138 years ago today -- well, right now, I think -- the British North America Act recognized the Dominion of Canada. And what better way to honour those drunken louts in Sir John A's first cabinet than a Hall of Names article?
But wait, there's a twist here...
...on July 4, resident Hall of Names Big Shot Mick Doherty (sorry, Dr. Mick Doherty, D.HoN) will unveil the Fourth of July Hall of Names team based on the signers of the Declaration of Independence. And we'll just see if this Canadian perspective on baseball could beat the John Hancock squad.
Now, I don't know of an exact match for that for the Canadians among us, so let's take our names from the delegates at the Québec Conference of October 1864, a key meeting in the creation of this country. If you would like to try and improve the team (which, I'm telling you, isn't that great), follow that link for the names used in this article.
We start things off with the delegates from the then-Province of Canada, also known as Upper and Lower Canada, or the present-day Southern Ontario and Québec. There were 12 of them but...sorry, George-Étienne, as much as we love Gary Carter, we're only taking exact matches. And with a dozen names, there are only three matches. Good thing they include a switch-hitting Hall of Fame pitcher, then!
The New Brunswickers are better, yielding the only Yankee pitcher to win the MVP, the 1989 NL MVP, a guy who might hit worse than Ken Huckaby and the 1965 AL leader in WHIP. Oh, and Randy Johnson. Nova Scotia gives us a Yankee catcher not named Elston or Yogi, but that's about it for now. Prince Edward Island? How about a Hall of Famer nicknamed "Cakes"? And our centre fielder while you're at it -- much thanks. Newfoundland were only there as observers, but we'll take them. Why? They give us the aforemaligned Gary Carter, though he has to move to 1B to make room.
Also, current Minister of Defence John McDonald does make the team, but only because there were two Macdonalds at the conference and only three Macdonalds in MLB history. Otherwise, I'd have to invoke the Carter-Cartier rule.
Okay, I'm just about at the end now and we don't have much of a lineup. So, I'm breaking a rule that gives us two hitters...and check out the symmetry here! I'll break the last-names-only rule and take William Alexander Henry for Henry Aaron. Also, one of the Newfie delegates gives us an All-Star third baseman.
So, what's the connection? Well, if this All-Star third baseman doesn't fall off a cliff in the next few days, a man named for Hank Aaron gets a free T-shirt.
Now, we have a five-man rotation and a three-man bullpen, so we can only play a short series. In fact, we're just missing a second baseman for the lineup, so we need to put faith in an 1884 outfielder. Call it taking the easy way out. (It's not as bad as Mick's miserable rat Sesame Street cheat to get to get the All-Time Single Season Home Run King on his team, though. I won't even link to it, it was that bad.)
It's Friday today, but for those Sunday drivers, here are the
CANADA DAY TRIPPERS.
** Hall of Famer
MGR: Bill Dickey**
C Bill Dickey** (.313 career hitter, played 17 seasons in pinstripes)
1B Gary Carter** (324 career HR and if you don't know who he is, go away)
2B John Tilley (he never played the infield, but anyone who played for the St. Paul Apostles should be able to do anything)
SS John McDonald (a worse hitter than Russ Adams)
3B Shea Hillenbrand* (.322 career OBP through 2004, still above .350)
LF Kevin Mitchell* (.284, 234 homers)
CF Dave Pope (.265/.317/.390, 12 career HR, 1952-56)
RF Hank Aaron** (Yeah, him)
RHSP Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown** (239-130 over 14 years, 138 career ERA+)
LHSP Randy Johnson* (do you really need me to write anything here?)
RHSP Jim Palmer** (2.86 career ERA with Baltimore in 19 years)
LHSP Ted Gray* (played for four teams in 1955)
RHSP Spud Chandler* (109 wins in 211 games, 2.84 career ERA)
CL-R Eddie Fisher* (0.97 WHIP and All-Star in 1965)
RHRP Bob Macdonald (middle reliever who went 8-9, 3 saves in parts of six years)
LONG-R Bill Campbell* (mainly a reliever, decent numbers with the Twins and Red Sox in the 70's)
I predict Mick's team will beat the crap out of this one. Especially with respect to the name -- he didn't resort to a Beatles song.
Your thoughts, Bauxites? (Joe Carter over Gary Carter, perhaps?)