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Well, It's My Birthday, Too

No, seriously, today really is my birthday. And in my best Jack Benny voice, I can tell you that I'm 39 today. (Really. I was celebrating my third birthday at the Toledo Zoo while Neil Armstrong was taking "one small step.")

So I thought I'd build myself a little Narcissism Central Hall of Names team to celebrate -- what,. an All-Mick(ey) team? Well, yes, but that comes tomorrow.

First, here's the start of what may or may not turn out to be 366 short Hall of Names teams ... it's the All-July 20 team. And against all odds, although only 32 men total have made the majors having been born on that date -- none on my actual birthday, alas -- two of them even made the higher-level All-July team, the July Franks, which debuted here more than a year ago.

If you want to build an all-birthday team of your own for Batter's Box Interactive Magazine ...

... just drop me a line and I'll send you a note with instructions, and I'll get it published for you, under your byline, on the appointed day.

These rosters are a bit pared down, since there are far fewer players to choose from than with a "normal" Hall of Names team (if there is such a thing) with just a 13-man roster including the nine lineup regulars, one utilityman, two starting pitchers and a closer.

Even at that, we had to cut a few corners to put this team together.

We learned quickly, for instance, that the collection of players born on July 20 could also be known as "The Land of the Backup Catchers," which further limited the talent pool.

The pool was so limited, in fact, that we were forced to go with two men named "Heinie," including the squad's only Hall of Famer. However, there was at least one other player with Hall of Fame talent born on 7/20, Tony Oliva, who is going to play in this team's outfield as we will go with his pre-ravaged-knees Gold Glove form in constructing this roster.

To get a presentable lineup on the field, we are also going to move Mickey Stanley from his usual outfield position to the infield -- but unlike his famous 1968 World Series move to shortstop, he will instead take residence on the 7/20 squad's hot corner, where he did play 18 games in his career. Counting the '68 Series, he played 81 at short, so we're pretty confident he can handle third base.

Now here's ...

The All-July 20 Team

**indicates Hall of Famer
*indicates All-Star

MGR: Nobody born on 7/20 has ever managed in the big leagues
C Bengie Molina (.269, two Gold Gloves through 2004)
1B Gene Hasson (.293 in 47 games with 1937-38 PHA)
2B Heinie Mueller (.253, 1938-41 PHI)
SS Otto Bluege (.213 in 108 games, 1933 CIN)
3B Mickey Stanley (.248 over 15 years, did all but P, C)
LF Tony Oliva* (.304, three-time AL batting champ)
CF Gary Woods (original Jay hit .243 over nine years)
RF Heinie Manush** (.330, 1923-39)
DH Charles Johnson* (.246, 167 homers, four Gold Gloves)
UTIL John Hatfield (.279, 1871-76 NY Mutuals; did all but C)
RHSP Mike Witt* (117-116)
LHSP Oscar Graham (4-9 for 1907 WSH)
CL John Lamb (1970-73 PIT; 5 saves leads all 7/20 players)

Not many apologies to offer to those who didn't make the cut, but even with two catchers in the starting lineup, another four didn't make the squad; the best players left off the team were probably RHSP Don Black and LHRP Mark Lee, so that should tell you something.

Happy Birthday to me, and especially to Mickey Stanley, who seems likely to make both of the narcissistic Hall of Names teams I am publishing this week.

Postscript: an unofficial count indicates that this is the 100th Hall of Names story ever published, so my narcissism also begets a milestone!

They Say It's Your Birthday ... | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#123250) #
Ahem. (Beams with pride.) I have the same birthday as Jim Brown, arguably the greatest NFL running back of all time.

I also have the same birthday as Michael Jordan, who had some trouble with the breaking ball, but was a decent basketball player. Or so I'm told.

Baseball? Baseball? Don't ask...

Mike D - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 01:27 AM EDT (#123253) #
!Feliz cumple, Senor Doherty!
Jefftown - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 01:37 AM EDT (#123254) #
Happy Birthday, Mick! From someone who shares a birthday with none other than Pat Tabler (Feb. 2).

Actually, I think I'd have a pretty solid birthday team...a starting rotation of Wes Ferrell, John Tudor, Orval Overall, and Scott Erickson. An infield of Mevlin Mora, Max Alvis, Red Schoendienst, and Tabler or Willie Kamm, with defensive replacement Buddy "Bam Bam" Biancalana, and an OF featuring Don Buford.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#123257) #
For me it is Lou Gerhig that I share with. Gotta love Baseball Reference as they have a birthdays section ...

Other good ones - Eddie Cicotte (OK, good pitcher not so honest though), Ozzie Osborn (yes, there was a pitcher called that, just one season though), Jerry Reuss (220-191), Jim Slaton (151-158), Johnnie LeMaster (utility guy), and many other utility players. Current big leaguers Doug Mientkiewicz, Willis Roberts, Alex Prieto, Dustan Mohr, Bruce Chen, Claudio Vargas, Val Majewski.

Sheesh. A HOFer, a Black Sox, a couple of solid pitchers, then a ton of backups. None on the year (69). Interesting to see 4 on June 19th, 1950 though. If I tried I'd come up with a team that had some pitching, one hitter, and that is about it. At least it is a heck of a HOF'er.
Sheldon - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#123258) #
Whoohoo...I get Ty Cobb, & Zoilo Versalles (one of the all time coolest names ever) on my birthday (Dec 18).

Plus I have Jim Clancy!
Gerry - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#123259) #
Have a great day Mick.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#123290) #
Mick, I've been 39 for quite a few years now, but I can assure you that the first one was the best.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#123321) #
With my new policy of subtracting a year for each birthday, I too expect to be 39 again, soon.

My baseball birthday team sucks. My NBA team's a winner, my NFL team's a champ. Baseball? I've got one Hall of Famer (Heinie Manush), a decent outfield (Manush, Tony Oliva, Mickey Stanley), a firstbaseman with a headache (Wally Pipp), one decent starting pitcher (Mike Witt), no infield, and catchers...

Catchers coming out the kazoo! I've even got a Molina (Benjy)!! I've also got Charles Johnson, Ed Madjeski, Red McKee, and Red Kleinow behind the plate. What's up with that?

It's OK, I guess. Casey Stengel said you've got to have a catcher, otherwise you have a lot of passed balls.

Magpie - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#123322) #
Aw crap! I just did your team! Those aren't my guys at all!

Back to the drawing board...

King Ryan - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#123324) #
Jesus Colome, Magpie. RTFA! ;)
Magpie - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#123325) #
OK, my REAL team is much, much worse than the July 20 All-Stars. I have no Hall of Famers. I don't even have a decent regular outfielder (Nemo Leibold, anyone?) I've got a player with a drug problem (Alan Wiggins!). I've got the guy with the headache (Wally Pipp.) I've got a few decent starting pitchers, a couple of whom actually won ERA titles, but toiled on terrible terible teams (Roger Craig, Dick Bosman, Dave Roberts.)

And Mostly, I've got relief pitchers. No relief aces, just an assortment of setup guys, long men, garbage men, and back-of-the-bullpen filler. Scott Williamson, Danny Patterson, Mike Cosgrove, Jamie Easterly.

Mick's team would destroy my guys.

SimonB - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#123330) #
A lot of players were born on or around my birthday. I tried to make a team out of them and it's pretty ugly past the first four or five guys. Notables include John Olerud, Eric Hinske, Mark Mulder, Bobby Kielty as well as, unfortunately, John Wasdin and Rick Bosetti, a couple of ex-Jays with pretty hideous career lines.

A lot of Blue Jay flavor, especially if you count Rocket Roger who misses August 5 by a day.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#123343) #
My birthday team consists of lots of catchers and lefties (surprise!). Ernie Whitt and Bill Bergen catch for us. The wrong Jason Thompson plays first. Hal Luby plays second. Marty Cavanagh plays short, with Scott Coolbaugh at third. Bobby Clark, Cory Aldridge and the wrong Billy Williams play the outfield. Mel Parnell, and mind that smell, pitch for us.

If Coolbaugh and Whitt last 10 games without getting totally disgusted and quitting, that would be an achievement.
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