Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Welcome to the newest member of the Batter's Box roster, Matthew Elmslie. As one member of the editorial staff opined in an e-mail recently, "In addition to being an author on Blue Jay Way, Matthew has been one of our favourite contributing readers on Batter's Box for as far back as we can remember."

Of course, any time we add a new name to the lineup, I start thinking in terms of the Batter's Box standard "Hall of Names." And Matthew Elmslie, well, that gives us two or, uh, tree good possibilities. That's right, it's time to meet ...

A number of trees you might have expected to spawn a surname or at least a nickname have produced, to date, not a single major league moniker; these include Cedar, Cherry, Chestnut, Dogwood, Hemlock, Lilac, Magnolia, Pecan, Poplar, Privet, Spruce, Walnut, Willow and Winterberry.

However, even sticking to our usual use-each-name-just-once rule, we found nearly a full forest -- er, roster -- worth of trees in the Almond, Elder, Apple, Ash, Beech, Birch, Butternut, Crab, Elm, Fir, Hackberry, Hawthorn, Hickory, Holly, Linden, Maple, Oak, Olive, Peach, Pear, Pine, Plum, Smoke and Strawberry.

But wait ... that's shy of baseball's magic number of 25; so here we will see the Forest for the trees and slide a lefty into the back of our bullpen to boot! Let's just hope nobody feels swindled by this move.

Of course, this move technically opens the door for Branch Rickey (surely a better GM candidate than Gord Ash), a fine pitcher like Charley Root and a Dallas Cowboys quarterback -- don't worry, not Drew Henson -- like Ryan Leaf. But as you will see, we have restrained ourselves in this regard.

The weak point of the team appears to be behind the plate, but we're carrying three guys in the tools of ignorance, so one will, we'd hope, step up sturdy as a tree trunk and claim the job.

The list of tree types referenced is the one provided by the good folks at, so we trust it, but if you have additions or subtractions, bring it on!

Final rules note: where necessary, we are relaxing -- okay, ignoring -- the "no nicknames" rule.

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

C Howard Maple (.244 in 1932)
1B Al Oliver* (.303 in 18 years)
2B Everett "Rocky" Bridges* (for the rock elm; .247 in 11 years)
SS Babe Pinelli (.276 in eight years)
3B Stan Hack* (for hackberry; .301, 1932-47)
LF Elmer Flick** (.313, 1898-1910)
CF Richie Ashburn** (.308, 1948-62)
RF Darryl Strawberry* (335 homers in 17 years)
DH Ty "The Georgia Peach" Cobb** (.366 in 24 years)

C Paul Hawthorne Ratliff (.203, 1963, '70-'72)
C Bill Plummer (.188 in 10 years)
IF Ed Holly (.231, 1906-07, 1914-15)
OF Ennis Telfair "Rebel" Oakes (.279, 1909-15)
OF Estel Crabtree (.281, 1929-33, '41-'44; born in Crabtree, OH)
OF Jud Birchall (.252, 1882-84)

RHSP Smokey Joe Williams** (Negro Leagues legend)
RHSP Monte Pearson* (101-61)
LHSP Matt Beech (8-22, 1996-98)
RHSP Hickory Bob Harmon (107-133; won 23 in 1911)
RHSP James Almond "Al" Yeargin (1-13, 1922, '24)

CL-RH Firpo Marberry (148-88, 101 saves)
RHRP Dave Elder (1-3, 2002-03)
RHRP Pete Appleton (57-66, 1927-45)
RHRP Tom Butters (for the butternut; 2-3, 1962-65)
LHRP Forest Gregory Swindell* (123-122)

So ... how "wood" this team fare, or are you stumped?

Tree Wiz! Nightmare on Elmslie Street | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 01 2006 @ 09:53 PM EST (#141717) #
The nightmare on Elmslie Street is Don Cherry calling a ballgame. Noooo.
Rob - Wednesday, March 01 2006 @ 10:01 PM EST (#141719) #
Tim Crabtree (21-22, 4.20, 9 saves in 7 years) beats Dave Elder, but then we'd have to find a new fifth OF.

That is, unless, we think environmentally and go with a 24-man roster, thus saving a tree.
Geoff - Wednesday, March 01 2006 @ 11:27 PM EST (#141724) #
If we have a Forest in the pen, would you add a tree to it?
Magpie - Wednesday, March 01 2006 @ 11:37 PM EST (#141726) #
If you had a forest in the pen, would you need to add a tree?
CeeBee - Thursday, March 02 2006 @ 08:23 AM EST (#141729) #
How about Rafael Palmeiro or Jim Palmer. They would both do well in a jungle setting.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 02 2006 @ 09:39 AM EST (#141730) #
The Joshua Tree gives you a whole host of options ranging from the sublime (Joshua Gibson) to the ridiculous (Joshua Snyder). Von Joshua is the most aesthetically satisfying use of the Joshua Tree, but I suspect that aesthetics will take a back seat to talent.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, March 02 2006 @ 09:43 AM EST (#141731) #
Oh, Palm -- that's good. If we move Palmer into the rotation, it not only allows us to have a second HOFer there, we can also replace Yeargin and play BIll Almon(d) at 2B, meaning we don't really need to double up on using the Elm tree, Matthew's original inspirational moniker notwithstanding.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, March 02 2006 @ 11:51 AM EST (#141739) #
Come to think of it, if Charley Root WERE allowed into the rotation, we might also have to make room for Wilbur (or Kerry) Wood and perfect game author Len Barker.

Maybe not.

Tree Wiz! Nightmare on Elmslie Street | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.