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According to the good folks over at, no less than 93 men bearing the first or middle name "Ralph" have played in the major leagues.

Quick, name an active player named "Ralph." Can't do it? That's because there are none! In fact, less than a dozen men with that name have appeared in the big leagues since Barry Bonds was a wisp of a rookie in Pittsburgh back in 1986, while none at all have been in The Show this millenium -- not since 2B Ralph Milliard had several cups of coffee with the Marlins and Mets from 1996-98.

Still ...

... even with just one Hall of Fame Ralph -- Kiner -- and a number of our potential All-Stars eliminated by the long-standing Hall of Names "middle name" rule (both Robert Ralph Skinner and Alvin Ralph Dark were not only All-Star players, but also big league managers, for instance), with a number of options, especially (ironically) among "hurlers" named Ralph, we should be able to formulate a complete roster.

As always, we will accept players who bore the first/given name even if they went by a nickname or other alternate moniker. We will also accept those rare occasions where a player's given middle name was Ralph, but he went by that as his chosen "first" name. (Thank you, Elmer Ralph Hodgin, for choosing the lesser of two evils!)

Let's see. You shouldn't have to ask why these kids are named ...

Wax On, Wax Off
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indictes All-Star

MGR Ralph Houk (1619-1531, three flags, two rings)

C Ralph David Engle* (.262, 1981-89; 1984 All-Star)
1B Ralph Pierre "Pete" LaCock (.257, 1972-80)
2B Ralph Young (.247, 1913-22)
SS Ralph "Red" Kress (.286, 1927-46)
3B Ralph "Babe" Pinelli (.276, 1918-27)
LF Ralph Garr* (.306 in 13 years; 1974 NL batting title)
CF Ralph "Buzz" Boyle (.290, 1929-35; out of MLB at 27)
RF Ralph "Socks" Seybold (.316, 16 homers in 1902)
DH Ralph Kiner** (369 homers in 10 years; retired at 32)

C Ralph "Cy" Perkins (.259, 1915-34)
IF Ralph LaPointe (.266, 1947-48)
1B Ralph "Hap" Myers (.268, 1910-15)
OF Ralph Hodgin (.285, 1939-48)
IF/OF Ralph J. Miller (.248, 1920-24)
UTIL Ralph "Putsy" Caballero (.228, 1944-52)

RHSP Ralph Terry* (107-99; 1962 World Series MVP)
LHSP Ralph Michael "Mike" Caldwell (137-130; 22-9 in 1978)
RHSP Ralph Branca* (88-68, three-time All-Star)
LHSP Ralph "Lefty" Birkofer (31-28, 1933-37)
RHSP Ralph "Sailor" Stroud (20-20; 12-9 for 1915 NYG)

RHRP Ralph Comstock (11-14, four saves, 1913-18)
LHRP Ralph "Mickey" Scott (8-7, four saves, 1972-77)
RHRP Ralph Winegarner (8-6, 1932-36, 1949)
RHRP Ralph Judd; 3-0, 1927-30; 3-0, 2.66 for '29 NYG)
LHRP Ralph "Lefty" Caldwell (5-5, 1904-05)

Too bad we can't strengthen the bullpen with RHRP Ralph "Razor" Ledbetter and his career 0.00 ERA -- but it did come in just one 1915 inning. Nobody named Ralph has ever really filled the role of "closer" for a big league club; with Branca's 19 career saves and Terry's 11 both tied up in the rotation, it's looking like it'll be closer-by-committee for these guys. Oh well, at least they'll be just fine in their classy uniforms, duds designed by no less than Ralph Lauren ...

And if you ever wanted proof that "Ralph" may be one of the least popular given first names among people who actually have the name, look no further than the wide variety of nicknames bandied about by this squad -- sure, there are two guys named Lefty, but also Mickey, Sailor, Hap, Putzy, Socks, Buzz, Babe, Red, Commy (har! those two go together!) and Pete, and among the Ralphs who didn't even make the roster we find Hawk, Brick, Holy, Maltzy, Mattie, Tami, Mack, Moose, Sarge, Curly, Bally, Wig, Judge and two more guys tabbed "Lefty" ...

This Team Makes Me Want to Ralph | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Geoff - Sunday, March 26 2006 @ 07:19 PM EST (#143450) #
Has a team of 'Harry' Monsters been compiled?

A shame that Kiner left the game too soon with back issues, yet I wonder if he left the game more because he was fed up with the game than his health. Seems like a guy who didn't get enough respect -- sold off twice and perhaps either lacked the motivation or medical help to recuperate. Anyone know more about his exit from playing?

King Rat - Sunday, March 26 2006 @ 09:45 PM EST (#143458) #
...with Branca's 19 career saves and Terry's 11 both tied up in the rotation...

This is probably just as well, considering what happened in their most famous relief appearances.

Mick Doherty - Monday, March 27 2006 @ 10:26 AM EST (#143499) #
Oh, good point. I'd thought about Branca-Thomson, of course, but forgot about Terry-Mazeroski.

Too bad, really, both Ralphs were fine pitchers -- to be remembered for that primarily is a shame. It's not like we "remember" Eckersly for giving up the Gibson homer. I bet if you asked baseball fans, more than half would knw Branca, a third Terry and very few would, off the top of their heads, come up with Eck.

This Team Makes Me Want to Ralph | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.