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A while back, when we published the R is for Ruth, Rodriguez and Robinson (Wow!) edition of Baseball's Hall of Names, you might glean from the exclamation in the headline that it was a pretty impressive group.

That story went so far as to declare "R" the letter "that would yield the best team overall." In the immortal words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend.

An e-mail this week from Fountain of Baseball Knowledge (tm) Mike Green pointed out that the letter "M" would field a pretty fair lineup as well. Indeed. Such an exceptional lineup, in fact ...

... that we're going to build two "M" teams and a separate, third one for those players whose last or family names begin with "Mc." Junk food is the order of the day here; in other words, with no further commentary (that comes later), meet our ...

1st & 2nd M&M TEAMS and the McTEAM

**indicates Hall of Famer * indicates All-Star

POS All-M: 1st Team All-M: 2nd Team All-McTeam
MGR Connie Mack** Billy Martin John McGraw**
C Thurman Munson* Phil Masi* Deacon McGuire
1B Eddie Murray** Johnny Mize** Willie McCovey**
2B Joe Morgan** Bill Mazeroski** Bid McPhee**
SS Rabbit Maranville** Marty Marion* Roy McMillan*
3B Eddie Mathews** Bill Madlock* Gil McDougald*
LF Stan Musial** Dale Murphy* Willie McGee*
CF Willie Mays** Mickey Mantle** Brian McRae
RF Joe Medwick** Roger Maris* Kevin McReynolds
DH Edgar Martinez* Paul Molitor** Hal McRae*
RHSP Christy Mathewson** Juan Marichal** Jim McCormick
LHSP Rube Marquard** Ed Morris Dave McNally*
RHSP Greg Maddux* Jack Morris* Joe McGinnity**
LHSP Mark Mulder* Vinegar Bend Mizell* Sam McDowell*
5th SP Pedro Martinez* (RH) Bobby Mathews (RH) Scott McGregor* (LH)
CL Mike Marshall* (RH) Johnny Murphy* (RH) Lindy McDaniel* (RH)
Position Jeff Montgomery* Firpo Marberry Roger McDowell
LHRP Randy Myers* Don Mossi* Tug McGraw*
LONG Dennis Martinez* (RH) Tony Mullane (RH) Kirk McCaskill (RH)

"M"ore Commentary ... First, heartfelt apologies to Donnie Baseball, as Mattingly couldn't get into a lineup here with the Murray/Mize/McCovey logjam .. In fact, of the top 100 home run hitters all-time (regardless of name or initial), only three who are also "M-pact players" (sorry) didn't make it into the listing above -- and no shock, they're three more 1B in Freddie McGriff, Tino Martinez and Lee May ... The only M in the top 100 all-time base hit leaders who didn't make one of the above teams is still another 1B, #97 Stuffy McInnis ... Oh well, Donnie, at least one Yankee captain is represented, in first-team backstop Thurman Munson ...

Speaking of catchers, it is at least possible that current youngsters Joe Mauer and/or Victor Martinez might challenge Munson's position someday, but Mauer hasn't put in a single healthy full season yet and Martinez is actually regressing ... So we'll go with Munson and for our second team, settle on Phil Masi, who made four straight NL All-Star teams from 1945-48 ... Damian Miller wouldn't be a bad choice, either ... Uh, Mr. McCarver? You'd have to play for the McTeam, and there is just no way in holy hell (pun intended) that you're beating out the chosen Deacon ...

Ah, the Millers ... A total of 81 men (including four pitchers named Bob) with that surname have played major league ball, and not a single one is listed in any of the above team rosters ... There's a "Miller's Tale" Hall of Names entry in there somewhere, but only two of the 81 even merited fleeting consideration, in the aforementioned Damian and RHRP Stu, but he, like Matt Mantei got "Firpoed" ...

Firpoed? What? The last RHRP to make the second all-M team was the legendary Firpo Marberry, who led the AL in appearances six times and in saves five times (with as few as 11 and a career best of 22) ... Marberry was the all-time MLB leader in career saves from 1926 until 1945, when his mark of 101 was surpassed by Johnny Murphy, another ex-M-plary reliever who held the crown until Roy Face took it up the alphabet a ways in 1962 ...

Arguably the three greatest "pure" designated hitters of all-time regardless of name or initial are "M" players -- Edgar Martinez, Paul Molitor and Hal McRae, which was reason enough to make the DH spot a "true DH" spot rather than moving players around ... This "refuse to move" rule is also the reason you find the second-best "M" outfielder overall, Mickey Mantle, on the second team -- because he played the same position, CF, as the #1 guy, Willie Mays ...

Perhaps the toughest call was who would fill the role of McManager ... John McGraw just nipped Joe McCarthy in a photo finish for the slot ... Never heard of Bobby Mathews, near the back of the second team's rotation? ... You probably would have if he'd hung around for another month of starts; he retired from the 1887 Philadelphia A's with a career mark of 297-248, three wins shy of what apparently was not yet a magic number, and he was just 35 at the time ...

Vinegar Bend Mizell bumped Eric Milton as the final lefty in an M rotation ... Ed Morris, qho was 171-122 in seven 19th century seasons, bumped another ancient lefty, Jamie Moyer, which makes for a fine Morris/Morris right-left combo behind Marichal in the second team's rotation ... Sorry, Jim Morris, silver screen exploits were not considered ... Perhaps a fourth Morris, Matt, can squeeze into the discussion eventually ...

Other than Mattingly, the guys that caused the most guilt on cut-down day were Minnie Minoso, Dick McAuliffe (personal bias there) and Mark McGwire ... Big Mac wasn't going to bump Willie Mac off 1B and the "true DH" approach mentioned above keeps him off the team entirely ... Speaking of Big Mac, one housekeeping note ... the McTeam only considered McPlayers, not MacPlayers, but the best of the latter bunch, RHRP Mike MacDougal, wouldn't have made the squad anyway ...

On the pitching side, sure would have like to have found room for Goerge Mullin (228 wins), Terry Mulholland Mike McCormick, Jack McDowell, Denny McLain, Sal Maglie, Rick (but not so much Mickey) Mahler, Jim Maloney, the aforementioned Matt Mantei, Mike Mussina, Jon Matlack, Carl Mays, Doc Medich, Jim Merritt, Andy Messersmith and the mis-named Win Mercer who was 131-164 for his career ...

Even though I lived in Ohio during his "up" years with the Indians, I couldn't bring myself to install Jose Mesa as Team #2's closer, 300 career saves notwithstanding, so when Murphy's name popped up, that was an easy decision ... Surprisingly, neither McReynolds nor the younger McRae -- two-thirds of the McTeam's starting OF -- ever made an All-Star team ... With 265, Jim McCormick is McTeam's all-time leader in wins; he got all of them in the 10-year span of 1878-87, winning at least 40 games twice in a single season. at least 30 twice more and at least 20 four other times.

Well, Bauxites ... you deserve a break today, and chocolate tastes better in colour and all that -- so how can the McTeam and/or the M&M teams be even better?

M is for Morgan, but Mc is for McPhee | 2 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, June 13 2005 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#119462) #
One of the oddities of the Hall of Names is talent duplication. Take the M shortstops. You're sitting there with a no hit/great glove shortstop from the teens and twenties (and thirties) Rabbit Maranville. Along comes Marty Marion, a facsimile of Maranville, and then another, Roy McMillan. I'm still not sure that the O's shortstop from the 60s wasn't Bark Melanger. He'd definitely be in the mix. :)

Anyways, the greatest hits of an all-M team would include Pedro Martinez, Mathewson, Maddux and Marichal. I'm sure that Billy Martin would find a way for each of them to throw 200-250 innings in a season at least. With Mays, Mantle, Musial, Morgan and McCovey (5 inner-circle Hall of Famers in my book) backing them up, this team would give Ruth's boys a run for their money.
Anders - Tuesday, November 15 2005 @ 01:45 PM EST (#132119) #
Mark McGwire was a pretty good player too...
M is for Morgan, but Mc is for McPhee | 2 comments | Create New Account
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