These Are No Ordinary Joes

Sunday, September 03 2006 @ 09:00 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

As noted here previously, in building the historical Baseball Hall of Names, we've done a peculiarly inconsistent job building teams for North America's most common shared first/given names. We took steps to address that recently with teams dedicated to the names John, Richard and Charles and now we move on to the number four name on that list, which we summarily refuse to nickname the "Camels" and instead proudly introduce ...

The Joe Cools
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR Joe McCarthy** (2125-1333, nine flags, seven rings)
Player/Coach Joe Cronin** (1236-1035)
Player/Coach Joe Torre (1876-1637 through 2005)
Player/Coach Joe Gordon (305-308 in six seasons)
Player/Coach Joe Tinker** (304-308 in four years, one Fed League ring)
Player/Coach Joe Kelley (338-321, five seasons)
Player/Coach Joseph "Pete" Hill** (Negro League HOFer and MGR)

C Joe Mauer* (.297 through 2005)
1B Joe Judge (.298 over 20 years, 1915-34)
2B Joe L. Morgan** (.271, 268 homers, 689 SB)
SS Joseph "Arky" Vaughan** (.318 in 14 years)
3B Joe Sewell** (mostly SS; .312, just 114 K in 14 years)
LF Joe Jackson (.356 in 13 seasons)
CF Joe DiMaggio** (.325, 361 homers)
RF Joe Medwick** (.324, 205 homers in 17 years)
DH Joe Cronin** (.301 in 20 years)

C/1B/3B Joe Torre* (.297, 252 homers)
OF/IF Joseph "Pete" Hill** (Negro League HOFer and MGR, early 1900s)
2B Joe Gordon* (nine-time All-Star, 1942 AL MVP, 253 homers)
SS Joe Tinker** (.262 in 15 years)
OF Jo-Jo Moore(.298, 1930-41, six-time All-Star)
OF Joe Kelley** (.317 over 17 years)

RHSP Joe McGinnity** (246-142, 1899-1908)
RHSP Smokey Joe Williams** (named greatest Negro League P in 1952 poll)
RHSP Joe Niekro* (221-204)
LHSP Joe Nuxhall* (135-117)
RHSP Joseph Howard Coleman* (142-135, 1965-79)

RHRP Joe Nathan* (32-16, 88 saves through 2005)
LHRP Joe Hoerner* (39-34, 99 saves)
LHRP Joe Page* (57-49, 76 saves)
LHRP Joe Sambito* (37-38, 84 saves)
RHRP Joe Haynes* (76-82, 21 saves, 1939-52)

Joe Ho! Whaddyaknow? ... Surprisingly, there isn't much of a contingent of 1B in the Joseph-born, unless we play Torre there to start ... There are certainly plenty of options to be the backup catcher, if we moved Torre in for Judge, including Ferguson (.240, 122 homer over 14 years), Garagiola (.257 over nine years) and Girardi (.267 in 15 years); the latter of those might be better suited to the coaching staff if he keeps up this Miracle Marlin stuff ..."Shoeless" Joe did nothing to be banned from this roster .-- all he needed was the correct name on his birth certificate, and there's nothing suspicious about that ... Joe Tinker probably doesn't really deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but for his verse-assured fame as part of the Cubbies' DP combo of long ago, but his plaque earns him a bench spot on this team regardless ...

The final cut from the roster among position players is a name that should be familiar to Blue Jay fans -- that's right, it's OF Joe Carter (.259, 396 homers and a pretty famous home run once) ... The bullpen is stuffed with All-Star closers, including three lefties, which should help balance the overly-right-handed rotation ...Joe H. Coleman makes the rotation, but his daddy, Joe P. Coleman, though also an All-Star once upon a time, carries his 52-76 career mark back to the clubhouse sans uniform, knowing that other, even more-qualified, candidates like Joe Dobson (137-103) and Joey Jay (99-91), both All-Star RHSPs, also didn't make the cut ... ... Perhaps young Oakland righty Joe Blanton, with 12 wins coming into 2006 and 14 more already at this writing, will earn a spot on this team eventually ...

Let's hope Blanton doesn't suffer the fate of Joe Mays, a former All-Star who is just 48-65 in his career to date, or worse yet, Joe Corbett, who was 24-8 for the 1897 Baltimore Orioles, but just 32-18 for his career overall ... Joe Borowski's 32 saves in 2006 now ties him with Page for fourth among Josephs with 76 in his career, and he may yet bump Haynes from the squad ...

Five different players on the roster went on to successful MLB managerial careers, and we have a sixth player/coach on staff who made the HOF from the Negro Leagues ... Among the other Joe managers were noted flops Joe Schultz of Ball Four fame, Joe Simmons (3-28 in parts of two 19th-century seasons), Joe Quinn (23-132, also in parts of two 19th-century seasons), Joe Battin (9-23, again in parts of two 19th-century seasons) the winless Joe W. Miller (0-11 with the 1872 Washington Nationals), and the more recent Joey Amalfitano (66-116, 1979-81) and Joe Altobelli (comparatively a fine 437-407 from 1977-79, '83-85 and 1991) ...

And among the other Joes who received at least some consideration for the roster, and whose names you should recognize, are Adcock, Collins, Pepitone, Rudi and Vosmik ... The Cleveland Indians must be scared to death of developing another hot young OF named Joe who blasts 20+ homers in his rookie year on Lake Erie ... After seeing Joltin' Joe Charboneau slide into oblivion after winning the 1980 AL Rookie of the Year for his 23-homer campaign, Joseph "Jody" Gerut hit 22 bombs as a 2003 Indian freshman, finished fourth in the AL ROY balloting and is now hunting for a big league job after fizzling in Chicago and Pittburgh ...

Among those not even considered for the squad were 116-game winner Joe Horlen, whose given name was "Joel" ... WWII All-Star OF Thurman Lowell "Joe" Tucker, who hit .255 in nine MLB years ... and a wide variety of Joses, including (but certainly not limited to) 1968 All-Star catcher Jose Joaquin (Lopez) Azcue and All-Star closer Jose Mesa, whose nickname was the English translation of his given name, "Joe Table" ...

As we noted in the recent All-Charles teams, the most common first/given names are usually also the most common middle names, and Joseph is no exception ... More than 50 MLB vets who earned (or would have earned) All-Star status or are enshrined in Cooperstown, carried the middle name "Joseph," or enough for two full rosters, but we'll settle here for just one:

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

C Michael Joseph Piazza* (.311, 397 homers through 2005)
1B Dennis Joseph "Dan" Brouthers** (.342 in 19 years)
2B Lawrence Joseph Doyle (.290 over 14 years, 1912 NL MVP)
SS Frederick Joseph Patek* (.242 in 14 years)
3B Harold Joseph "Pie" Traynor** (.320 in 17 years)
LF Francis Joseph "Lefty" O'Doul** (.349 in 11 years)
CF Amos Joseph Otis* (.277, 193 homers in 17 years)
RF Garret Joseph Anderson* (.298, 224 homers through 2005)
DH Daniel Joseph "Rusty" Staub* (.279, 292 homers in 23 years)

C/OF/UTIL Michael Joseph "King" Kelly** (.308 over 16 years)
UTIL John Joseph McGraw** (.334 in 16 years)
3B James Joseph "Jimmy" Collins** (.294 in 14 years)
2B/OF/UTIL Leon Joseph "Bip" Roberts* (.294, 264 SB)
SS Owen Joseph "Donie" Bush (.250 in 16 years)
IF John Joseph Evers** (.270, 324 SB)

RHSP Jesse Joseph Haines** (210-158)
LHSP John Joseph Podres* (148-116 in 15 years)
RHSP Lawrence Joseph Jansen* (122-89in nine years)
LHSP Thomas Joseph Byrne* (85-69 in 13 years)
RHSP Daniel Joseph Petry* (125-104 in 13 years)

RHRP John Joseph Murphy* (93-53, 107 saves)
LHRP Harold Joseph Woodeshick* (44-62, 61 saves)
RHRP Robert Joe Wickman* (214 saves through 2005)
RHRP Edward Joseph Farmer* (75 saves over 11 years)
RHRP Arthur Joseph Houtteman* (87-91, 20 saves)

More Notes of Middling Interest ... Of the more than 900 MLB players with "Joseph" in their names, more than half had that as their middle name (there were also two with "Joseph" as their last/family name, not to mention one Josephson) ... Shortstop is the weak link on this team -- do you go with the light-hitting All-Star Frank Crosetti, the light-hitting All-Star Buddy Kerr or the light-hitting All-Star Fred Patek? We'll go with Mighty Mite, the little KCR sparkplug from the 1970s ...We noted last time out that Kevin Joseph Aloysius "Chuck" Connors didn't actually qualify for that All-Charles team, and though he qualifies here, he doesn't make the roster ... One Hall of Famer who also doesn't even make the roster is Albert Joseph Barlick -- but then, where on a standard 25-man roster would you fit an umpire, anyway? ...

That McGraw vs. McCarthy managerial matchup, should the first-named-Joes ever take on the middle-named-Joes might be the most interesting dugout matchup since, well, ever ... We could easily build an alternate rotation almost the match of the one we have in place with righties John Joseph Montefusco (90-83) and Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca (88-68) supported by lefties Christopher Joseph Short (135-132) and James Joseph Merritt (81-86), with either righty Francis Joseph "Spec" Shea* (56-46 in eight years; 1947 All-Star rookie) or current young southpaw Erik Joseph Bedard (12-18 through 2005, 12-9 so far in 2006) to round it out ... Down in the bullpen, we'd start with two more All-Stars in righties Richard Joseph Farrell (106 wins, 83 saves) and Donald Joseph Stanhouse (38-54, 64 saves) ...

3B Hank Joe Blalock wasn't going to make the team anyway, but that shortened middle name disqualifies him from the middle-name squad, anyway ... Among the notables who did qualify but didn't make the cut are 1B William Joseph Buckner and William Joseph Skowron, 3B Gary Joseph Gaetti (360 homers in 20 years), and a couple of guys who would really add flexibility to the bench in OF/3B/1B Frank Joseph "Not The Big Hurt" Thomas (.266, 286 homers in 16 years) and 3B/1B/C Phillip Joseph Nevin* (.273, 186 homers through 2005).

Whew. That;'s enough of that for a while. Any suggestions, corrections, comments? Fire away!