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When Batter's Box first issued what Craig Burley has taken to calling the "Hall of Place Names" challenge, to be honest, I expected a bunch of U.S. states (some are upcoming, incidentally) and some major cities (we've already seen Brooklyn, Mobile and San Francisco, with more on the way) to dominate the submissions. Barring that, perhaps a series of foreign countries similar to the All-Canadian team that started it all.

Wouldn't you know, the very first two teams received (from Bauxites Matthew Elmslie and Greg Williams, in that order, respectively) were for the same non-North American city? And if you think hard enough, you can probably guess that it's ... well, let's turn that description over to Elmslie:

"The first place I thought of when I heard about this exercise was the Ballmouth," wrote Elmslie. "If, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sunnydale, CA is the Hellmouth, where all the spooks and monsters come from, then this place is the Ballmouth. I refer to the little Dominican hamlet of San Pedro de Macoris."

Speaking of spooky, working completely independently of each other, Williams and Elmslie came up with exactly the same starting eight position players (Elmslie went traditional and did not select a DH), though it is also perhaps unfortunate that they both settled on the same outfield -- George Bell and Rico Carty flanking Sammy Sosa, even the young Sosa, might be the worst defensive outfield in the history of the Great Game.

The benches and pitching staff differed slightly, though there was enough overlap to confirm that the best choices could easily be agreed upon; though there are a few additional editorial changes made here as we combine the two efforts; can somebody, somewhere, find a backup -- or better yet, starting -- catcher from San Pedro de Macoris? Anyway, it's time to say ...

** indicates Hall of Famer * indicates All-Star

C Angel Pena (71 G in 3 seasons)
1B Pedro Guerrero* (.300/.370/.480 despite Dodger Stadium)
2B Luis Castillo* (.293, 281 SB, three Gold Gloves through 2005)
SS Tony Fernandez* (2276 hits, four Gold Gloves)
3B Fernando Tatis* (.298/.404/.553 in '99)
LF Rico Carty* (.299/.369/.464)
CF Sammy Sosa* (588 homers to date)
RF George Bell* (1987 AL MVP)
DH Alfonso Soriano* (.280/.320/.500 through 2005)

IF Manuel "Manny" Lee (.255 in 11 years)
IF Robinson Cano (.297 as 2005 AL rookie)
UTIL Juan Samuel* (161 HR, 396 SB)
UTIL Jose Offerman* (.360 OBP)
UTIL Mariano Duncan*

SP Joaquin Andujar* (127-118, 3.58)
SP Daniel Cabrera (22-21, 4.75 in first two seasons)
SP Ben Rivera (23-17)
SP Julio Santana (17-31 through 2005)
SP Salomon Torres (32-43, 4.48)

CL-RH Jose Jimenez (110 saves)
RHRP Jose Valverde (33 saves through 2005)
RHRP Guillermo Mota (22-24, seven saves through 2005)
RHRP Hector Carrasco (35-46, 18 saves through 2005)
RHRP Josias Manzanillo (13-15, six saves)

Notes ... In a nod to defense, Soriano moves to DH (both Elmslie and Williams had him starting at 2B, understandably) while Williams' original DH, Luis Castillo, moves to 2B ... Apparently they disapprove of lefthanded pitchers in the Dominican, at least in San Pedro de Macoris -- it doesn't look like any have ever made The Show, while more than enough righties are around to fill out the roster's holes ... Speaking of holes, though there is no backup catcher, presumably the versatility on the bench -- everyone except Cano has/had played virtually everywhere BUT behind the plate -- will provide emergency relief if needed. Meanwhile, welcome to a regular gig, Angel Pena! ...

Greg writes: "I remember reading a lot of players' baseball cards with San Pedro de Macoris on the back (not coincidentally a lot were former Jays) so I figured I'd give it a shot ... Some weak pitching to say the least, but a deep lineup save for catcher." And, he adds, "Plus the X-Factor -- Manny Lee."

Matthew writes: 'It's a team with strengths and weaknesses. They're going to hit the ball, and they've got a reasonable bullpen, but there's no outfield bench, the catching is weak, and the rotation is thin."

"Still," he adds, "that's a pretty strong team to come from a single town. Strange thing -- I always heard of San Pedro de Macoris as a small town, but I found a population number for it of 217,141 in 2002, which isn't small. So maybe the number of ballplayers to come from here isn't so weird after all. I did have to leave quite a few names off the team, guys who had (or are going to have) real major league careers."

Among the players NOT making the roster -- though feel free to argue for a change or point out someone we've missed -- are pitchers Jesus Colome and Santa Alcala as well as infielders Juan Castillo, Pepe Frias and Manny Alexander.

So that's it for now, Bauxites ... can you slay the Ballmouth?

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
lexomatic - Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 09:57 AM EST (#139384) #
if you think san pedro dm is good wait til you see santo domingo.
scarier lineup, deeper rotation, and a power bullpen (with a LEFT handed pitcher)!!!
Phil - Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 05:03 PM EST (#139417) #
Good stuff. Was wondering when the great Dominica teams would come up. Anyone else remember The Only Ticket Off The Island, by Gare Joyce? I loved how the BJs were The Dominican Team(tm), back in the day.
Magpie - Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 06:29 PM EST (#139426) #
Last summer I pondered the case of Julio Franco (according to ESPN, he's from San P de M, according to, he's from Hato Mayor, which is about 30 miles straight up the road from San Pedro de Macoris.) Where Julio was actually born presumably remains a mystery. But you'd find a place for him, right?
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 06:58 PM EST (#139434) #
Oh, yes ... I actually suggested Franco to either Greg or Matthew (can't remember which, sorry) but it's their team and their sources said he wasn't from there!

I think he'd start at 2B or at DH depending on which decade of his career you went with. Soriano would be in whatever role Franco didn't fill, while Castillo would go to the bench, probably in place of Cano.
williams_5 - Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 10:43 PM EST (#139452) #
I wasn't aware of the possibility of must have mentioned it to Matthew. I wonder if there is some discrepancy because San Pedro de Macoris is both a province and city. I am of the understanding that the guys I put together are from the city.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, January 11 2006 @ 01:22 PM EST (#139480) #
The current Hall of (Place) Names challenge is spinning not quite out of control, but since I am getting about two entries a day submitted and since we continue to get occasional duplicates, here is the current lit os places done, both already published and to-be-published-soon:

Let me know if I've missed anything! The Santo Domingo and Venezuela teams will be handled in the same way the San Pedro team was earlier this week. Authors are listed in order of when submitted/received.

Live: San Pedro de Macoris, St. Louis, San Francisco, Oakland (and "Bay Area") Chicago, Brooklyn, Mobile, Canada

Santo Domingo: Anders Whist and Alex Obal
Venezuela: Tim Francis-Wright, Alex Godard and Anders Whist
Detroit: Anders Whist
Washington County, Pennsylvania: Craig Burley
Hawaii: Craig Burley
Minnesota: Chuck Barkman
Ohio: me!

I don't know if any will be posted this week -- I doubt it, but it's possible -- but all will be live before the end of next week. And as always, if you want to do a team, <a href="">just let me know</a>. Again, you might check in first to see if the team you have in mind has already been done -- which, incidentally as you will note from above, is NOT a problem.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, January 11 2006 @ 01:23 PM EST (#139481) #
One more to add:
England/British Isles: Colin Jaffray
lexomatic - Wednesday, January 11 2006 @ 02:58 PM EST (#139488) #
oops are there 3 of us who did santo domingo? or just names reversed for santo domingo and venezuela? i did santo domingo i also forgot to include my username on here with my submission.
and don't worry i wont' submit the all-european team i looked up- too many 1880s players make me want to include steve jeltz
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