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It's practically a religious holiday in the United States; as you certainly know, today is that once-a-year spectacle known as "Super Bowl Sunday." And what better way to acknowledge this important event than with not one but two teams built for Baseball's Hall of Names.

Now, fortunately for us, the numbers work -- a standard baseball roster has 25 spots and a standard NFL starting lineup, when you include the specialists, also has 25 spots. So the challenge to you is to build the best possible baseball team with Football Hall of Fame names AND the best possible football team with Baseball Hall of Fame names. Actually, don't feel constrained by the HOFer list(s) -- anyone who played the one sport at the major league level is eligible for the other roster.

Confused? Don't be ... it's this simple:

First, we're looking for football players with baseball names ... Do you start Steve "Cy" Young at quarterback or go with the active new kid, Carson "Jim" Palmer? In your backfield, sure, Shaun "Grover Cleveland" Alexander would be nice, but you can't ignore Jim "Mordecai" Brown, or to step outside of the HOF limits, Walter "Jay" Payton, now can you? Out wide, do you like Anthony "Gary" Carter and Tony "Pete" Hill or do they even add up to match Jerry "Sam" Rice? And what about one of the six newest football Hall of Famers, Michael "Monte" Irvin?

The team's defense might be okay (or, uh, simply awesome), anchored by guys like Carl "Ernie" Banks, Fred "Dizzy" Dean and Bruce "Eddie" Matthews -- though yes, we recognize that Bruce spells his last name with two T's while Eddie Mathews stopped at just the one, so make that Bruce "Gary" Matthews (Sr. or Jr.) if you must.

And hey, as baseball's Hall of Names has shown in the past, a host of common names have stuffed major league rosters over the years -- the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown plays host to men named Jackson, Johnson, Kelly, Robinson, Smith, Taylor, Wagner, Williams and Wright, for instance -- but again, don't limit yourself to Hall of Fame names for the Hall of Names team!

Second, we're looking for baseball players with football names ... again, we'll just start with that list of Hall of Famers (the one in Canton, Ohio, not Cooperstown), but feel free to move beyond that ...

There are quite a few impressive options in the outfield, like Dave "Jim" Parker, Hack "Larry" Wilson, Kenny "James" Lofton and Andruw "Deacon" Jones (The aforementioned Jay "Walter" Payton probably doesn't make this team) ... Of course, the infield has as options, among others, Tony "Lawrence" Taylor, Frank "Randy" White and Ron "Lamer" Hunt, with a choice of third basemen including Mike "Joe" Schmidt and Buddy "Bobby" Bell. The bench can always use a versatile catcher/infielder/outfielder like Tyler "Ken" Houston, too ...

You want pitching? Well, it doesn't start and stop with Ted "Bob" Lilly and Milt "Dave" Wilcox, when you can also call on Walter "Jimmy" Johnson, Ed "Bill" Walsh, Whitey "Len" Ford and Kerry (or Wilbur for that matter) "Willie" Wood ... think we might build a decent rotation from those options? ... As for managers, we need go no further than the Hall of Fame choice of player/manager provided by the duo of Bucky "Franco" Harris and 19th century legend King "Jim" Kelly ....

Like its Cooperstown counterpart, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is also stuffed with members who have relatively common family names; in addition to some already mentioned, the gridiron Hall includes men monikered Allen, Sanders, Mitchell, Moore, Connor, Long, Haynes, Lane, Little, Brown, Davis and Jordan -- though that last one calls to mind a minor league baseball player who was a little better at hoops -- among many others.

All that said, let's see if we can't build up the two rosters; here's what we need and a start at what we have based on the above examples. Whatchagot to make either of these teams any better? We're looking to fill the empty spots or upgrade the ones that are already listed. Bring it on!

Updated: Players shown listed in italics have been added (with some minor changes) at reader suggestion in the thread.

Coach Bill "Ed" Walsh

QB1 Peyton "Rick" Manning
(sorry, Archie, sorry Eli!)

QB2 Steve "Cy" Young
RB Walter "Jay" Payton
RB Jim "Mordecai" Brown
WR Jerry "Sam" Rice
WR Michael "Monte" Irvin
TE Tony "Juan" Gonzalez
G Bruce "Gary" Matthews
G Larry "Grady" Little

DT Fred "Dizzy" Dean
LB Carl "Ernie" Banks
MGR Bucky "Franco" Harris

C Charles "Keyshawn" Johnson
1B Willie "Gene" Upshaw
2B Frank "Randy" White
SS Bucky "Richard" Dent
3B Mike "Joe" Schmidt
LF Hack "Larry" Wilson
CF Andruw "Deacon" Jones
RF Dave "Jim" Parker
DH Dick "Marcus" Allen

C/UTIL Tyler "Ken" Houston
IF Tony "Lawrence" Taylor
IF Buddy "Bobby" Bell
IF/OF Chipper "Walter" Jones
OF Enos "Webster" Slaughter
UTIL King "Jim" Kelly

RHSP Walter "Jimmy" Johnson
LHSP Whitey "Len" Ford
RHSP Ed "Bill" Walsh
LHSP Ted "Bob" Lilly
RHSP Kerry "Willie" Wood

CL Donnie "Lenny" Moore

Bonus points for anyone discovering a full-name-match (first/given name plus family name) -- and yes, an individual who played both sports, such as Jim Thorpe, is considered to have "the same name" as himself -- but such an individual MUST be added to both rosters to qualify, so Thorpe probably doesn't make it ... though there's always Bo Jackson ...

Reader Challenge: Super Bowl Shuffle | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
MrElbertBuffin - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 02:32 PM EST (#163009) #
I've got a couple that I believe qualify.

1. A tight end by the name of Tony "Alex" Gonzalez.
2. An offensive tackle who goes by Walter "Chipper" Jones.

And for the bonus points:
3. An outfielder we know well, named Joe Carter.  There was also a running back named Joe Carter who played for the Miami Dolphins during Dan Marino's early heydays (from 1984-86).

williams_5 - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 02:41 PM EST (#163010) #
Richard "Bucky" Dent
smcs - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 04:47 PM EST (#163012) #
Deion "Deion" Sanders
Calig23 - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 07:43 PM EST (#163015) #
First -baseman Gene "Willie" Upshaw
kinguy - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 08:18 PM EST (#163016) #
Enos "Webster" Slaughter
kinguy - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 08:20 PM EST (#163017) #
Catcher and QB Joe Ferguson
kinguy - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 08:24 PM EST (#163018) #
While the flip wouldn't be an upgrade at running back, Jack "Mercury" Morris has to make the starting pitcher rotation.
CeeBee - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 09:51 PM EST (#163019) #

Some Indianapolis Colts, no particular order and not too much time spent as I'm watching the game. :)

Archie (Rick) Manning

Dominic (Arthur) Rhodes

Dallas (Tony) Clark

Jerome (Eddie) Collins

Bryan ( Darren) Fletcher

Justin (J.T.) Snow

Charlie (Charles) Johnson

Jake (Mike) Scott

Rob (Jack) Morris

Nick (Terry) Harper

Marlin (Reggie) Jackson

Tim (Jason) Jennings

Bob (Reggie) Sanders

Rahim (Lou) Brock

Josh (Frank) Thomas

Hunter (Ozzie) Smith

Keith ( Tip) O'Neill

Gilbert (Larry) Gardner


CeeBee - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 10:06 PM EST (#163020) #

And the Chicago Bears who just lost.

Cedric (Jris) Benson

Bryan (Walter) Johnson

Thomas (Andre) Jones

J.D. (Pete) Runnels

Mark (Milton) Bradley

Desmond (Will) Clark

Rasheid (Chilli) Davis

Ruben ( Bobby) Brown

Fred (Bob) Miller

Lance (Larry) Briggs

Jamar ( Ted) Williams

Rod (Willie) Wilson

Tyler (Carl) Everett

Chris (Bucky) Harris

Todd (Randy) Johnson

Charles (Bob) Tillman

Cameron (Todd) Worrell

Mark (Garrett) Anderson

Alfonso (Bob) Boone

Khari (Dale) Long

Ian (George) Scott


david wang - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 10:31 PM EST (#163021) #
Drew Henson!
Calig23 - Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 10:58 PM EST (#163022) #
Another one:

Brian Jordan
Mike Green - Monday, February 05 2007 @ 10:45 AM EST (#163026) #
Grady "Larry" Little will give you a great guard, and a manager.
Reader Challenge: Super Bowl Shuffle | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.