Luck of the Irish?

Saturday, March 17 2007 @ 11:38 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Earlier today in the ongoing Trivia Challenge thread, Bauxite Calig23 posed what he called a "St. Patrick's Day themed question," regarding Blue Jays born on this day. It made me realize, shame-facedly at that, that for all the holiday-themed Hall or Names all-birthday teams we have produced here at Batter's Box, we've never done one for St. Patrick's Day.

So, while we still have a few minutes left of March 17, here's a roster made up of the 36 big league players (through the 2006 season) born on March 17; it's a team that we can only Dublin ... er, a team that we can only dub ...

The Green Sox
** indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star

Manager: Cito Gaston* (683-636, two titles)

C Vance Wilson (.250 through '06 with NYM, DET)
1B Robb Quinlan (.302 in four years through '06 with LAA)
2B Bill Mueller (.291 through 2006; '03 AL batting champ)
SS Fred Pfeffer (.255, 382 SB, 1882-97)
3B Harry Riconda (.247, parts of 1923-30)
LF Cito Gaston* (.318/29/93 with '70 SDP)
CF Pete Reiser* (.295 in 10 years; '41 NL batting champ)
RF Jimmie Hall* (.254, 121 homers in 8 years)
DH Hank Sauer* (288 homers in 15 years)

C Oscar Stanage (.234, 14 years, parts of 1906-25)
IF/OF Lyman Lamb (.272, 1920-21 SLB)
IF Danny Ainge (.220, 1979-81)
OF Pat Seerey* (.226, 86 homers, 1943-49)
OF Larry Murphy (.265 as 34-year-old rookie with 1891 WAS)
OF George Hogriever (.254, 1895 CIN, 1901 MIL)

RHSP Charley Root (201-160 in 17 years)
LHSP John Smiley* (126-103 in 12 years)
RHSP Ed Klepfer (14-4, 1917 CLE; 22-17 career)
LHSP Tim Lollar (47-52 in 7 seasons)
LHSP Scott Downs (17-15, through 2006)

CL-LH Rod Scurry (19-32, 39 saves, 1982-88)
RHRP Scott Brow (3-4, 2 saves, parts of 1993-98)
RHRP Hy Vandenberg (15-10, 5 saves, parts of 7 seasons)
RHRP Jim Fairbank (1-2, 1903-04 PHA)
?HRP Art Hagan (2-18, 1883-84 PHI and BUF)

Lift a Glass ... Only one man born on March 17 has ever managed in the major leagues; then again, who in his right mind would try to take over such an unruly band of roughnecks from Eire? Well, how about Titletown Toronto hero Cito Gaston, that's who ... Since the only active St. Pat's-borne are Robb Quinlan, Scott Downs, Vance Wilson and Bill Mueller, the number of All-Star berths seems unlikely to be increased in 2007 ... Actually, it's a bit surprising that Mueller, one of those famed "professional hitters," has never been named to a Mid-Summer Classic, but after hitting .252 in minimal duty at the age of 35 in L.A. last season, his future chances don't appear to be waxing ...

Yes, that's former Jay infielder Danny Ainge having a 3/17 birthday -- as a former Boston Celtic All-Star in another sport, he should probably get some sort of honorary captaincy, especially with no coaches around -- though to be honest, his hoops coaching and front officing have left something to be desired by fans of the home team ...

Adair Bushyhead "Paddy" Mayes has the right name for this squad, but was just 0-for-5 (with a career OPS+ of -18!) as an OF with the 1911 Phillies ... Art Hagan compiled a career mark of 2-18 in 1883-84 with the Phillies and the Buffalo Bisons, but records don't even show which hand he threw with, so that stellar mark won't grace our rotation -- but, well, we DO need someone to fill that last slot down in the bullpen ... Pfeffer is the starting shortstop by virtue of his 121 big league appearances at that position, though granted he played on the other side of the second base bag more than 1500 times ... In fact, he played every position on the diamond except behind the plate, even sporting a career mark of 2-1 with two saves as a RHP ...

So, do we need to watch this team with green beer in hand, or can you find a way to make it better, Bauxites?