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As we continue to work our way through a 25-part series outlining all-Hall-of-Names teams for each letter of the alphabet (we'll figure out something to do with "X" later), it only makes perfect sense that we would get around to "A" as the ... 10th letter of the alphabet?

Sure, why start with the first letter? Lead off with the lead-footed Richie Zisk (just about literally, as we did start with the All-Z team) and jump around until landing on "A." Which is where we are now.

Incidentally, did you know that Hank Aaron is no longer the first player listed in the official Baseball Register? ...

... That honour now goes to David Aardsma, recently part of a package the Giants sent to the Cubs for the legendary LaTroy Hawkins.

Best of luck building a career worthy of displacing The Hammer, David. For right now, anyway, you can safely bet that Aaron will make this Hall of Names team, while Aardsma ... not so much.

Let's do something a little different for this team, and go right to the "A"ll-time LeAderboArds in key statistical counting categories:

All-Time "A" Leader Board
# indicates through 2004

  1. Hank Aaron 3771
  2. Cap Anson 3418
  3. Luke Appling 2749
  4. Roberto Alomar 2724#
  5. Luis Aparicio 2677
  1. Hank Aaron 755
  2. Dick Allen 351
  3. Joe Adcock 336
  4. Moises Alou 278#
  5. Bob Allison 256
  1. Luis Aparicio 506
  2. Roberto Alomar 474#
  3. John J. Anderson 338
  4. Brady Anderson 315
  5. Cap Anson 276
  1. Pete Alexander 373-208
  2. Babe Adams 194-140
  3. Doyle Alexander 194-174
  4. Red Ames 183-167
  5. Kevin Appier 169-137#
  1. Rick Aguilera 318
  2. Ted Abernathy 148
  3. Jack Aker 123
  4. Antonio Alfonseca 121#
  5. Don Aase 82
  1. Sparky Anderson 2194
  2. Walter Alston 2040
  3. Cap Anson 1296
  4. Felipe Alou 882#
  5. Joe Altobelli 437

Now, the All-A team does have nine Hall of Famers to its credit, but two of them are wildly successful managers who had just barely a sip of coffee in the big leagues, in George "Sparky" Anderson and Walter Alston; and the All-A team can't be filled without resorting to the Alomar family to fill in behind the plate and at 2B (sorry, Sparky) and by recruiting a guy who arguably should be in the Hall of Fame, the great but moody and misunderstood Dick/Richie Allen.

"A"dditional Notes ... With apologies to some of the more recent players on the leAderboArd, Brady Anderson and Moises Alou just aren't going to break into an Aaron-Ashburn-Averill outfield ... Little Luis Aparicio at short over Luke Appling? Not to knock Old Aches & Pains' work with the leather -- by all accounts, he was quite good -- but Aparicio was a nine-time Gold Glove recipient for a reason ... And besides, Appling can DH, especially as he out-hit Aparicio .310 to .262 lifetime ...

We've already mentioned the Alous and the Alomars, so it's about time we recognize there must be something in the "A" drinking water that produces not just brothers (Hank and Tommie Aaron, for instance) and father/son pairings (see Armas, Tony & Tony), but multiple family members (Jose, Felipe and Matty Alou and son/nephew Moises; dad Sandy Alomar and sons/brothers Sandy Jr. and Roberto) ... And it seems a safe bet that at least a couple of the 29 Allens who have played major league ball are related ...

Robbie Alomar is headed to the Hall of Fame someday, so fits in nicely in our starting lineup; Sandy Jr. probably isn't, but is a nice, serviceable. six-time All-Star through 2004 with a Rookie of the Year award and a Gold Glove to his name ...

Who manages? Anderson has more career wins and more titles than Alston, and Walter seems to have a better personality to handle being a banch coach ... You think Cap Anson would tolerate being in a starting lineup with the Alomars, Aparicio, Allen and Aaron? Especially if Luis Arroyo was on the mound? ...

Luis Aloma doesn't make this team despite a remarkable career record of 18-3 with 15 saves for the 1950-53 White Sox ... The legendary Joaquin Andujar was a fine RHSP but just 127-118 in his career, not nearly good enough to make this team's rotation ... Avery and even Antonelli don't quite look right in that rotation, do they? ... Imagine, though -- the #3 LHSP in A-wins is Brian Anderson, who has a very baseball-season-like 81-81 mark through 2004 ... Anderson does fit nicely in the bullpen, tbough.

A couple of A-names you might know, Gene Alley and Tommie Agee, each retired with exactly 999 career hits ... Neither Armas made this team, but both dad in the OF and son on the mound were/are All-Star talents who could easily otherwise fit in ... Rick Ankiel? Well, at least he'll keep the fans behind home plate alert ... We'll look forward to matching this team up against the "T" squad, who at this point we can only imagine will be called "The Mr. T's" as we now meet ...

The A-Team

MGR Sparky Anderson**
Bench Coach Walter Alston**

C Sandy Alomar Jr.*
1B Cap Anson**
2B Roberto Alomar*
SS Luis Aparicio**
3B Dick Allen*
RF Hank Aaron**
CF Richie Ashburn**
LF Earl Averill**
DH Luke Appling**

C Joe Azcue* (.252 over 11 seasons)
IF Bobby Avila* (.341 won controversial '54 batting title)
IF Mike Andrews* (remember '73 Feudin' A's?)
OF Garret Anderson* (edges out Brady)
OF Bobby Abreu* (edges out various Alous)
1B/3B/OF John J. Anderson (all-time "A" SB leader)

RHSP Grover Cleveland Alexander** (373-208)
LHSP Johnny Antonelli* (126-110, all-time "A" LH leader in wins)
RHSP Babe Adams (194-140)
LHSP Steve Avery* (96-83, #2 in "A" LH wins)
RHSP Red Ames (183-167)

CL-RH Rick Aguilera* (86-81, 318 saves)
RHRP Ted Abernathy (63-69, 148 saves)
LHRP Luis Arroyo* (4-32, 44 saves for NYY; closed for '61 team)
RHRP Jack Aker (47-43, 123 saves)
LHRP Rick Ankiel (13-10 through 2004)
LONG-LH Brian Anderson (81-81; can start and relieve)

Sure, this is already a team of "all A's," but is there some way to improve its grade point average anyway?

A is for Aaron, Alomar and Alou | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
CaramonLS - Friday, June 10 2005 @ 02:08 AM EDT (#119292) #
Possible guys who could make the team:

Kevin Appier
Doyle Alexander

And maybe we could play Cap Anson at catcher? Would definately improve the offense and he did have over 100 career starts at that position.

Sad day when Abreu can't make the team. One of the Most underrated players right now I would say.
Mike Green - Friday, June 10 2005 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#119299) #
I'd give Appling the starting shortstop job, and let Abreu DH. The difference in O between Abreu and Aparicio is huge, much larger than the defensive advantage Aparicio had over his predecessor on the Pale Hose Appling.

The A's are better than I would have guessed, and might even give the Moustache Gang a run for their money.
Mick Doherty - Friday, June 10 2005 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#119348) #
Interesting idea Mike, I should've thought of it. If you start Appling at SS and have Aparicio bump Mike Andrews from one of the bench MIF slots, then Abreu DH's, that opens up an OF or cor IF slot on the bench, and clearly Bob Allison or Joe Adcock would be a huge upgrade over Andrews on the bench.
Mike Green - Friday, June 10 2005 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#119356) #
Even better, Mick.

As a Manager Emeritus of the Annex Anarchists APBA team, I'd have been delighted to see these cards in front of me.
A is for Aaron, Alomar and Alou | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.