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Yep, the Royals are coming to town starting tonight, and though it's not quite as obvious as the Jays vs. Rays Hall of Names teams we engaged back on April 6, all All-Royal team seems in order.

This may not be what you're expecting, though ...

... as it's not an All-Royals team; no George Brett or Dennis Leonard to be found here. And it's not even all Jays-who-were-also-Royals, so don't go looking for John Mayberry or Rance Mulliniks -- or even Gregg Zaun or Miguel Batista -- here. And we're not going with guys named "Royal," since even including middle names, that nets us only five options, with the immortal outfielder Kenneth Royal Williams -- Jays fans will remember him as the .161 hitter who managed to get into 106 games with DET and TOR in 1990 -- probably the best of the bunch.

And no, we're not even going to go with names of prominent actual royal people, although the thought of a lineup featuring both Charles "Chili" Davis and Dolph Camilla ... er, Camilli, is quite amusing, netting us both "Charles & Camilli" and the snicker-inducing "Chili Camilli."

We're just going to go with those MLB players who had royal titles for names -- as far as I can tell, that leaves us with King, Queen, Prince, Duke, Marquis, Count, Earl, Baron, Shah, Rajah, Sultan and Emir, with a few foreign translations of the above -- prinz, conte/conti and duque, for instance -- thrown in for good measure.

Ah, but here's a rule we need to stick to ... NO NICKNAMES, or we will be overrun with Hall of Famers like Babe "The Sultan of Swat" Ruth, Roger "Rajah" Hornsby, even "Prince Hal" Newhouser, "King Carl" Hubbell, Mike "King" Kelly and good ol' Edwin "Duke" Snider. Sure, that'd make the team better, but once you realize that literally every MLB player ever named "Lear" or "Lehr" has been nicknamed "King," you can see where it would get out of hand quickly.

So essentially, we're going to focus on first and last names; why not middle names? Because seven hundred thousand MLB players have had the middle name "Earl" and in honor of royalty being the leisure class, I'm just not gonna work that hard to go through all those possibilities.

And in fact, first names (other than "Earl" of course) are, with the exception of one fine modern outfielder still active, pretty much out -- we're waiting for Prince Fielder to reach the majors, of course, so this team might take some editing as early as later this season. And speaking of waiting to reach the majors, top Pirates pitching prospect Zach Duke is on the fast track, but as of this writing, he hadn't reached the Steel City just yet.

As always, if the key word appears in the name somewhere, as in the great Dave Kingman, eligibility is bestowed. Misspelling -- hmm, can't come up with a germane example at this point, but say if some guy was named "Dooks" -- eligibility would be denied.

This 25-man roster shakes out a little differently than previous Hall of Names efforts; there is no obvious DH, though we are left with perhaps the worst fielding combination of corner infielders in the history of the game (c'mon, young Mr. Fielder, we're waiting for you). Because the bench is so versatile, we could go with the dreaded seven-man bullpen, which primarily reflects quantity rather than overwhelming options of quality.

Anyway, here we go, through the looking glass for ...

The Royal Panes
** Hall of Famer
* All-Star

MGR: Earl Weaver** (1480-1060, four pennants, one title)
PA Guy: Bob Prince**

C Earl Battey* (four-time All-Star in 1960s)
1B Dave Kingman* (442 homers, a few strikeouts)
2B Jeff King (.256, 154 homers, 11 years)
SS Wes Kingdon (.324 in 18 games, 1934 WSH, pretty much only choice)
3B Earl Williams (1971 NL ROY; mostly C but 66 games at 3B, not many options)
LF Earl Averill** (.318, 238 homers)
CF Earle Combs** (.325 in 12 seasons)
RF Marquis Grissom* (2222 hits through 2004)

C/UTIL Billy Earle (.286, 1889-94, played every position but P)
OF Stephen King (.353 career in 54 games, 1871-72 Troy)
OF Mike Kingery (.268, 1986-96)
OF/C/SS/3B Mart King (.188 for 1871 CWS, 1872 Troy)
OF/2B/3B/SS Howard Earl (.248, 1890-91)

Rotation: (RLRLX)
RHSP Early Wynn** (300-244)
RHSP Earl Wilson (121-109, 22 wins for '67 DET)
RHSP Charles "Silver" King (203-154, including 141-72, 1887-90)
RHSP Jason Marquis (15-7 in '04, better so far this year)
RHSP Brian Kingman (23-45 career, infamous 8-20 in 1980)

CL Bret Prinz (5-3, All-royal-name leading 9 saves through 2004)
RHRP Nellie King (7-5, 6 saves for 1954-57 PIT)
LHRP Noble Jan Dukes (16 games for 1969-72 WSH-TEX)
RHRP Thomas Earl Dukes (5-16, four teams, 1967-72)
LHRP Ray "Burger" King (14-14, 1 save through 2004)
LHRP Kevin King (0-3 for 1993-95 SEA)
RHRP Mel D. Queen (14-8 for '67 CIN, 20-17 career)

Note: You have to go with the two unrelated Dukes boys in the bullpen if only because they each have double-royal names!

And not quite making the cut, also known as ...
OF Charles "Chick" King (.237, 1954-59, three teams)
RHRP/MGR Clyde King (14-7, 6 saves for '51 BRK; 234-339 as MGR)
RHRP Curtis King (6-2, 2 saves for 1997-99 STL)
RHSP Eric King (52-45, 1986-92)
C Hal King (.214, 1967-74)
OF Jim King (.240, 1955-67)
OF Lee King (.247, 1916-22 NYG, PHI, PIT)
OF Lynn "Dig" King (.208, 1935-39 STL)
1B Sam King (.178, 12 games for 1884 WAS)
1B Harry Kingman (0-for-3 for '14 NYY)
OF Gene Kingsale (.251 in 533 AB spread over 1996-2003)
OF Billy Queen (0-for-2 for 1954 Braves)
RHRP Mel J. Queen (27-40 career)
RHRP Don Prince (one inning for '62 CHC)
C Tom Prince (.208 hitter lasted 17 seasons)
C Jake Early* (.241 in 9 seasons; All-Star in '43, only year over 400 AB)
1B Walter Prince (.208 hitter for four teams in two seasons)
OF Bob Marquis (.273 in 40 games for '54 CIN)
RHRP Jim Marquis (two games for '25 NYY)
OF Roger Marquis (0-for-1 at age 18 for '55 BAL)
LHSP Martin Duke (0-3, 7.43 for 1891 Washington Statesmen)
OF Jason Conti (.238 through 2004)
SS Dick Barone (O-for-6 for 1960 PIT in three games)

Surely we can do better? Before we move this team to Vegas and re-name it the Casino Royales, who's missing?

Meet the Royal Panes | 1 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, May 09 2005 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#116138) #
Steve Earle and the Dukes will render a fine version of the national anthem before each Panes game.

Ray "Burger" King? Nicely done, Mick.
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