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I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

-- "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths, 1985

As we learned on Tuesday, where Baseball's Hall of Names is concerned, it's not all that hard Keeping Up with the Joneses. Ah, but could a team composed completely of ballplayers bearing the name of ashamed motel attendees all over North America, do just that?

The early guess here would have been that a team of all Smiths would take (and perhaps sweep) the Jones season series, 18-1 or 17-2 (they play so often because they are both members of the Generic Name Central Division). But a closer look suggests just a 10-9 or 11-8 advantage to the Smith Boys.

Let's see.

While our Jones team had only 90 potential players, a total of 141 Smiths have played in the mahor leagues -- not including Mike Smithson, Stephen Smitherman or Roger Smithberg. We have at our disposal two Hall of Famers and eight other players who made at least one All-Star team. And unlike the Joneses, we have an actual catcher, not just some guy who caught one inning once (although to be fair, Dave C. provided a viable starting alternative for a Jones backstop from Negro League history who did not appear in BBRef).

There are two guys identfied just as "Smith" from ninetheenth century play; each was a pitcher who made one start (and they combined for 15 total innings, with one tossing nine frames but apparently not a complete game) and each failed to register a MLB decision.

There have been three Als (two of whom were All-Stars) and an Aleck, four Bills and two Billys, four Bobs, two Bobbys and a Bobby Gene, two Charlies one Charley and a Chuck, two Dans, three Daves, three Dicks (keep it to yourselves, kindergartners) but zero Ricks or Richards, three Earls, two Eds, three Edgars and an Eddie, three Franks, three Freds, three Georges, four Harrys, three Hals, three Jacks and a Jake, one Jim and one Jimmy, three Johns, two Keiths, a Lee and a Leo, two Marks, four Mikes, an Ollie and an Ozzie, two Petes, four Reds and a Rex, two Roys, two Toms and a Tommy, and two Willies and a Wally.

As Mike Green pointed out in the All-Jones thread, " If you're stuck with a name like Jones or Wilson, a boffo first name or nickname is just the ticket." And there aren't many names as much "like Jones" as Smith, so as you might expect, there are plenty of colourful first names and nicknames -- although the signal-to-noise ratio compared to the Joneses is surprisingly low:

You've got Bud, Bull, Carr, Germany (who deserved mention in our All-Geography Bee team a while back, Happy, Heinie, Klondike, Mayo, Paddie, Phenomenal, Pop and Pop-Boy (although both have the proper name Charles, they are not listed in a supposedly exhaustive list of MLB fathers and sons), Rufus, Sherry, Skyrocket, Stub and Wib (apparently short for Wilbur).

What a great temporary sideshow exhibit for Baseball's Hall of Names! But about that All-Smith Team ... here's one hack's whack at the All-Smith lineup

* indicates former All-Star selection
** indicates member of Baseball Hall of Fame

Front Office: Astros President Tal Smith
MGR: It almost has to be Mayo Smith who had a career mark 662-612 at the big league helm, including a nifty 1968 World Series title; then again, consider the other options out there (career managerial record is indicated parenthetically): Bill J. Smith (0-5), Harry T.Smith (23-54); Heinie Smith (5-27), Don't hold the Mayo in this case!
Loudmouth beat reporter (crossover sports category): Stephen A. Smith
Trainer: Dr. Zachary Smith ("Oh, the pain! The pain!")

STARTING LINEUP
C Hal Smith* (.270/13/50 for '59 STL)
1B Ken Smith (.268 for '81-'83 ATL; third overall pick of '76 draft)
2B Billy E. Smith (.232 from 1975-81 with CAL, BAL, SFG)
SS Ozzie Smith** (13 straight Gold Glovss)
3B Charley Smith (three double-digit homer seasons in 1960s)
RF Reggie Smith* (314 homers second all-time among switch-hitters)
CF Dwight Smith (runner-up to teammate Jerome Walton for '89 ROY with CHC)
LF Elmer J. Smith (.910 OPS, 103 RBI for '20 WS Champs CLE, )
DH Lonnie Smith* (1488 hits in 17 seasons)

BENCH
C Syd Smith (in and out of MLB, 1908-1915)
MID IF Fred V. Smith (.226 in four years, mostly with BUF, BKLYN in Fed League)
COR IF JC "Red" Smith (1087 hits, 117 SB in nine years; career 119 OPS+)
OF Al E. Smith* (.272, 164 homers in 12 years)
OF "Wonderful" Willie Smith (also LHRP in 29 games, ERA+ 110)
PH Mark E. Smith (1994-2003, .243/32/130)

ROTATION
RHSP Hilton Smith** (credited with 12 straight 20-win seasons for KC Monarchs)
LHSP Elmer E. Smith (34- and 22-win seasons for 1887-88 CIN)
RHSP Frank "Piano Mover" Smith (139-111, 64 wins for 1907-09 CHW)
LHSP Sherry Smith (114-118, four 10+ win seasons)
LHSP Zane Smith (100-115, four 10+ win seasons)
OR
LHSP Al J. Smith* (99-101, six 10+ win seasons)

BULLPEN
CL Lee Smith* (478 career saves)
SET Dave Smith* (216 career saves)
RHRP Frank T. Smith (35-33, 44 saves, mostly with CIN in '50s)
LHRP "Columbia" George Smith (41-81 in eight seasons, 1916-23)
RH SWING Bryn Smith (108-94, 18-5 for '86 MTL)
LH SWING Eddie Smith* (73-113, seven 10+ win seasons)

Okay folks, where can we make improvements? Let's ... wordsmith ... this together.
Hall of Names: Sons and Heirs (All-Smiths) | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 15 2005 @ 11:31 PM EST (#3928) #
ERA+ has Bryn Smith as a better pitcher than Frank Smith, but alas without the boffo nickname and also sans Tinkers to Evers to Chance behind him. I'd give Bryn the 4th starter role and move Piano Mover to the swing man position (one gets pretty good at that moving pianos).

Lonnie and Dwight Smith were both born DHs. Too bad that you've got to put one in left field. The key for the pitchers is to keep the ball on the ground and let Ozzie perform his magic. Zane Smith would be perfect. Oddly, that is precisely what Randy Jones did during in his great season with the Padres, but I don't recall any Smith and Jones jokes back then.
_Ryan Day - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 12:17 AM EST (#3929) #
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular
-- "HAND IN GLOVE" by The Smiths, 1984


Oh dear.

That would be How Soon Is Now, 1985.
_Mick - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 01:12 AM EST (#3930) #
Thanks, Ryan ... good catch. I got caught deciding between two Smiths songs and pasted the lyrics from one with the title of the other. Doh!

I fixed it.

Mike, I originally had Smith -- heh, oops, Bryn Smith in the rotation, but decided I couldn't ignore a 23- and 25-win season by Piano Mover, whose other unfortunate Nom de Mound waas "Nig."

But you're right that Bryn had a better ERA+ over his career (104-100), more seasons over 100 ERA+ (6-5) and the best single-season ERA+ of the two (145-140) ... I was seduced by the win totals.
_Colonel Klink - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST (#3931) #
Hogan!!!! You have forgotten all about Mike and Jason. Yes Schmidt, Smith, whatever.
_AWeb - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 03:09 PM EST (#3932) #
Red Smith (one of four Red Smiths, but the only one to appear in more than 30 games) at 3B instead perhaps? Dead-ball era guy, but had OPS+ of 119 over 9 seasons with Brooklyn Robins and the Boston Braves. 3 times top ten in OBP, lead the league in doubles once.
_Mick - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 07:29 PM EST (#3933) #
Colonel, thanks, Mike would certainly upgrade the hot corner, and Jason just might make a good third or fourth starter. But I think this is an even stronger example of the argument that arose regarding earlier questions like whether Estaban Loaiza should be allowed on the All-Steve team and whether non-Anglo naming conventions should come into play or if that would make it too vast and hard to deal with. We gotta set limits, no matter how artificial, so "about Schmidt" ...

... that's right out. It ain't "Smith," no matter how tempting it'd be. (Besides, there are a dozen other Schmidts to consider, and we could get very close to an All-Schmidt team on its own merits with that number.)

AWeb, you may be right -- we could easily move Red into the starting lineup from his current place on the bench and make Charley the reserve corner infielder that Red now is, and I don't think that would shock the world or anything.

Good feedback, guys.
_Thomas M - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 10:25 PM EST (#3934) #
Since Smith is an assimilated version of the German name Schmidt ( as it has been metionted before) Mike Schmidt schould be the thrird baseman and with him and Jason the Smiths should kick the Jones's butt :-)
_Thomas M - Sunday, January 16 2005 @ 10:26 PM EST (#3935) #
Ah Mick nevermind, I should read blogs with 6 messages 'till the end.
Hall of Names: Sons and Heirs (All-Smiths) | 8 comments | Create New Account
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