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In building the historical Baseball Hall of Names, we've cobbled together more than 200 teams, including rosters for every initial and many combinations of initials, days and months of birth, popular culture "themes," and one each for the 25 Most Common North American Surnames (family names), as well as 30+ for shared first/given names.

But that latter group has been put together rather haphazardly (see First Things ... Uh, Second? for an earlier trek along this path); in fact only nine of the 25 Most Common Male Names in the U.S. (would like to know of a Canadian equivalent free online somewhere?) have been covered with a Hall of Names squad, indeed just six of the top 10. So our next targets, in order are John, Richard, Charles and Joseph ... as first/given names, of course -- Tommy John, J.R. Richard, Ed Charles and Rick Joseph, among others, thanks for stopping by the booth, but your last/family name does not qualify.

All that said, let's start with the second most-common male name (we've already covered #1 with a long-ago look at The James Gang) as we compile a team that can only be called ...

The Papa Johns
What, you were expecting the "Elton" or "Olivia Newton" Johns?
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR John McGraw** (2763-1948, 10 flags, three rings)

C Johnny Bench** (389 homers, 10 Gold Gloves)
1B Johnny Mize** (.312, 359 homers in 15 years)
2B Johnny Evers** (.270, 324 SB in 18 years)
SS Johnny Logan* (four-time All-Star with Braves)
3B John Franklin Baker** (96 homers in 13 years -- "Home Run")
LF Johnnie B. Baker* (.278, 242 homers in 19 years -- "Dusty")
CF Johnny Damon* (has reached 150 HR, 300 SB)
RF Johnny Callison* (226 homers in 16 years)
DH John "Boog" Powell* (339 homers in 17 years)

C John Roseboro* (four-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves)
SS/3B/2B Johnny Pesky* (.307 over 10 seasons)
IF/OF/RHP John Montgomery Ward** (164-102, .275 over 17 years)
OF/RHRP Johnny Lindell* (8-18, 4.47; .273, 72 homers)
OF/3B Johnny "Pepper" Martin* (.298, 146 SB over 13 years)
1B/DH/PH John Olerud* (.295, 255 homers, three Gold Gloves)

RHSP John Clarkson** (327-177, 19th century)
LHSP Johnny Antonelli* (126-110)
RHSP Johnny Allen* (142-75)
LHSP John Smiley* (123-114)
LHSP Johnny Vander Meer* (119-121; double no-no)

CL-RH John Wetteland* (330 saves)
LH-SET John Franco* (424 saves)
RH-SET John Hiller* (125 saves)
LH-LONG John Candelaria* (177 wins, 29 saves)
RH-LONG John Smoltz* (177 wins, 154 saves through '05)

Notes ... Allen won 20 in 1936, the year after the Yankees dealt him to Cleveland, and was an All-Star in 1938 ... Antonelli, a five-time All-Star, won 19 or more in a season three times, including 20+ twice ... Turns out a couple of Baker boys who went by their given middle name and a nickname, respectively, were both actually named John (and Johnnie) -- so welcome aboard, Frank and Dusty ... Clarkson won 53 games for the 1885 Chicago White Stockings and twice hurled over 600 innings in a season ...

Don't like the bullpen stuffed with guys from the '70s through the early part of the 21st century? Okay, then, let's go with an alternate set of All-Stars -- that's righty Johnny Sain and lefty Johnny Podres setting up one of the original closers, righty Johnny Murphy; as for the back of the 'pen, Johnny Kucks, John Sanford and John Kramer are among the old-timers who can fight it out with the later Johns like Hudek, Montefusco and "Blue Moon" Odom for spots on the staff ...

Actually, The Count and Blue Moon might be better suited to make a run at the rotation, along with guys like John Smiley, John Burkett and John O'Donoghue ... The lefty Smiley's 123-114 career mark bumps fellow southpaw Johnny Schmitz and his 93-114 career record off the squad ... The presence of Lindell and Ward on the bench conceiveably could allow for a short pitching staff, but there's too much talent on the mound to even consider that ... The final cut from the non-pitching roster was 1B/DH/PH John Mayberry, who was a nice power bat, but his 255 career homers is matched by John Olerud, while Olerud also out-hit Mayberry by more than 40 points in career batting average ... Olerud also won several Gold Gloves while Mayberry, uh, didn't ...

Actually, you could build just about an entire alternate roster of Johns that would give the one above a pretty good battle ... Behind the plate alone, we have Johnny Edwards and Johnny Estrada, as well as John Romano and John Stearns ... Infielders like John "Buddy" Kerr, Johnny Temple, John Lewis and Johnny Ray didn't make the "varsity" squad, while a number of 1B and OF -- Grubb, Wyrostek, Hopp, Jaha and Kruk, for instance -- are also back in the clubhouse. And keep in mind -- these are only the players who actually made at least one All-Star team! ...

And as for managers and coaches, sure, the first team gets the Hall of Famer McGraw, and you have Pesky, Ward and (Dusty) Baker on the bench already, but our alternate team could surely find leadership in the John department by choosing wisely among Oates, Neun, Nipon, Kling, Goryl, Evers, Cooney, Keane and McNamara ...

Dear Johns | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Mick Doherty - Sunday, August 20 2006 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#153606) #
A little shout-out for help ... more than any team I've recently done, I have the feeling my Hall of Fame/All-Star Team focus has caused me to miss players for this team, perhaps particularly from the pre-All-Star era (1930 and before, roughly) ... so suggested additions are welcome and invited!
CeeBee - Sunday, August 20 2006 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#153615) #

How about a couple of Johns who were better known as Jacks?

John Dwight Chesbro aka Jack Chesbro RHP 198 wins and John Wesley Coombs better known as Jack Coombs with 158 wins. Dang, there sure are a lot of Johns to sift through tho. :)

Mike Green - Sunday, August 20 2006 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#153630) #
John Smoltz would probably shore up the rotation nicely.
Mick Doherty - Sunday, August 20 2006 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#153632) #
Yeah, it is kinda weird having the second-best pitcher on the staff (Smoltz) as the long reliever in the bullpen. But I figured he was definitely behind Wetteland-Franco-Hiller as a reliever, but his dual role made him an obvious bullpen guy. Make sense? If not, how should it be switched up? Smoltz for Smiley or Vandermeer, then maybe Montefusco as the long man? Not entirely sure that's an upgrade overall ...
Mike Green - Sunday, August 20 2006 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#153642) #
I'd probably move Smoltz and Candy Man into the rotation in place of Allen and Smiley.  With Wetteland and Hiller (and Franco in support), the bullpen doesn't really need the help. 
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