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You might recall that a while back -- actually, way back in June of '06 -- we introduced a new Hall of Names category focused on players born in a particular year. We met The Bicentennial Men, players born in 1976, and readers chipped in by adding teams for players born in 1957, 1980, 1982 and 1983.

It's a new year and a new group of MLB players is turning 30 this year, so let's take a gander at players born in 1977 (there have been more than 200, at least so far) as we meet ...

The '77 Percent Solution
* indicates All-Star
** indicates All-Star and potential Hall of Famer

Okay, that team name sucks. Better suggestions? Please make them in the thread below!

So let's ask, as we did for the Bicentennial Men, who are the active leaders in major counting categories among the '77 babies? Here's a "Top 10" sample (totals in parentheses are through the close of the 2006 season):
  • Wins: Mark Mulder (103), Roy Oswalt (98), Roy Halladay (95), Kerry Wood (71), Vicente Padilla (66), AJ Burnett (59), Odalis Perez (57), Kip Wells (57), Ryan Dempster (57), Jake Westbrook (56)
  • Saves: Danys Baez (111), Ryan Dempster (59), Mike MacDougal (50), J.J. Putz (46), Chris Reitsma (37), Shawn Chacon (35), Ryan Kohlmeier (19), Fernando Rodney (19), Jason Frasor (18), Dan Wheeler (14)
  • Homers: Andruw Jones (342), Eric Chavez (212), Carlos Beltran (203), Travis Hafner (118), Jay Gibbons (115), Brad Wilkerson (98), Craig Monroe (92), Alex Gonzalez (90), Eric Hinske (79), Brandon Inge (71)
  • Steals: Juan Pierre (325), Carlos Beltran (227), Rafael Furcal (226), Brian Roberts (136), Andruw Jones (133), Adam Everett (55), Jason Tyner (53), Willie Bloomquist (50), Aaron Rowand (48), Eric Hinske (47)
Other guys worth mentioning: Bronson Arroyo, Ben Davis, Adam Eaton, Justin Duchscherer, Jody Gerut, Orlando Hudson, Mike Maroth, Eric Munson, Lyle Overbay, Josh Towers, Ty Wigginton ... who's missing?

Now, let's see if we can't build a decent roster from the players named above ...

C Brandon Inge (29 homers in 2006)
1B Lyle Overbay (.312/22/92 in 2006)
2B Orlando Hudson (.287/15/67, GG in 2006)
SS Rafael Furcal* (.300/15/63, 37 SB in 2006)
3B Eric Chavez (.271, 212 homers through 2006)
LF Carlos Beltran** (.276/41/116, GG in 2006)
CF Andruw Jones** (nine GG at age 29)
RF Brad Wilkerson (.252, 98 homers, 46 SB through 2006)
DH Travis Hafner (.308, 42 homers in 2006)

C Ben Davis (.237, 1998-2004)
3B/C/1B Eric Munson (.211 through 2006)
IF Alex Gonzalez* (.246, 90 homers through 2006)
OF Craig Monroe (averaging 22 homers, 2003-06 DET)
OF Juan Pierre (.303, 325 SB through 2006)
UTIL Willie Bloomquist (.257 career utilityman)

RHSP Roy Oswalt** (98-47)
LHSP Mark Mulder** (103-57)
RHSP Roy Halladay** (95-48)
LHSP Odalis Perez* (58-59)
RHSP Kerry Wood* (71-56)

CL-RH Danys Baez* (31-37, 111 saves)
SET-RH Jason Frasor (10-13, 18 saves)
SET-LH Dennys Reyes (27-31, 2 saves)
RHRP Ryan Dempster* (29 wins in '01-'02; 33 saves in '05)
RHRP Shawn Chacon* (22 wins in '01-'03; 35 saves in '04)

Notes ... The fifth starter's slot could have gone to any one of about 10 guys, but Wood, even with all the injury issues, just noses out Westbrook, Burnett and Padilla, in that order ... There are no star-quality lefty relievers with a '77 pedigree, so we end up with Dennys setting up Danys as the only lefty in the 'pen ... Actually, the bullpen is a weak spot on the roster, regardless of the availability of lefties; each of the three All-Stars in that unit are one-time Midsummer Classic selections so far, while the other two guys, both solid enough, are in no danger of having to make July travel plans any time soon ...

Because neither Munson nor Inge were certifiable full-time catchers, we'll also carry Ben Davis, who fell off the map after a couple of nice campaigns but might see some serious playing time behind the dish for this team ... Actually, with the exception of Inge starting behind the plate -- he's now the Tigers everyday 3B -- this would be one of the best defensive teams ever to take a major league field of play ...

With three guys who have played CF in the majors all in the starting OF (including two who will get at least some Cooperstown attention down the road), Pierre and Monroe might collect quite a bit of dust on the bench ... Bloomquist is the quintessential 25th man for this team; he's never pitched or caught a game in the big leagues, but has played everywhere else -- in fact, he's played between 13 and 86 games at every other big league position, including DH ...

Yes, Halladay is legitimately the #3 starter on this team, but really that means there are three #1 guys fronting the rotation ... Speaking of Halladay, that's quite a Blue Jay influence coming out of the '77 crop -- in addition to Doc, there's Lyle Overbay, Orlando Hudson, Alex Gonzalez and Eric Hinske (hey, that could be somebody's starting infield right now) along with Jason Frasor, AJ Burnett and Josh Towers, among others, also available ... No, wait, that's the other Alex Gonzalez born in '77, not the one who once played short in TO ...

Shortened career/steep cliff-dive coming for Andruw Jones? His most comparables at BBRef include Darryl Stawberry, Ron Gant, Eric Davis and Juan Gonzalez ... Brad Wilkerson was the last man ever to wear a Montreal Expos jersey in game competition, in a post-season Japan tour by MLB just after the 'Spo's final season in Canada ... To date, Overbay, Hudson, Chavez and Hafner have combined to appear in exactly ZERO All-Star Games, or two less than Mark Fidrych has all by himself ... Juan Pierre's .303 career average and 325 steals don't reflect the fuller picture -- a .727 career OPS (OPS+ of 86) and 116 times caught stealing ...

So, again ... who's missing?
'77 ... That's a C+, Right? | 5 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, January 07 2007 @ 01:00 PM EST (#161641) #
J.J. Putz might end up being an upgrade in the bullpen.

 And if you remember more than half of the top 100 of 1977, you are officially old. And if you own more than half of the top 100 but cannot remember what is in your collection, it is time to see a doctor.
CeeBee - Sunday, January 07 2007 @ 02:21 PM EST (#161644) #

Justin Duchscherer wouldn't be a bad option out of the pen either. Good strikeout to walk ratio and a career whip of 1.16 isn't too shabby.


Magpie - Sunday, January 07 2007 @ 03:07 PM EST (#161646) #
That's the top 100 of 1977?

I'm astonished by how many I don't remember, especially in view of the fact that I was actually working in a record store (remember records?) at the time. I remember barely over half of what's on the list, and I think only 18 of those titles are in my own stash.

But in my house, 1977 was the year of the Sex Pistols and the Clash...
Mike Green - Sunday, January 07 2007 @ 05:41 PM EST (#161648) #
I know what you mean.  Jeans On, David Dundas?  I have no idea even whether that's an easy listening or a country hit.  1977 was Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, David Bromberg, Maria Muldaur, Weather Report and the McGarrigles for me. Strangely, none had a top 100 hit...
Mike Green - Sunday, January 07 2007 @ 05:53 PM EST (#161649) #
Through the wonder of Wikipedia, I present Lord David Dundas.  Who knew? Alas, there has been no ballplayer named Dundas, so he won't be of any assistance for our purposes.
'77 ... That's a C+, Right? | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.