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When Magpie pointed out that today is Greg Maddux's 40th birthday, Rob Pettapiece quickly retorted, "As for birthdays, Maddux shares today (though not the same year) with two other Greg(g)s -- Myers and Zaun. How's that for a coincidence?"

Well, it's "coincidental" enough to spur the following (C'mon, you saw this coming, or at least noticed the graphic, right?) Hall of Names exercise. There have, in fact, been 44 MLB players born on this date, though no Hall of Famers yet. Mr. Maddux will be the first, though a certain Charles Hustle, had he not hustled quite so much OFF the field, would already be there.

Today's date, as noted, produced quite a few long-term more-than-serviceable catchers, three of whom have even compiled ...

... exactly the same career batting average of .255. (The starter, Brad Ausmus, the only one to make an All-Star team; the DH -- that's right, DH -- Greg Myers; and the backup, not shown, Gregg Zaun.) That synchronicity could change, as two of those three are still active

A few position changes were required to fill out the lineup, including Marty Keough playing 1B, where he spent 130 games in the bigs, though primarily an outfielder; And Tom "Parson" Nicholson is at SS, though he was mainly a 2B and spent just 10 of 160+ career games in the six-hole; has Nicholson got a prayer? Well, "Parson's" other nickname was "Deacon," so we're guessing he has a whole pocketful of 'em.

The lefty-leaning rotation is bolstered by three All-Stars, including Maddux, and while the bullpen as shown is a bit shallow, a good number of the remaining 4/14-ers not shown were pitchers who might grab a spot in Spring Training; the majority of those not shown spent just part of one year in the bigs.

So let's meet today's All-Birthday All-Stars:

Starting Lineup
C Brad Ausmus* (.255, 71 homers in 13 years through 2005)
1B Marty Keough (mostly OF; .242, 43 homers in 11 years)
2B Roberto Mejia (.219, 1993-97)
SS Parson Nicholson (mostly 2B; .262, 1888, '90, '95)
3B Pete Rose Sr. * (All-Star at five positions; .303 in 24 years)
LF David Justice* (.279/305/1017 in 14 years)
CF Don Mueller (.296, 1948-59)
RF Joe Lahoud (.223, 65 homers in 11 years)
DH Greg Myers (.255, 87 homers in 18 years through 2005)

Starting Rotation:
RHSP Greg Maddux* (318-189 through 2005)
LHSP Steve Avery* (96-83 in 11 years)
RHRP Mark Bomback (16-18; 10-8 with NYM; 6-10 with TOR)
LHSP Carlos Perez* (40-53, 1995-2000)
LHSP Chris Welsh (22-31, 1981-86)

RHRP Mike Trombley (44 saves in 11 years)
RHRP Kyle Farnsworth (23-28, 20 saves through 2005)
LHRP Brad Pennington (3-6, 4 saves, 1993-98)
LHR-SP Frank Bertaina (19-29, 1964-70)

Not a bad ballclub! In fact, it runs only second in quality so far to the All-October 20 team we did a while back -- of course, this is only the sixth of 366 possible days we've put together so far, so who knows which day will eventually be the best?

All-April 14: Maddux, Rose and the .255 Backstops | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Cristian - Friday, April 14 2006 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#145161) #
I don't think Pete Rose should be eligible for the Hall of Names.
Magpie - Friday, April 14 2006 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#145162) #
What's really amazing is three of these guys were teammates together - Maddux, Avery, and Justice.
Gitz - Friday, April 14 2006 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#145166) #
Question: you've got one game to win, and you can have either Roger Clemens or Greg Maddux as your starter. Your choice is not the current version of the two (though even now Clemens is good!), but the pitcher who was in his prime. I suppose that would mean the 1993-1995 Maddux and the ... well, I dunno for Clemens, since he's been getting steadily better in the last few years.

Me? I'm going with Maddux. He doesn't have Clemens's natural ability, but he's less volatile. (Please humour me that such intangibles like "volatility" matter.)

Mick Doherty - Friday, April 14 2006 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#145170) #

In a long-standing break with tradition, I will for the first time in my life type the words "I agree with Gitz." I think it's Maddux in a walk -- well, that's a bad metaphor to use, but you know what I mean.

Part of my answer may be based on the fact that for whatever reason, even when Clemens was a Yankee, I found it hard to root for him, and even when Maddux pitched against the Yankees, I found it hard to root against him.

Magpie - Friday, April 14 2006 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#145171) #
I'll go with Mad Dog, too. He guarantees a chance to win the game. With Rocket, I tend to think he's either going to throw a three hitter with 14 Ks, or get knocked out in the second inning.

Career post-season numbers: Clemens is 12-8, 3.71 in 33 starts, 196.2 IP; Maddux is 11-14, 3.22 in 29 starts, 190 IP. Curious that Clemens has so few decisions. Maddux's teams have gone 10-10 in 20 series, Clemens' squads have gone 14-9.

Mike Green - Friday, April 14 2006 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#145181) #
Strangely, both Smoltz and Schilling have done better than Clemens or Maddux in post-season play.  None of the above would be my choice though for the "win or die" game.  That'd be Koufax or Pedro...probably Koufax, but I'll have to think about it for the fifteenth time.
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