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So today Roy Halladay -- that's "HLH" to you, Bauxites -- fires a gem against the Bosox and I started idly wondering if it "heralded" his return as the finest ballplayer named Harold ever to pitch in the major leagues.

Of course, Doc's real first name is "Harry," not "Harold," so the answer is "duh, no." Alas. But according to our friends at, no less than 133 men bore "Harold" as their given first or middle name into a major league ballgame. Most, it seems, went by "Hal" (including at least one hurler who might've kept Halladay from the aforementioned "best" label anyway) and four Hall of Famers.

But it's at Cooperstown that the line must be drawn ...

... and we will limit this team to players who had the first name Harold, even if they went by a nickname such as "Pie" or "Pee Wee" but we will NOT include players with the middle name Harold, such as not one, but TWO Hall of Fame .340+ career-hitting first sackers George H. Sisler and Bill H. Terry.

So let's see what kind of team we can come up with, presumably based in the Los Angeles area, say, Anaheim, as we Hark! ...

The Harold Angels
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Player/MGR: Hal Lanier (254-232 in three years, won '86 NL West with HOU)

C Harold "Butch" Wynegar* (.255 in 13 seasons)
1B Hal Trosky (.302, 1933-46)
2B Harold Reynolds* (.258, 250 SB, three GOld Gloves, 12 years)
SS Harold "Pee Wee" Reese** (.269 in 16 years)
3B Harold "Pie" Traynor** (.320 in 17 seasons)
LF Harold Baines* (.289, 384 homer in 22 years)
CF Harold "Pat" Kelly* (.254 in 15 years; 1973 All-Star)
RF Harold "Pete" Reiser* (.291 in 10 years; '41 NL batting champ)
DH Hal McRae* (2091 hits, .290 in 19 years)

C Hal Wagner* (.248 in 12 seasons; WWII All-Star)
C Hal R. Smith* (.258 in 7 seasons; two-time All-Star)
1B Hal Chase (.291, 2158 hits, 1905-19)
IF Hal Lanier (.228 in 19 seasons)
OF Hal Jeffcoat (.248 in 12 seasons)
1B/OF Hal Morris (.304 in 13 seasons)

LHSP Hal Newhouser** (207-158; 1944-45 AL MVP)
RHSP Hal Schumacher* (158-121 in 13 years)
LHRP Hal Wiltse (20-40, 1926-41)
RHSP Hal Gregg (40-48; 18-13 for 1945 BRK)
RHSP Hal Brown (85-92 in 14 years)

CL-LH Hal Woodeshick* (44-62, 61 saves; led NL in saves, '64)
RH-SET Hal Reniff (21-23, 45 saves in 7 seasons)
RHRP Hal White (46-54, 25 saves in 12 seasons)
RHRP Hal Carlson (114-120, 19 saves, 1917-30)
RHRP Harold "Hy" Vandenberg (15-10, five saves, 1935-45)

Harold the News & Notes ... Sorry, Shannon Harold Stewart ... sorry, Leonard Harold Barker III ... VERY sorry, Harold "Doc" Daugherty (0-for-1 as PH for 1951 DET) and John Harold Doherty (32-31 mostly for early 1990s DET) ... The latter would have been the first member of a Hall of Names team whose BBRef page is also sponsored by the Hall of Names. Alas ... Kirk Harold Gibson also doesn't qualify ... Two of the greatest designated hitterss of all time were named "Harold" -- to get both bats in the lineup, we'll go to the defensive stats where we learn that Baines played more than 1000 games in the outfield, while McRae, who even started out in the National League, played less than 500 in the field ... So Baines needs tto pack his glove and Neet's Foot Oil, but McRae can leave that stuff at home.

It's rare that a HON team carries three catchers, but no less than three Harold backstops were also All-Stars, though none was remotely close to being a Hall of Famer; maybe Lanier can manage to combine the three into one Hal of a ballplayer? ... And ironically, you can make a pretty good case that still a fourth catcher, Harold W. Smith (.267, 58 homers in 10 seasons) had a better career, offensively anyway, than at least Harold R. Smith (.258, 23 homers in 7 seasons), but their careers almost precisely overlapped and R. made two All-Star teams while W. made none, so we'll go with the latter ...

Hark! It's the Harold Angels | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Saturday, April 22 2006 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#145622) #
Reynolds, Reese and Traynor on the infield calls for a pitcher who will get the ground ball like HLH.  Harolds flash leather.
Mick Doherty - Saturday, April 22 2006 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#145631) #
Yah, good observation. I originally had Chase as the 1B, which would make that an all-around-the-horn great defensive infield, but Trosky was a better hitter, and there's that whole thing about Chase maybe being the Pete Rose of the day, if you know what I mean, so I put him on the bench.
Hark! It's the Harold Angels | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.