Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Sunday, July 16 2006 @ 09:41 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Initially Speaking, That Is (Part 4: KLM)

If you've been reading recently, you know that we've taken up the yoke again that we started back in August of '05, what we then termed "an interesting twist on the Hall of Names (initially speaking) ... who are the best double-initial players for [...] letters of the English alphabet?"

The first two installments were done back then, and after a short (10 months, call it short of a year, anyway) recess, the third came online last week. So we now have, AA through CC, DD through FF and GG through JJ and here take a swing at KK, LL and MM. I feel confident we will see a couple of guys named Lajoie and Mantle in this story, but let's see how it plays out ...

First, as always, a brief refresher on the rules (which, as the KK team this edition will demonstrate, are made to be broken) ...

Got all that? All righty then, let's move on!



Okay, we had to break just about every rule that exists to fill out a full 25-man roster, and we just barely got there at that ... After filling in all the "natural" K.K.'s, we resorted to middle names, then at last to nicknames, which at least added the team's two primary power threats to fill holes at 1B (Dave "Kong" Kingman) and DH (Charlie "King Kong" Keller) ... We don't love breaking the arbitrary set of rules in place, but at least with Kingman and Keller, we have a couple of outside-the-lines additions we can, well, go "ape" over ...

Ironically, we filled out the starting rotation with three natural KKs plus a Kid and a Katsy, so we didn't get to add the single-best player on the nickname list to the roster, Jim "Kitty" Kaat whose 283 career wins are almost four times the sum amount accumulated by the current five-man rotation ... We love having a Kessinger at short, but would be much happier if it was six-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover Don rather than his 1993 cuppajoe son Keith ...

The fourth and fifth starters, Keenan and Keifer, each only made one career start; Keenan lost his, surrendering nine unearnded runs in an 1891 game for the Cincinnati Kelly's Killers, where other than manager/catcher Michael "King" Kelly, he was the only "K" on the team, much less any "KKs." This K got hung with an L, though, finishing his career at 0-1, 0.00. (P.S. Keenan was just 16 years old at the time!) Keifer, on the other hand, won his only start, for the Federal League's 1914 Indianapolis Hoosiers, and retired with a "career" line of 1-0, 2.00, 1 CG.

Two other KKs who bear mentioning here are a couple of guys who never played big league ball, but did manage in the Show, Karl Kuehl (43-85 with the 1976 Expos) and FoxSport's own Kevin Kennedy, 309-273 in two stints of two years each with the Rangers and the Red Sox.
All-KK All-Stars The KK-Zone
(No, we did NOT consider "The KK, 'K?" as a name.)
**indicates Hall of Fame
* indicates All-Star

C King Kelly** (.308, 1878-93; Michael)
1B Dave "Kong" Kingman* (.236, 442 homers)
2B Kenneth "Mike" Knode (.231 IF/OF for 1920 STL)
SS Keith Kessinger (.259, 1993 CIN)
3B Ken Keltner* (.276, 163 HR, seven-time All-Star)
LF Kevin Koslofski (.244, 1992-96 KCR, MIL)
CF Kenny Kelly (4-for-14, 2000, '05)
RF "King Bill" Kay (20-for-60 for 1907 WASH)
DH Charlie "King Kong" Keller* (.286, 189 homers)

C Harold Kefauver Keller (.204, 1949-52 WSH)
C George Karl Kopshaw (1-for-5 for 1923 STL)
2B/SS Horace Kent Kibbie (.268, 1925 BSN)
2B Albert Kenneth Kozar (.254, 1948-50)
3B "King" John Karst (1 game, 0 AB for 1915 BRK)
OF Ed "Kickapoo" Kippert (0-for-2 for 1914 CIN)

LHSP Ken Kravec (43-56, 1975-82 CHW, CHC)
RHSP Kurt Kepshire (16-15, 1984-86 STL)
LHSP Kevin Kobel (18-34, 1973-80)
RHSP Harry "Kid" Keenan (0-1, 0.00 for 1891 CIN)
LHSP Katsy Keifer (Sherman was 1-0, 2.00 for '14 IND)

CL-LH Leo "Kiki" Kiely (26-27, 29 saves, 1941-60)
RH-SET Bryan Keith Kelly (1-3, 1986-87 DET)
RHRP "Katy" Jack Katoll (starter; 17-22, 1898-1902)
RHRP Kurt Krieger (5IP, 12.60 ERA, 1949, '51 STL)
RHRP Kris Keller (1 IP, 27.00 ERA for 2002 DET)


Louis LePine, the starting RF on this team, is a native Canadian born in Montreal ... It's true that Napoleon Lajoie probably shouldn't make the team, given "Larry" was only a nickname, but of the 30-some players from whom we can choose by a strict interpretation of the rules, not only are there no other Hall of Famers, but not a single "naturaLLy named" player has ever even made a single AL or NL All-Star roster ...

Yes, just as Harry Leroy Halladay anchored the HH rotation, the number one starter on this squad is another ex-Jay, though Luis Leal doesn't quite bring the same pedigree and panache to the mound as HLH ... Only four LLs could be reasonably defined as "primarily" starting pitchers, so we'll go to a seven-man bullpen and limit the bench to just five, including Len Lovett, who pitched a little himself in addition to playing the OF ...

Three major leaguers named Luis Lopez have made it to The Show, and two make this team's bench -- the one who doesn't, 3B/1B Luis (No Middle Initial) Lopez, hit .228 for the 2001 Blue Jays and the 2004 Expos ... Leonidas Lee got all of his 18 big league at-bats at the tender age of 16 for the old St. Louis Brown Stockings ... One LL who didn't make the roster was OF Larry Littleton, who finished 0h-for-his-career after an 0-for-23 one-time-only stint with the 1981 Indians ... Thanks to Les Lancaster's sterling career W-L (41-28), the bullpen keeps its total career record above water at 64-58, but the rotation is just 57-72 ...
All-LL All-Stars One LL of a Team
**indicates Hall of Fame
* indicates All-Star

C Lou (Doc) Legett (.202, 1929 BSN, '33-35 BOS)
1B Lou Limmer (.202 career; .231/14/32 for '54 PHA)
2B Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie** (.338, 3242 hits)
SS Lyn Lary (.269, 1929-40)
3B Lyman Lamb (.272, 1920-21 SLB, also OF)
LF Leron Lee (.250, 1969-76)
CF Lester Lee Layton (21-for-91 for 1948 NYG)
RF Louis (Pete) LePine (.208, 1902 DET)
DH Larry Lintz (2B/UTIL,.227, 1973-78; 50 SB in '74)

C/1B Luis A. Lopez (.205, 1990 LAD, '91 CLE)
SS/2B/3B Luis M. Lopez (.241 - 1993, through 2005)
SS/OF Leonidas Lee (5-for-18, 1877 SLB)
OF Larry LeJeune (.167, 1911 BRK, '15 PIT)
OF/RHP Len Lovett (0-1; .269 in 26 AB, 1870s)

RHSP Luis Leal (51-58, 1980-85)
RHSP Larry Luebbers (5-10, 1993, 2000 CIN, '99 STL)
RHSP Larry Landreth (1-4, 1976-77 MON)
RHSP Lewis (Sam) Lanford (2 games, 1907 WASH)

RHRP Les Lancaster (41-28, 22 saves, 1987-93)
LHRP Lou Lowdermilk (4-5, 1 save for 1911-12 STL)
RHRP Lawrence Locke (16-15, 10 saves, 1959-68)
LHRP Lester (Red) Lanning (0-3 for 1916 PHA)
RHRP Lynn Lovenguth (0-2 for '55 PHI, '57 STL)
LHRP Lou Lombardo (2G, 5.1 IP, 6.75 for 1948 NYG)
RHRP Lou Lucier (3-5, 1 save, 1943-45 BOS, PHI


Yes, this has been hinted at previously -- most recently about the "J's" -- but it's going to be hard to come up with a double-intial team that can live up to the sweet taste of the M&M's ... Sure, Mickey Mantle is the only Hall of Famer on the roster, but the entire starting lineup (save Milt May, the poor catcher) as well as the entire starting rotation is composed of former All-Stars -- nice ...

The team's working nickname is, of course, a reference to the long-time M&M advertising tagline, "Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands" -- but lest anyone think it is a question of the team's defensive ability, the squad is particularly strong up the middle, and even has a "designated glove" on the bench in Mario Mendoza ... Did you know that the former Pirate SS, after whom the legendary and imaginary term "Mendoza Line" of a .200 batting average was named, retired with a career mark of .215 -- well above his own "line" ... In fact, Mendoza could have stuck around for another 111 hitless AB and stayed above .200 career ...

Braves fans might be excited about a Maddux-Mahler combination in the rotation, but on this team that'd be "other brother" time, Mike Maddux and Mickey Mahler, and neither made the team ... For one of the few times in Hall of Names history, we are bumping a former All-Star for a guy who never made an All-Star team even though he played (plays) in the right era ... Robert Meiklejohn "Mike" MacDougal saved 27 games for the 2003 KCR and made his only All-Star appearance that year (and besides, "Mike" IS his middle name) and loses his spot to Matt Mantei, who while never getting the Midsummer Classic call, racked up 93 career saves for the Marlins and D-Backs through 2005 ...

What earns Marty Martinez, who hit .243 over seven seasons, the final roster spot over Mike Mordecai who hit .244 over 12 years? Well, both played every position on the field from 2-8 in your scorebook, but Martinez also took the ball to the mound once and got a couple of outs, meaning he is the ultimate nine-position utilityman while Mordecai handled "just" eight ...
M&M's: Not in Your Hands
**indicates Hall of Fame
* indicates All-Star

C Milt May (.263, 1970-84)
1B Mike A. Marshall* (.270, 148 homers)
2B Mickey Morandini* (.268 in 11 years)
SS Marty Marion* (.263 in 13 years)
3B Merrill "Pinky" May* (.275 in five years)
LF Saturnino "Minnie" Minoso* (.298, 1963 hits)
CF Mickey Mantle** (.298, 536 homers)
OF Manny Mota* (.304 in 20 seasons)
DH Mark McGwire* (583 homers)

C Matt Merullo (.234, 1989-95)
IF Mario Mendoza (.215 in nine years)
OF Matt Mieske (.262, 1993-2000)
OF Myron "Mike" McCormick (.275, 1940-51)
UTIL Marty Martinez (.243, 1962-72; all nine positions)
UTIL Melvin Mora* (.281 through 2005; all but P, C)

RHSP Mike Mussina* (224-127 through 2005)
LHSP Mark Mulder* (97-50 through 2005)
RHSP Matt Morris* (101-62 through 2005)
LHSP Mike F. McCormick* ('67 NL CYA; 134-128)
RHSP Mike Moore* (161-176)

CL-RH Mike G. Marshall* ('74 NL CYA; 188 saves)
LH-SET Mike Myers (20-22, 14 saves through 2005)
RH-SET Matt Mantei (93 saves through 2005)
RHRP Mike Morgan* (141-186)
LHRP Mike Matthews (14-10 through 2005)