An Action-Packed Team

Wednesday, March 08 2006 @ 04:00 PM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

I get my thing in action (Verb!)
To be, to see, to feel, to live (Verb!)
That's what's happenin'
I put my heart in action (Verb!)
To run, to go, to get, to give (Verb!) You're what's happenin'
That's where I find satisfaction, yeah! (Yeah!)
Verb: That's What's Happening
From "Schoolhouse Rock/Grammar Rock"

Now that we've worked our way through the 25 most common North American surnames, it's time to return to the "Themes" concept for Hall of Names inspiration ... and this theme is definitely action (word) packed!

Here on Batter's Box, our roster of contributors is filled with names that are also other parts of speech; Price and Furlong are nouns, Green and Burley are adjectives (the latter misspelled, alas), while Drew and Till are, respectively, past-tense and present-tense verbs.

It is the latter category that interests the Hall of Names induction committee right about now. That's right, we'll be constructing a Hall of Names team made up entirely of players whose last/family/surnames double as verbs ... and as always, there are a few rules ...

First, we will not accept players who have verbs embedded in their names (such as Ashburn, Mays and Wills) even if it's a correctly spelled nominalized verb form (see, that English degree finally came in handy) such as Walker, Parker, Fielder, Speaker, Hunter, Bender see the pattern. We also will not accept names that are only parts of verbs and would require an additional word to make sense; so no Nellie "Out" Fox for this team; not even with the first initial "B" does Bob Friend (B. Friend or "befriend") qualify. By extension, neither does Justin Speier "just inspire" an addition to this team.

However, we WILL accept exact homonyms -- names that are spelled differently, but pronounced exactly the same as a verb. For instance, Ron Cey, the Perry brothers, Charlie Hough, Early Wynn and Jose Cruz are eligible (thanks to say, parry, huff, win and cruise, respectively) but Warren Spahn, Gene Mauch and Greg Swindell, for instance, do not qualify ("span" and "mock" carry different middle vowel sounds while "swindle" has a shorter second syllable).

Just to be clear, we are working only with last/family names, for if we included first/given names, we'd be overrun by Arts, Bobs, Bills and even Barrys before we made it to the third letter of the alphabet, with "Don" and "Harry" among the dozens of other possibilities awaiting us.

For proof of concept, for each member of the All-Verb team, we will use the player's name in a sentence. In order to make sure this isn't a team stuffed with guys named May, Cruz and Marshall, among other common verb-like surnames, we will limit ourselves to using a surname just once.

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Position Player Proof of Concept Sentence
MGR Harry Wright** (1225-885, winningest verb manager) It was important for us to Wright those wrongs.
C Johnny Bench** (389 homers, 10 Gold Gloves) The coach had to Bench his point guard when she picked up her fourth foul.
1B Mark Grace* (.303; 2445 hits, four Gold Gloves) Will you please Grace us with your presence?
2B Lave Cross (.292; 2645 hits, 1887-1907) Be careful when you Cross the street, Magpie.
SS Ernie Banks** (512 homers; 1960 Gold Glove SS) Nowitzki with the runner ... and he Banks it in!
3B Wade Boggs** (.328, 3010 hits) He talks so much, it really Boggs down the conversation.
LF Elmer Flick** (.313, 330 SB; 1905 AL batting champ) Did you really just Flick that trash onto the ground?
CF Max Carey** (.285, 738 SB) Let me help you Carey out your dastardly plan, sir.
RF Enos Slaughter** (.300 over 19 seasons) Even though that dastardly plan could mean we Slaughter thousands!
DH Pete Rose* (4,256 hits; 18-time All-Star) As a clutch hitter, he frequently Rose to the occasion.
Rotation RHSP Rube Foster** (Negro Leagues)
RHSP Early Wynn** (300-244)
RHSP Mickey Welch** (307-210)
RHSP Gaylord Perry** (314-265)
RHSP Satchel Paige** (Negro Leagues)
In order to Foster a positive atmosphere, he tried to Wynn the respect of others. However, he had to Welch on the deal when he could not Perry the attacks of his detractors. We'll Paige through the manual looking for new ideas.
Bench 1B/C Frank Chance** (.296, 401 SB)
1B/OF Bill Terry** (.341 in 14 years)
IF Joe Tinker** (.262 in 15 years)
IF/OF/SP John Montgomery Ward** (164-102; .275, 540 SB)
No need to Chance it; don't Terry around in order to Tinker with new ideas ... we need to Ward off bad luck right now!

Disclaimers: It's true that Cross was mostly a 3B/C/OF and even played more games at SS than he did across the second base bag, but he did play 60 games at 2B in his career, and the brand new Hall of Names "60 game minimum" requirement makes him eligible ... Seriously, though, suggestions for another 2B are welcome ... The bench is a little short and we welcome additions there, too -- the more creative the better! -- though we do have DH Rose, who played more than 500 games at FIVE different positions throughout his career and could be the definition of a super-utility guy if Terry were to DH ...

Your Challenge ... Notice what's missing? That's right -- an entire bullpen! From closer to long man, we need some relief specialists, even if the guys in that rotation might combine for 135 complete games in a season. Oh, and the rotation sure could use a lefty, though coming up with one good enough to bump a Hall of Famer could be a task! Be sure to include a "proof of concept" sentence especially for those alternate-spelling homonyms.

Reddy? Geaux!