hey, that brown car over there is a shade tanner than mine is"), we'll start off legitimately and go with Dallas Green -- who almost doesn't qualify himself, by virtue of the fact that the 1981 All-Star Game was almost never played.
With sincere apologies to Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, it looks like our starting lineup is going to be dominated by White guys.
Our catcher is Sammy White, who made an All-Star team while backstopping in Beantown for the Bosox in the 1950's. The big guy at 1B is Bill White, who produced seven 20-homer seasons in what was primarily a pitcher's era. To his right at 2B is defensive wizard Frank White, who also produced 160 homers and swiped 178 bases.
And two-thirds of our outfield is made up of CF Devon White, one of the few players in major league history to hit 200 homers and steal 300 bases, and LF Roy White, who collected 1,803 hits as "Mr. Yankee" in one of the team's worst historical periods in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
The other outfield slot goes to RF Shawn Green, previously also nominated for the All-Irish Team on St. Patrick's Day.
On the left side of the infield are a couple of guys who will make you scratch your head and ask he was on an All-Star team? The shortstop is career .279 hitter Jimmy Brown, who made an All-Star team for the Browns (hey! how 'bout that?) during World War II and former San Francisco Giant phenom-turned-bust Chris Brown. (Please note that a certain Rose-colored tint to baseball eligibility rules prevents the addition of a slightly higher pedigreed 3B.)
The pitching staff is a little more diversified, with a rotation headed by lefty Vida Blue, a career 209-game-winner, and righty Kevin Brown, closing in on 200 career wins himself. A couple of other righties fill out the back end of the starting staff -- Tyler Green and Jose Rosado, both of whom sustained early career-ending injuries in the 1990's. ("Rosado," for those wondering, is the Spanish word for "pink.")
The "closer," on this team is none other than Joe Black, who never made an All-Star team but saved 15 games in his Rookie of the Year season for Brooklyn in the 1950's, and our long man is lefty Buddy Black, who also never made an All-Star team, but who collected 121 career wins and gets extra credit for the ability to double as pitching coach.
The ol' color wheel says it's officially okay to consider guys like Bill Plummer (see the "Tanner" rule, above), J.T. Snow and even Henry Blanco, but none ever made an All-Star team. A special shout-out to Mike Golden, who strung together a 1-12 mark as a right-handed pitcher for the 1875 Keokuk Westerns, at the time a major league squad.
So here's your lineup:
MGR: Dallas Green
C: Sammy White
1B: Bill White
2B: Frank White
SS: Jimmy Brown
3B: Chris Brown
LF: Roy White
CF: Devon White
RF: Shawn Green
SP: Vida Blue
SP: Kevin Brown
SP: Tyler Green
SP: Jose Rosado
RP: Buddy Black
RP: Joe Black
Surely the many-hued contributors to Da Box can improve upon this motley crew? No cheating -- no nicknames, no Red Faber or Ewell Blackwell -- but, who's missing?