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Today is Mark Funderburk's 48th birthday. A propos of nothing for the former Twin outfielder, but would you believe that not a single player with the first name of "Mark" has ever been inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame? (The closest we get is the great, but in this case only "middling" David Mark Winfield.) Now, that may change shortly when Mark McGwire becomes eligible -- but then again, why talk about the past when we can focus on the future?

Well, in this case, Mr. McGwire, because it's fun(derburk) ... and there have been a whole bunch of really fine Marks to don big league uniforms; wait until you get a load of the pitching staff.

In fact, at least 13 Marks have been named to All-Star teams at some point, and we can fill out this Hall-Mark roster with plenty of other options.

Let's assume you know who the All-Stars and the active players are (four of the 13 All-Stars are still active, too); others will get brief parenthetical biographical notes.

It's a shockingly weak outfield -- we sure could use that Winfield guy -- and only as good as it is (which isn't very) because we move our most versatile utilityman from the bench into CF full time. Ugh.

With apologies to a whole host of undoubtedly fine players who struggled through various travails to reach the majors, we are ignoring anyone who spent just one season in the bigs. But we still have plenty of options left for ...

The Hall-Mark Hall of Names
Note: nobody named "Mark" has ever managed at the big league level, though perhaps Mr. Grace will change that one day, but for now this club is in the capable hands of co-managers Mark Connor, the former Yankee pitching coach and Mark Wiley, the former Oriole pitching coach.

*indicates All-Star
** indicates Hall of Famer (there are none)
# indicates active player

C Mark L. Johnson #
1B Mark Grace*
2B Mark Ellis #
SS Mark Koenig (.279, 1925-36)
3B Mark Loretta* #
LF Mark Quinn (.282, 45 homers, 1999-2002)
CF Mark McLemore (.259, 1986-2004)
RF Mark Whiten (.255, 105 homers, 1990-2000)
DH Mark McGwire*

C Mark Parent (.214, 1986-98)
COR IF Mark Teixeira #
MID IF Mark Lemke (.246, 1988-98)
OF Mark Little #
UTIL Mark DeRosa #
UTIL Mark Grudzielanek*#

RHSP Mark Prior*#
LHSP Mark Mulder*#
RHSP Mark Fidrych*
LHSP Mark Buehrle*#
LHSP Mark Langston*

CL Mark Wohlers* (RH)
RHRP Mark Clear*
LHRP Mark Davis*
RHRP Mark Littell (32-31, 56 saves, 1973-82)
LHRP Mark Thurmond (40-46, 21 saves, 1983-90)

LHSP Mark Hendrickson
LHSP Mark Redman
RHSP Mark Gubicza*
RHSP Mark Lemongello (22-38, 1976-79)
RHSP Mark Portugal (109-95, 1985-99)
RHSP Mark Thompson (18-24, 1994-2000)
RHRP Mark Eichhorn (48-43, 32 saves, 1982-96)
RHRP Mark Clark (74-71, 1991-2000)
RHRP Mark Dewey (12-7, 8 saves, 1990-96)
RHRP Mark Grant (22-32, 8 saves, 1984-93)
RHRP Mark Huismann (13-11, 11 saves, 1983-91)
RHRP Mark Hutton (9-7, 1993-98)
RHRP Mark Kiefer (5-1, 1 save, 1993-96)
RHRP Mark Knudson (24-29, 1985-93)
RHRP Mark Ross (2-2, 1 save, 1982-90)
RHRP Mark L. Lee (7-8, 9 saves, 1978-81)
RHRP Mark Leiter (65-73, 1990-2001)
RHRP Mark Petkovsek (46-28, 5 saves, 1991-2001)
RHRP Mark Wiley (2-3, 2 saves, 1975-78)
RHRP Mark Williamson (46-35, 21 saves, 1987-94)
LHRP Mark Guthrie (51-54, 14 saves, 1989-2003)
LHRP Mark O. Lee (5-5, 2 saves, 1988-95)
LHRP Mark Watson (1-1, 2000-03)
C Mark Dalesandro (.240, 1994-2001)
C Mark Salas (.247, 1984-91)
1B/OF Mark P. Johnson (.232, 1995-2002)
1B/OF Mark Sweeney #
SS/3B Mark Christman (.253, 1938-49)
SS Mark Wagner (.243, 1976-84)
3B/2B Mark Wasinger (.244, 1986-88)
3B Mark Teahen #
OF Mark Davidson (.225, 1986-91)
OF Mark Leonard (.227, 1990-95)
OF Mark Ryal (.211, 1982-90)
OF Mark E. Smith (.243, 1994-2003)

Gubicza is the only All-Star not to make the team, though you could easily flip him and Fidrych; alternatively, drop Littell from the bullpen and have Goobs around as the long man. Teixeira is a better hitter than the current starting 1B or 3B, and might be as good as the starting DH, so there's some question about leaving him on the bench -- but he's young yet.

Now, how can this team get, uh, better marks?

The All-Mark Hallmark | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#116776) #
Eichhorn was a better pitcher than Littell or Clear, mark my words. Teixeira at third and Loretta at second would definitely improve the offence, but whether it would be worth the defensive sacrifice I don't know.
Anders - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#116781) #
How narrow is the focus of "Mark"?

Because a couple of guys like Marcus Giles, or Marco Scutaro might want to talk to you.

A couple other guys might be mad at getting left out, like Marks Bellhorn and Kotsay
Jobu - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#116782) #
Mark Kotsay? Oh boy!
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#116784) #
Interesting look at the fashionability of names. It looks like Mark was not that popular a name back in the early part of the century. This is somewhat surprising given that Mark is one of the authors of the new testament.
Mark J - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#116786) #
Well, I would definitely go see this team play!

Just looked up Fidrych's baseball reference page. 6' 3", 175 pounds?!
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#116787) #
If you look at pictures of him, that seems about right.
Mick Doherty - Monday, May 16 2005 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#116788) #
Bellhorn definitely a better utility guy than DeRosa, and in turn, DeRosa could bump Lemke. Not sure how I missed Kotsay -- he can play CF and McLemore move back to the uper-utility role, I'd think.

I can always count on Da Box for finding names I miss! Clearly, in this case, I don't get "full marks."
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2005 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#116815) #
Hey, Mick, you've got Johnny-come-lately competition. Steve's a great guy, and a fabulous writer, but in the Hall of Names department, let's just say that he's Avis.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, May 17 2005 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#116844) #
Thanks Mike, I've dropped him a note. I certainly don't claim to be the originator of the idea, just perhaps the most prolific perpetrator.
The All-Mark Hallmark | 9 comments | Create New Account
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