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Pinch-Hit by Colin Jaffray (username: 5hoursahead)

I couldn't resist finding out if we could put up a team from over the pond here [Editor's Note: That'd be the British Isles, kids] and I'm surprised, but delighted to say that we can. I had to take advantage of a few multi-skilled players and it shouldn't surprise anyone that the majority racked up most of their playing time in the late 19th century.

That said, this team ain't too shabby considering their home nations ...

It has a HOF manager, who also comes off the bench AND out of the bullpen, and an All-Star outfielder who ended up at DH because he's the only guy who could hit the ball over the fence with any regularity (refer to the team name).

There may not be much power but check out the 13th and 76th all time SB leaders in the outfield. Throw in a guy nicknamed 'Pepper' with another 244 to his name, and a 'Dude' with 22 in one season on the bench, and we've definitely got some potential for speed on the basepaths.

The bulk of the rotation looks OK but the bullpen is a bit light, to say the least. The bench catcher looks better than the starter but he had less playing time there and was primarily an OF. They could always be flipped.

Finally, there are even a couple of old friends - one in the rotation and one in the bullpen. What more could you ask? I give you the...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Player/Manager: Harry Wright** - England (1225-885, 4 NA pennants, 2 NL pennants)

C Harry Smith - England (.213/.262/.255 in 10 seasons)
1B Ed Cogswell - England (.294/.328/.349 in 3 seasons)
2B Tim Manning - England (.189/.256/.252 in 4 seasons)
SS Dave Brain - England (.252/.292/.363 in 7 seasons)
3B Jimmy 'Pepper' Austin - Wales (.246, 244 SB in 18 seasons)
OF Tom Brown - England (657 SB - 13th all time! - in 17 seasons)
OF Hugh Nicol - Scotland (383 SB - 76th all time! - in 10 seasons)
OF George Hall - England (.322/.337/.449 in 7 seasons)
DH Bobby Thomson* - Scotland (.270/.332/.462, 264 HR in 15 seasons)

C Dick Higham - England (.307/.314/.378 in 8 seasons)
IF Al Reach - England (.247/.264/.321 in 5 seasons)
IF Mike 'Dude' McCormick - Scotland (27 RBI, 22 SB in 1904)
OF Harry Wright (.272/.303/.338 in 7 seasons)
OF Charlie Hanford - England (.280/.323/.414 in 2 seasons)
UTIL Jim McCormick (2082 AB to go with his 4275 IP)

RHSP Jim McCormick - Scotland (265-214, 2.43 in 10 years)
RHSP Ted Lewis - Wales (94-64, 3.53)
RHSP Danny Cox - England (74-75, 3.64, 1993-95 in TOR, ERA+ 140 in 1993 bullpen)
RHSP George Chalmers - Scotland (29-41, 3.41, six saves)
5SP-RH Mac MacArthur - Scotland (1-5, 5.02 in 1884)

CL-RH Tom Waddell - Scotland (15-11, 4.30, 15 saves)
RHRP Harry Wright (4-4, 3.81, eight saves)
LHRP Lance Painter - England (25-18, 5.24 (1 seasons in TOR)
RHRP Tom Brown (49 IP to go with all those steals)
RHRP Paul Marak - England (1-2, 3.69 in seven starts for ATL 1990)

From the Other Side of the (Not Simon) Pond | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 09:27 AM EST (#139549) #
Mike "Dude" McCormick? Imagining a fan in 1904 calling out DUUUUUUDE after a great defensive play (and the stadium announcer whispering to the journalist next to him that "they're not booing, they're saying dude") makes my head spin.
5hoursahead - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 09:33 AM EST (#139550) #

Thanks to Mick for seeing fit to publish my effort - and for his clearly inspirational HON series.

I got lucky actually - this team sort of put itself together. I only had a pool of 40 to pick from and by the time it came to rounding out the bench and bullpen, there wasn't much choice. (I had a cunning plan to steal a few of the 40 Irish players but I just about got away with it. A team for someone from the emerald isle to pick maybe?)

It seemed like every time I looked for someone to fill a position, there they were with reasonable(ish) numbers. The two sons of Wales saved my bacon and were hidden away in the 'Others' section at the place of birth page.

The fact that I ended up with a 'Pepper', a 'Dude' and a couple of ex Jays was so much the better.

A quick browse today revealed that the UK chapter of the SABR is also known as the Bobby Thomson chapter. Cool.

lexomatic - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 10:26 AM EST (#139552) #
one thing i noticed aobut the 19th c. european players is that they played all over.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 01:19 PM EST (#139561) #
Colin, thanks for the work and for the kind words. This is one of my favourite HON pieces ever done, in part because as I told you in e-mail I never would have guessed that it COULD be done, at least without actually including Ireland and probably not then! Well done, sir.

My new favorite birthplace of any MLB player is 1914 Fed League RHSP, Ed Porray, who according to the BBref page Colin linked to, was born "December 5, 1888 in A Ship on Atlantic Ocean." Sweet!

Mylegacy - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 01:31 PM EST (#139563) #
My wife was born in Dorset and I usually spend 2 to 3 months a year in the UK. Except for the, "Baseball, oh yes isn't that just rounders" refrain, many Brits seem at least marginally interested in the game.

Go Saints! (5hoursahead will understand that plaintive call!)
Andrew K - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 04:00 PM EST (#139568) #
This team ain't too shabby considering their home nations

If you're implying that the British are shabby, you'd better beware. Many Bauxites are still in part of the Queen's commonwealth, and she might dispatch me as the avenging sword of justice to put a stop to such heresy.

Don't you think that this team just oozes class? Hehe.

I'll be flying over Canada, on my way to sunny California for a whole four days, on Saturday. I'll wave in your general direction as I go quietly mad having to sit still for 11 hours...

Andrew K - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 04:02 PM EST (#139569) #
PS: If any British (or just visiting!) Bauxites want to get together to watch opening day (night) or something, then... well, I have no car so I guess we meet at my place!
unclejim - Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 09:51 PM EST (#139578) #
Hey Andrew, as a fan living in London Im up for a gathering on opening day... you should be able to email me from the site.

mp - Friday, January 13 2006 @ 04:53 AM EST (#139601) #
Another London based Jays fan here. Unlikely to be able to make a get together, but good to know there's a few of us about none the less.

Has anyone heard any more of the rumours about an opening day game in London in a future season?
5hoursahead - Friday, January 13 2006 @ 05:41 AM EST (#139602) #

Glad to see a few more Bauxite Brits being flushed out!

born "December 5, 1888 in A Ship on Atlantic Ocean"

How did I miss that one? The beginnings of an 'all at sea' HON perhaps...

"Baseball, oh yes isn't that just rounders"

The UK SABR begs to differ (I meant to post the link yesterday).

Mylegacy: you're right, there's a few of us about. The popularity of the game seems to be increasing here year by year, just v...e...r...y slowly. And if it's these Saints you mean then I sympathise! Looks like you're about to lose Theo Walcott too.

implying that the British are shabby

I think I was just trying to express my own surprise at how well the team shaped up. Like Mick, I didn't think I'd get close.

Ski - Friday, January 13 2006 @ 04:56 PM EST (#139663) #
"... Ed Porray, who according to the BBref page Colin linked to, was born "December 5, 1888 in A Ship on Atlantic Ocean."..."

I found that guy last year one night while i was scanning through BBref filling in one of my simleagues rosters (Another good question - How many Whatifsports users are on this site?), That's gotta be the coolest birthplace ever - I wonder what citizenship he got? His first port? Ship's nation of registry?

Anyway, I wanted to ask - how visible is baseball in England, how well known? I'm at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, and once I (hopefully!) graduate in May, I ship off to Gosport, UK for a 5 month training course with the Royal Navy. I know Baseball is distant in Britain, with Soccer(Football) the king sport and such, but are there many baseball fans in England? Its a lousy time not be in Ontario, since I think the Jays really have a good chance of contention in September, and normally i could get to the Rogers Center for those games to see them....but how isolated from baseball will I be in England, aside from the internet?
Oh, and will my wearing of a Jays ballcap while in England brand me as an American? (I've been told to make sure i'm not taken for a "bleedin' Yank")..........
5hoursahead - Monday, January 16 2006 @ 12:48 PM EST (#139780) #

Ski - aside from the internet there's very little. I'm actually trying to write a little piece that covers this subject to see if the Roster are interested in it as a pinch hit.

There's one free-to-air channel that shows a Sunday evening game live every week. Of course this means that it's at 1am in the morning so not too convenient. There's also a channel called North American Sports Network available via some of the pay TV packages which shows many more games. Needless to say that minimal baseball coverage means even less Jays coverage.

What you will get is first hand experience of the national fervour - some say xenophobia - that accompanies England's progress in a major football (soccer) tournament. Which will be fun for you, especially on a naval base!

On the ballcap: most Canadians I've seen travelling (the world, not just UK), including my cousins, tend to have a few prominent maple leafs on display. A Jays cap probably wouldn't be recognised but I don't think it would mark you down as a 'Yank'.

From the Other Side of the (Not Simon) Pond | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.