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You might have noticed in yesterday's Meet the S.S. All-Stars, that we tabbed the final roster with the team name "The S.S. Minnows." This was not to disparage the team's talent level or to strip it of potential "big fish" status; instead, it was simply an homage to the name of the vessel ("The tiny ship was tossed") that stranded seven famous "castaways" on a tropical island in the 1960s.

Well, we've done it for shows like Star Trek and The Simpsons so let's go Hall of Names on one of the iconographic TV sitcoms of all time, as we build ...

Gilligan's Islanders
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Yes, yes, followup TV specials and cartoons to the series more than implied that the Islanders' sport of choice, thanks to their apparently long-standing relationship with the Harlem Globetrotters, was basketball rather than baseball, but we will leave Basketball's Hall of Names in the capable hands of Craig Burley (Craig, give us a link, good man) ...

As we have done with previous shows, we will start with a cast list showing the characters' names (be honest, did you even know the Skipper and the Professor had names?) as well as the name of the actors who played those roles. Here we go:

Cast List

  • Bob Denver as Gilligan
  • Alan Hale Jr. as The Skipper (Jonas Grumby)
  • Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III
  • Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell
  • Tina Louise as Ginger Grant
  • Russell Johnson as The Professor (Roy Hinkley)
  • Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers
  • Created by Sherwood Schwartz
Now the next step, as you might well have guessed. is to build a roster using these names as they apply to historical major league players. Sure, you've probably already thought of Mudcat Grant, David Wells and Randy or Walter Johnson and realized this team is likely to have a heck of a pitching staff. But can we cast away any issues and fill out a full roster?

In the interest of not recreating the previous Hall of Names All-Johnson team, we will limit ourselves to using the name of an individual actor or the name of the individual characters played to three total per person -- that is, if there are two players named Denver and one named Gilligan, that individual's quota is full.. With just eight total individuals on our source list, and that's including the show's creator, Schwartz, we are looking at a limited supply of candidates.

But let's set sail and see if we can get there.

C Homer "Dixie" Howell (.246, 1947-56)
1B Randy Schwartz (.167, 3-for-18, 1965-66 KCA)
2B Frank Grant** (19th century Negro League star)
SS Willie Wells** (Negro League star)
3B Roy Howell* (.261, 1974-84)
LF Ginger Beaumont (.311, 1899-1910)
CF Vernon Wells* (.285, 109 homers through 2005)
RF Denver Grigsby (.289, 1923-25 CHC)
DH Jack Howell (3B/UTIL, .239, 108 HR, 1985-99)

C Barney Gilligan (.207, 1875-88)
IF/UTIL Chip Hale (.277, 1989-97; mostly DH/2B/3B/1B)
2B/3B Odell Hale (.289, 1931-41 100+ RBI, 1934-35)
3B/OF Harry Schafer (.272, 1871-78)
3B/2B/SS Russ Johnson (mostly 3B, .264 through 2005)

LHSP Randy Johnson* (26 wins away from 300)
RHSP Walter Johnson** (117 wins past 300)
LHSP David Wells* (227-143, 1987-2005)
RHSP Mudcat Grant* (145-119, 1958-71)
RHSP Harry Howell (131-146, 1898-1910)

CL-RH Jay Howell* (58-53, 155 saves)
LH-SET Joe "Professor" Ostrowski (23-25, 15 saves, 1948-52)
RHRP Ken Howell (38-48, 31 saves, 1984-90)
RHRP Mark Grant (22-32, eight saves, 1984-93)
RHRP Jack Gilligan (1-5, 1909-10 SLB)

Castaway Notes ... Looking for power in this lineup? Willie Wells set a single-season Negro Leagues record with 27 homers in 88 recorded games for the St. Louis Stars in 1926 ... In an unrelated but kinda interesting note, Willie is also considered one of the first pro ballplayers to wear a batting helmet ...

Apologies to Champ Summers, a career .255 hitter from 1974-84 who hit 21 homers in 1979; he'd look good on this team's roster, but there are two Wellses who have made All-Star teams (and both have been Blue Jays, though only one during an All-Star year or years) while another is in the Hall of Fame, so our quota of three Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells) name-alikes is filled ... The five-man starting rotation has combined for nearly 1,200 big league wins -- so far! Boomer and The Unit are still around to rack up a few more ...

We do have what amounts to one exact match for a castaway name, or at least for the name of actor Russell Johnson, who played the Professor -- in former TBB and NYY 3B Russ Johnson (actually William Russell Johnson) ... Speaking of the Professor, among those not making the cut were RHSP Otis Hinkley Stocksdale, who was 15-31 from 1893-96 -- but again, honestly, who knew "Hinkley" was the Professor's "real" last/family name? ...

If you're thinking Casey Stengel, "The Ol' Perfesser," should manage this team, well, our exact-spelling rule ironically comes into play ... Others not making the squad were RHRP Ginger Clark (1-0 in one game with 1902 CLE), C Skipper Roberts (.210 for 1913 STL and in the 1914 Federal League) and 1B Bill Schwartz (.151, 13-for-86 1904 CLE) who managed to be out-hit by the only other 1B (and only other Schwartz) in the pool of candidates, slugging .167-hitter Randy Schwartz ...

And now ... a No-Prize to the person who writes the best theme song for this team. Here's a hint; the first line should be, "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of an island team ..."
Bang the Coconut: All-Gilligan's Island | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 06 2006 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#152541) #
I can't help with the song lyrics, but Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth ought to do it. 
Bang the Coconut: All-Gilligan's Island | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.