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Here we go, with our standard "Hall of Names" companion piece to Mike Green's current Hall Watch profile, this one of Frank "Bat-Man" Thomas' sidekick, Robin Ventura.

It seems remarkable, but only four men in the history of the game have been named "Robin" -- and if Ventura ever enters the Hall of Fame (unlikely, but obviously at least worth discussing, or we wouldn't be here) that means three of the four Robins will be enshrined in Cooperstown. Ventura would join Robin Roberts and Robin Yount in The Hall, leaving former Cubs/A's/Rockies/Reds outfielder Robin Jennings wondering just what the hell happened.

But no, even with two current Hall of Famers, there's no "Rockin' Robin" team to be built. So do we go with the 21 guys with the initials "RV" for an "All-Big-Rig" team? Uh, no. How about guys like Ventura who share a name with a famous highway? Unlikely at best. But wait ... read through that Mike Green Hall Watch piece again. See the comparison of Ventura to Ron Cey? An idea takes flight ...

Robin Ventura? Ron "The Penguin" Cey? You see where this is headed, right? That's right, this edition of Baseball's Hall of Names is strictly for the birds!

Now, as usual, a few rules.

First, because we make the rules we can break them, so the long-standing Hall of Names ban on nicknames is hereby waived. (You should've figured that out from the earlier Cey example, anyway.)

To help compensate, we will use a one-bird, one-man rule; that means, when we select our Robin, if we want Roberts in the rotation, Yount stays home. And if we want a Goose in the bullpen, then like Yount, another Hall of Fame outfielder will need to watch from the stands. Even if one man's nickname is another's given name, we can only choose one ... so, sayonara, Doug Bird; we have a wacky ex-Tiger in our rotation. But we will allow the slightly-different "Bird" and "Birdie."

We could use some help from the left side on the mound, Bauxites, and a few of the below choices are a real reach (I stayed away from Barry Lark-in but caved to get Don Gull-ett on the team) ... so how can we do better?

The usual roster spots apply:
* indicates All-Star
** indicates Hall of Famer

C Birdie Tebbetts (player/manager)
1B Pidge-on Brown (.210 in 65 games for '62 HOU)
2B Jay Partridge (.260 for '27 BRK)
SS Robin Yount**
3B Ron "the Penguin" Cey*
RF Andre "Hawk" Dawson*
CF Norman "Turkey" Stearnes**
LF Joe "Ducky" Medwick**
DH Jay Buhner*

C Don Crow (oh-for-4 in 4 games with 1982 LAD)
COR IF Alan Storke (.261 for 1906-09 PIT, STL)
MID IF Fred "Chicken" Stanley
OF Bill Eagle (.308 in 13 AB for 1898 WSN)
OF Buck Thrasher (.255 for '16-'17 PHA)
UTIL Sam Crane (2B/SS/3B/OF, .208 in seven seasons with four teams)

RHSP Mark "the Bird" Fidrych*
LHSP Don Gull-ett* (yeah, it's a reach)
RHSP Craig Swan (former NL ERA champ -- did you know that?)
LHSP Pete Falcone (close enough! ... two 12-win seasons)
RHSP Billy Swift (former 20-game winner)

CL Rich "Goose" Gossage*
RH SET Phil "the Vulture" Regan*
LH SET Bruce Ruff-in (Sorry, Red Ruff-ing, we need a lefty)
LONG Joel Finch (O-3 for '79 Bosox)
LONG Mike Parrott (14-12 for '79 SEA, then 1-16 in '80)

RHRP Conrad Cardinal had a 13-inning cameo with the '63 Astros, but not quite enough to make this team. And despite what you might think about now nice Jose would be on this team, "Cardenal" is not the Spanish word for "Cardinal."

Finally, yes, just as Scott Lucas was the unofficial Box Roster sponsor of our recent "Great Scott" Hall of Names team, we have a Roster member atop this motley crew as well ... our own Dan "Magpie" McIlroy.

Giving Baseball "The Bird" | 15 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 10:46 AM EST (#103301) #
Another option is to play Rick "Rooster" Burleson at short and pick up Robin Roberts as one of your starters. You've got a fine defensive outfield there, and it's a shame to waste it with Pete Falcone.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:10 AM EST (#103304) #
Turkey Stearnes was not much of a centerfielder, and was more at home in left field. He's a great choice for the team, but you're better off with Stearnes in right or left and Andre Dawson in center; the Hawk was a magnificent centerfielder in his day, probably the best in the National League from 1981-83.
Matthew E - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:12 AM EST (#103305) #
How about Wrennie Stennett?
Craig B - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:14 AM EST (#103307) #
Wrennie? Boo! :)

If you're looking for a very fine long reliever to take the place of Joel Finch, I would suggest Doug Bird, who had a bunch of great seasons in the pen for the McKeon/Herzog Royals teams in the 70s.

Craig B - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:18 AM EST (#103308) #
Also, I can't believe we left out a Hall of Famer! Chick Hafey should definitely be added to the bench at least.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:18 AM EST (#103309) #
yeah, I decided to go with Fidrych instead of Bird (or Paul Byrd for that matter) but if we go with Mike's suggestion of moving Burleson in at short -- an All-Star AND a new bird we don't have yet -- then Robin Roberts would easily supplant Fidrych as the ace of the rotation and Doug Bird could solidify the bullpen a little. If only he were a lefty!
Craig B - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:19 AM EST (#103310) #
Whoops. I missed the "one bird" rule. :) Still, a Chick is distinct from a Chicken.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:20 AM EST (#103311) #
Hmm., yeah, Hafey ... I missed him. Maybe because we already had a "Chicken" and I stopped looking for that particular bird. But obviously Hafey a better player than Fred Stanley.
Boy, if we weren't sticking to this one-bird, one-man rule, we could put together quite a team!
Craig B - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 11:37 AM EST (#103315) #
Oh yeah, if we're looking for another bat for the bench, Marlins OF Chris Aguila (Spanish for "Eagle") would do the trick.
Magpie - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 05:50 PM EST (#103348) #
There was an old outfielder... Tris "The Gray Eagle" Speaker.<p>
I guess I'm official scorekeeper, then?<p>
Can Sheryl Crow sing the anthems at least?
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 05:57 PM EST (#103349) #
Magpie, you want Tris Speaker over Bill Eagle? Are you MAD? Eagle's career 4-for-13 stats mean he's FRESH and ready to go, while Speaker, with some 3,000 of those pesky tiring base hits, will be exhausted.
Nolan - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 06:58 PM EST (#103353) #

There's no MYOR thread up right now, so I'm going to "venture" off topic a bit to ask a question: Has anyone heard anything about Rios being the lead-off hitter for the Jays this year?

I was reading over at and came across this little tidbit: The Toronto Star reports that OF Alexis Rios could be the team's leadoff hitter this season.

Shrike - Tuesday, February 22 2005 @ 10:13 PM EST (#103362) #
So how does the revised squad look like now that we've added two HoFers?
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, February 23 2005 @ 10:35 AM EST (#103376) #
Sticking to the one-bird, one-man rule, and moving some people around a bit, I think this team has gained a net positive with with five roster moves.

ADD TO ROSTER: SS Rick Burleson, RHP Robin Roberts, RHP Doug Bird, OF Tris Speaker, OF Chick Hafey
PALCE ON UNCONDITIONAL WAIVERS: SS Robin Yount, RHP Mark Fidrych, RHP Joel Finch, OF Bill Eagle, OF Buck Thrasher

C Birdie Tebbetts
1B Pidge-on Brown
2B Jay Partridge
SS Rick "Rooster" Burleson*
3B Ron "the Penguin" Cey*
RF Andre "Hawk" Dawson*
CF Tris "Grey Eagle" Speaker**
LF Chick Hafey
DH Joe "Ducky" Medwick**

C Don Crow
COR IF Alan Storke
MID IF Fred "Chicken" Stanley
OF Norman "Turkey" Stearnes**
OF Jay Buhner*
UTIL Sam Crane

RHSP Robin Roberts**
LHSP Don Gull-ett*
RHSP Craig Swan
LHSP Pete Falcone
RHSP Billy Swift

CL Rich "Goose" Gossage*
RH SET Phil "the Vulture" Regan*
LH SET Bruce Ruff-in
RP Doug Bird
LONG Mike Parrott
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 23 2005 @ 10:50 AM EST (#103378) #
How 'bout a short but sweet career from a sparrow? A 120 lb. catcher who had a short life? Small wonder he got the nickname sparrow.
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