Over the past two days, we've met Hall of Names squads made of birthday boys from May 24 and May 25 -- and frankly, neither team was all that impressive. Neither roster boasted a single player in the Hall of Fame for his exploits in the majors (the 5/25 squad did have Negro League legend Martin Dihigo) and Box Hall pundit Mike Green projected that, if placed in the 2007 AL East, the two day-teams would combine for 111 wins.
So an All-May 26 team (today's) can't be any worse than that, right? Right? Um ...
Okay, first, let's start with a little brain-teasing Hall of Names challenge ...
Where did this squad's team name come from? Hint: look at the
time this article was posted live for a clue; say it out loud a couple
of different ways, it's more than just ...
** indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star
MGR: Joe Altobelli (437-407, three teams; 1983 ring with BAL)
Coach: Kevin Kennedy (309-273, 1993-96 TEX, BOS)
Coach: Eddie Haas (50-71, 1985 ATL)
Coach: Jim Frey (323-287, six years with KCR, CHC)
C Dann Bilardello (.204, parts of 1983-92)
1B Travis Lee (.256, 115 homers through 2006)
2B Ed Crosby (mostly SS; .220, parts of 1970-76)
SS Ben Zobrist (.224 in '06 TBD debut)
3B Darrell Evans* (414 homers in 21 years)
LF Herb Thomas (.221, parts of 1924-27; also 2B)
CF Chirs Latham (.202, parts of 1997-2003)
RF Dave Pickett (.279, 1898 Boston Braves)
DH Ricky Jordan (1B; .281, 55 homers, 1988-96)
1B/OF Joe Altobelli (player/manager; .210, parts of 1955-61)
IF Jim Mahoney (mostly SS; .229, parts of 1959-65)
OF Eddie Haas (player/coach; .243, parts of 1957-60)
OF Al Yates (.277, 1971 MIL)
UTIL Gene Paulette (played all positions but C; .269, parts of 1911-20)
RHSP Jason Bere* (71-65, 1993-2003)
RHSP Jimmy Lavender (63-76, 1912-17)
RHSP Jack Cronin (43-57, parts of 1895-1904)
RHSP Stoney McGlynn (14-25, 1907 STL; 17-33 career)
LHSP Harry Burrell (4-2, 1891 SLB)
CL-LH Rob Murphy (32 wins, 30 saves, 1985-95)
RHRP Willie Fraser (38-40, seven saves, parts of 1986-95)
RHRP Chuck Hartenstein (17 wins, 23 saves, six years)
RH-LONG Bill Shores (26-15, parts of 1928-36)
RH-LONG Frank Ragland (1-4, 1932-33)
NOTES ... Just 37 men born on May 26 return on a BaseballReference.com search, and a couple of them never even played in the majors; that's quite a bit less regarding options when compared to the other two teams looked at this week ... While nobody born on 5/24 has ever managed in the big leagues, no less than four men born on 5/26 have done so, and all except Haas had a modicum of success including at least a division title ...
Evans is far and away this team's most accomplished player (which should tell you something) and in the opinion of this writer, probably should be in the Hall of Fame, but will never get there at this point ... Hartenstein bouunced around four teams from 1966-70 then concluded his big league career with the expansion Jays in 1977, returning after seven years out of the majors ...
Let's hope Dann Bilardello is sturdy -- he's the only man born this date to ever don MLB's tools of ignorance ... Maybe the versatile Paulette can be the emergency backstop ... This date has produced a few lefty pitchers, but most were of the brief cuppajoe variety, and "closer" Murphy, with his 30 career saves, is far and away the best of them -- though we'll also give a back-of-the-rotation slot to Burrell to shake things up just a tiny bit ...
So, once again, let's conclude with the same question as the last two days ... put this team (with Jason Bere as the ace, Rob Murphy as the closer and Travis Lee likely hitting third) in the 2007 AL East and how many games could it win? Feel free to answer this question whether or not your name is "Mike Green." And the first person to answer the brain-teaser that started this story correctly gets to bestow a new name on the All-5/26 team. Woohoo!