This Team's Taylor-Made ... For Success?

Sunday, October 02 2005 @ 12:00 AM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

By amazing coincidence, there have been forty-seven (47) major league ballplayers to bear the last/family name of "Taylor" which is #10 on the list of "Most Common North American Surnames." The "coincidence" part comes from the fact that the last team we did, the All-Moore squad, also had 47 candidates.

Actually, come to think of it, that's less of an amazing coincidence and more of a statistical likelihood; pulling from approximately the same-sized population pool, there have been an identical number of Moores and Taylors to make the big leagues so far. (There has never been a player named "Taylor Moore," though.)

Obviously, that Taylor total does not include the four men who bore that appellation as a first/given name, nor the dozen who had it as a middle name. None of those 15 were All-Stars, either, with 2B Elliott Taylor "Bump" Wills the biggest name and 1920s-era OF Taylor Douthit probably the best player.

As with the Moores, no Taylor has yet been inducted to the Hall of Fame; but where the Moores had five former All-Stars available for roster selection, the Taylors have managed just one, former PHI 2B Tony Taylor. One place the Taylors have the advantage on the Moores ...

... sort of, anyway, is in active players, as COL RHRP Aaron Taylor and STL OF Reggie Taylor, though it seems unlikely that both would make this team. And just as there have been two Moores to manage in the big leagues, there have also been a pair of managerial Taylors --and though neither was particularly successful, their combined 275-474 mark outpaces the Moore's 198-232 combined total in most wins, anyway, if not in winning percentage (Moores .460; Taylors .367).

Given all the comparisons to the Moore team -- recall they took the team name "Merry Tyler Moores"? -- we might as well bow down to Nixon-era television again, nodding at the whole family of the Sherriff of TV Land's most famous RFD. That's right, please welcome ...

** indicates Hall of Famer (there are none)
* indicates All-Star (there's just the one)

Player/Manager: James "Zack" Taylor (235-410, 1946, '48-'51 SLB)
Bench Coach: George Taylor (40-64-5 with 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics)

C Zack Taylor (.261, in 16 seasons)
1B Zachary Taylor(12-for-48 for 1874 Baltimore Canaries)
2B Tony Taylor* (.261, 2007 hits in 19 seasons)
SS Harry L. Taylor (Mostly a 1B, played 14 games at SS; .286, 1890-93)
3B Tommy Taylor (.260 in 26 games with 1924 WSH)
LF Danny Taylor (.297, 1926-36)
CF Reggie Taylor (.233 in four seasons through 2004)
RF Joe Taylor (.249, 1954-59)
DH Carl Taylor (.266, 1968-73: C/OF/1B/3B)

C Sammy Taylor (.245, 1958-63)
3B/2B Billy H. Taylor (6-for-24 for 1898 Louisville Colonels)
1B Harry W. Taylor(1-for-8 for 1932 CHC)
C/OF/1B Hawk Taylor (.218 in 394 games over *11* seasons)
OF Bill M. Taylor (.237 in 149 games, 1954-58(
OF James B. "Sandy" Taylor (.216 in 97 AB with 1887 Troy Trojans)

RHSP Luther "Dummy" Taylor (116-106, 21 wins in 1904)
RHSP "Brewery" Jack Taylor (120-117; 69 wins, 1894-96)
RHSP Jack W. Taylor (152-139; 99 wins, 1902-06)
RHSP Wade Taylor (7-12 for 1991 NYY)
5SP-RH Billy Henry Taylor (.277 OF/UTIL was 43-16 in 1884; 50-36 career)

CL-RH Billy Howell Taylor (16-28, 100 saves, 1994-2001)
RH-SET Ron Taylor (45-43, 72 saves in 11 years)
LH-SET R. Scott Taylor (1-2, 1992-93 BOS)
RH-LONG Chuck Taylor (28-20, 21 saves)
RH-LONG J. Harry Taylor (10-21, four saves, 1946-51)

Notes: Benjamin Harrison Taylor, a twice-used RHRP with the 1912 Reds, doesn't make the team; but the squad is still covered U.S. Presidentially-speaking, as both 1B Zachary Taylor and C/MGR James Wren "Zack" Taylor are around to respond to "Hail to the Chief" ... As much as we love Zack and Sammy, we'd really prefer former All-Star and gritty veteran Cleveland Indian backstop Jake Taylor behind the plate ... Alas, Jake is a fictional character as portrayed by Tom Berenger in the Major League movies, so won't make the squad ...

What are the odds? Not only did both MLB-playing Jack Taylors make the starting rotation and two of the four Harry Taylors also make the team, but all four Bill or Billy Taylors to play big league ball are also on the roster -- and three had the middle initial "H"! ... There must be some sort of baseball rule regarding LHPs named Taylor -- there are none in the rotation and just one lone LOOGY out in the 'pen ... Carl Taylor would be the ideal UTIL guy on the bench, but his .266 mark, believe it or not, also marks him as the best candidate to start at DH ...

So that's it, Bauxites ... can you Taylor this team any further?