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Well, the recent All-Z team didn't turn out too badly (and if you're wondering, yes, this is leading up to something -- a Batter's Box Challenge, in fact -- this coming off-season). But as we work our way (backwards for now, though we'll probably jump around a bit as we proceed) through the alphabet, we ask ourselves the eternal question, "Y Not?"

That is, what kind of Hall of Names team can be built using only the 93 men to have reached the MLB level whose last/family name begins with the letter "Y"? And unlike our previous Z-team, we actually have a Hall of Famer -- actually, four of them! -- to start with.

You got Yastrzemski and Yount from the headline, and probably didn't have to strain hard to think up Cy Young, but did you come up with Ross Youngs? In fact, speaking of Young and Youngs, we're going to have to work to make sure our All-Y team doesn't essentially replicate the 4/17/05 The Youngs and the Rest-List Hall of Names entry.

Just at first glance, it looks like we might have some trouble with assembling a credible pitching staff, which is also going to lean hard to the left; you know that Cy Young won 511 games in his career, but did you know that, by remarkable coincidence, heading into the 2005 season, every other "Y" pitcher in the history of the game had combined to win 511 games, and no one other than Denton True had indeed reached even 70? (Former Athletic hurler Curt Young had 69.) But on second glance, at least the staff is deep enough that there's no room for the inimitable Floyd Youmans, while Ranger youngster (literally!) Chris Young, who's not even the best Young on his own current team, has some more proving to do.

Anyway, we'll do our best -- because it's fun to play for the ...

Y (M.C.) A's
NOTE: The team's alternate home jerseys identify them as the "Y Chromosomes," natural rivals to the Springfield Isotopes.

*indicates All-Star
** indicates Hall of Famer

MGR: Ned Yost (135-188 through 2004, best of a weak lot)

C Steve Yeager (102 homers in 15 seasons; '81 WS MVP)
1B Rudy York* (.275, 277 homers in 13 seasons)
2B Mike Young* (BA has risen every year, 2000-04)
SS Robin Yount** (HOFer played slightly more games at SS than CF)
3B Eddie Yost* (.254, 239 homers in 18 seasons)
LF Carl Yastrzemski** (Don't miss Magpie's 03/10/05 The Ballad of Yaz)
CF Tom York (.274 over 15 seasons, 1871-85)
RF Ross Youngs** (.322 hitter died at age 30)
DH Kevin Young* (.258, 154 homers in 12 seasons)

C George "Doc" Yeager (.238, 1896-1902, also did everything but pitch)
1B/3B/OF Dmitri Young* (.293, 126 homers through 2004)
IF Steve Yerkes (2B/SS/3B hit .268, 1909-16)
OF Gerald Young (.246, 1987-94)
UTIL Eric Young* (.284 through 2004, mostly a 2B)
IF/OF/P Joe Yeager (.254, 1898-1908, 3.74 ERA in 94 games pitched, 80 starts)

RHSP Cy Young** (There's this award ...)
LHSP Matt Young * (55-95 career; All-Star as '83 rookie)
LHSP Irv Young (63-95 career, 20-game winner as 1905 rookie)
RHSP Stan Yerkes (12-22 for 1902 STL; career 15-24)
LHSP Curt Young (69-53, 1983-93)

CL Esteban Yan (RH, 50 career saves; no other "Y" has more than 25)
LHRP Carroll Yerkes (1-1, 1 save, 1927-33)
RHRP Anthony Young (#3 in "Y" saves with 20; remembered for 3-30 W/L, 1992-93)
RHRP Eddie Yuhas (12-2, 6 saves for '52 STL, disappeared)
LONG Emil Yde (LHP, 33-12, 1924-25; career 49-25)

That bullpen is tough to jigger together ... the #2 and #4 "Y"s all-time in career saves are Matt and Cy Young, resepctively, and they're the first two guys in the rotation. And apologies to 1890 PIT infielder Henry Youngman -- take his wife, please. As for a certain right-handed reliever of recent vintage, all we can say about the chances of his making the team is Rich "Not!" Yett.

Y is for Yount, Yastrzemski and .. Yan? | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
H Winfield Teut - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#117625) #
Y is the only letter never appearing as a first name or last name for A Jays Player or coach. Matt Young, Julian Yan, Michael Young, Joe Young etc... came close, but...
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#117663) #
Delmon Young has a chance to make his "All-Letter" team. It looks like he'll make a better DH than his fellow Young-blood Kevin.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#117664) #
Speaking of which, Joel Youngblood would have made an acceptable utility guy.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, May 26 2005 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#117741) #
Oh, sure -- Youngblood was even the Reds' emergency catcher, though with a fella named Bench starting and a stalwart Bill Haselman-type like Bill Plummer backing him up, there wasn't much opportunity for him to get behind the plate.

What are the odds that if he'd played75 years earlier, his nickname would have been "Chief"?
Mike D - Thursday, May 26 2005 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#117746) #
Somewhere within the margin of error of 100%, Mick.
Y is for Yount, Yastrzemski and .. Yan? | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.