It's been awhile since we posted a Hall of Names team here on Da Box -- since Oct. 22, in fact, when we unveiled the All-Paul Squad as we continued to build a Hall of Names roster for each of the 25 most-common male names in North America.
To get back in the Hall of Names spirit, let's examine the 19th most common of those names, one that bears significance for me as my own middle name (though of course, as usual, middle names do not qualify for this team) ...
The Hall of Fame is littered with men named Ed, Ned and Eddie -- there's even an Edd and another Edward we all know as "Whitey." But to be clear, this team is composed only of ballplayers who had the given first name Edward.
That means your Edwins and Edmunds and Eduardos are right out, so apologies to the 14 big leaguers with the family name Edwards(not to mention Harry Edwards Gumbert and Edwards Guzman), and to Hall of Famers like SS Joseph Edward Cronin and LHSPs Warren Edward Spahn and George Edward "Rube" Waddell, even to all-time hits leader Peter Edward Rose Sr. (who knows a thing or two about apologies) who do not qualify.
Among others who do not qualify are Hall of Fame 3B Edwin Lee Mathews and CF Edwin "Duke" Snider as well as 1B Eddie Clarence Murray -- yes, his given name was "Eddie," just like RP Eddie Watt and SP Eddie Whitson. Two more Hall of Famers are disqualified on both counts, of having the wrong name AND it not being their first/given name -- OF Harry Edwin Heilmann and C Gary Edmund Carter.
There have 18 first- and middle-named Eduardos, but none were terribly likely to make the team anyway, as the best of them was probably SP Ed Figueroa, who despite four consecutive 16+ win seasons in the mid-1970s (including a 20-win campaign with the Yankees in '78) never even made an All-Star team.
Interestingly, though MLB has played host to a Tom Thomas and to not one but two Billy Williamses, there has never been an Eddie Edwards to pull on a big league uni, although 1920s RHRP Foster Edwards was apparently nicknamed "Eddie."
What else could we call this group, but ...
The Prince Edwards Sounds
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR: Edward "Ned" Hanlon** (1313-1164)
Coach: Ed Barrow** (310-320; 1918 BOS champs)
Coach: Eddie Collins** (174-160, player/coach)
C Ed Herrmann* (.240, 1967-78)
1B Eddie Waitkus* (.285, 1941-55)
2B Eddie Collins** (3315 hits, .333 over 25 years, 1906-30)
SS Eddie Miller* (.238, 1936-50; seven-time All-Star)
3B Eddie Kazak* (.273, 1948-52)
LF Ed Delahanty** (.346, 101 homers, 1888-1903)
CF Edward "Ned" Hanlon** (.260, 329 SB, 1880-92)
RF Ed Kranepool* (.261, 118 homers in 18 years)
DH Eddie Yost* (.254, 139 homers, 1944-62)
C Edward "Patsy" Gharrity (also 1B/OF; .262, 1916-30)
SS/3B Eddie Kasko* (.264, 1957-66)
2B/IF Eddie Stanky* (.268, 1943-53)
3B/SS "Harvard" Eddie Grant (.249, 1905-15; died in WWI)
OF "Glass Arm" Eddie Brown (.303, 1920-28)
PH Eddie Gaedel (1.000 career OBP)
LHSP Eddie Plank** (326-194)
RHSP Ed Walsh** (195-126)
LHSP Edward "Whitey" Ford** (236-106)
RHSP Edward Miguel "Mike" Garcia* (142-97)
RHSP Eddie Cicotte (208-149)
CL-LH Eddie Guardado* (183 saves through 2006)
RHRP Ed Farmer* (75 career saves in 11 years, 30 in 1980)
LHRP Edward "Slim" Love (13-12, 1918 NYY, 28-21 career)
RHRP Ed Klieman (Led '47 AL in saves, 17; 33 career)
?HRP Eddie Fusselback (first save in AL history, 1882)
Ed(itor)'s Notes ... Among those others not breaking the Sounds barrier (har!) are LHSP Edmund Lopat,RHRP Eddie Fisher and SS Edwin Joost ... Released from the roster on talent evaluation, though eligible by name were, among many others, SS Ed Holly, RHSP Ed Holley and 3B Ed Hilley ... Ed Head will have to be satisfied with his nomination to be on the All-Body Parts team a while back ... Ed Hearn was once traded even-up for David Cone but doesn't really (h)earn a spot on the roster otherwise ...
Eddie Collins Jr.'s daddy makes this team, but the younger lad's career total of 66 hits in parts of three mostly wartime seasons (1939, '41-42) as an OF leave him well short of making the squad ... Kazak was an All-Star in 1949 despite playing in just 92 games for the Cardinals; he did hit .304 ... Last two cut from a bench already chock full of versatile infielders were 2B/3B Eddie Mayo, who hit .252 from 1936-48 and was a wartime All-Star and old friend Ed Sprague, who hit .247 with 152 homers from 1991-2001 ...
Edward "Tiny" Bonham (103-72 and a WWII All-Star) held the fifth spot in the rotation before we decided to allow Cicotte to take the slot despite his lifetime ban from the game ... Three men named Yost have played in the major leagues, and two were Eds of some sort -- Eddie, this team's starting DH, and Edgar "Ned" Yost -- both of whom also managed in the bigs, though Edward did so for just one game in 1962.
Eddie Fusselback, who may have thrown with either his left or his right hand (the fact is unrecorded) was primarily a catcher (suggesting he was a righty) in the 1880s, but played all over the diamond and was the first player to "lead the AL" in saves with the one he recorded in 1882 ... So we're giving the final bullpen slot to a guy who threw 23 innings in his career and managed an ERA of 4.70 (ERA+ of just 60)? Well, look at that rotation and stop worrying ... You've MLB's all-time leader in career winning percentage (Ford, .690) -- but the other four (Plank, .627; Walsh, .607; Garcia, .594 and Cicotte, .583) don't exactly have anything to be ashamed of regarding their own career won/loss ratios ...
Actually, once you get past the rotation and the two Hall-of-Famers in the lineup (Hanlon was inducted primarily as a manager), this is one of the weaker Hall of Names teams yet assembled. Maybe that's because, as is the case with me, "Edward" is more of a middle name. Let's see, as we take a moment to build out ...
Edwards of a Middling Sort
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR Joe Cronin (1236-1055; player/manager)
Coach Larry Dierker (435-348)
Coach Don Baylor (627-689)
Coach Ken Macha (368-280 through 2006)
Coach Clyde King (234-229)
C Charles Johnson* (.245, 167 homers, four GG)
1B Frank Thomas* (.305, 487 homers through 2006)
2B Pete Rose* (came up as 2B; 628 games there)
SS Joe Cronin** (.301 over 20 seasons)
3B Ron Santo* (.277, 342 homers in 15 years)
LF Jim Rice* (.298, 382 homers in 16 years)
CF Harvey Kuenn* (.303 in 15 years)
RF Bo Jackson* (.250, 141 homers, parts of eight years)
DH Don Baylor* (.260, 338 homers in 19 years)
C Stan Lopata* (.254, 116 homers in 13 years)
2B Chuck Knoblauch (.289, 407 SB in 12 years)
SS Bobby Crosby (2004 AL ROY)
3B Troy Glaus* (257 homers through 2006)
OF Vada Pinson (2757 hits in 18 years)
1B/OF Roy Sievers (.267, 318 homers in 17 years)
LHSP Warren Spahn**(363-245)
LHSP George "Rube" Waddell** (193-143)
RHSP Sam McDowell* (141-134)
LHSP Tommy John* (288-231)
LHSP Chuck Finley* (200-173)
CL-LH Billy Wagner (324 saves through 2006)
RH-SET Mark Wohlers (119 saves in 12 years)
RH-SET Jack Baldschun (48-41, 60 saves)
RHRP Todd Burns (21-23, 13 saves)
LH-LONG Don Gullett (109-50; started out as LHRP)
Higher Ed? No, Middle Eds ... That rotation is stacked to the left side, but who are you going to cut? The "weak link" among the four lefties, Finley, is a 200-game-winner with 2610 career strikeouts -- that K total is the best on a staff that boasts five starters all in the Top 50 (John is currently 47th) in career punchouts ... Oh yeah, the closer has 324 career saves and is closing in on the all-time leader in saves by a lefty, too ...
Among those pitchers not even making the team were leftiy Mark Langston (179-158) , righty (and coach on this team) Larry Dierker (139-123) and a couple of righties named Donovan in Bill (186-139) and Dick (122-99) ... Forget about Jimmy Key, Don Wilson, Denny Neagle, Jake Peavy, Pat Dobson, Gary Gentry, Joe Horlen, Wally Bunker, Tom Hall and Mike Krukow (among others) ... their combined 991 career wins (so far!) didn't land any of them a roster spot ...
Overall, the Middle-Named Edwards seem much stronger than the First-Named Edwards -- there would certainly be strong starting pitching on both sides, while the first-namers have positional edges at just two spots, 2B and LF, and even then, just barely. The middle-namEDs also have a stronger bench while the two bullpens each seem equally ... uncertain.
What say, Bauxites? Which of these teams goes to the, ah, "Ed" of the Class?