It's Father's Day in the U.S. and Canada, and to reiterate a story I have related a number of times here on Da Box, it was my own father who more or less created this "Hall of Names" idea back in the 1970s when we dreamed up the All-Food team.
As such, he has himself been the inspiration for a number of teams of the more than 250 that now exist in Baseball's Hall of Names, including one for his own birthday and one we collaborated on called, unfortunately, The Bad Names Bears. We've also done an All-Fathers & Sons Hall of Names entry a while back, featuring Griffeys, Bondses, Alous and the like; but for today, it's simply Happy Father's Day as we break a long-standing Hall of Names rule and meet ...
THE FATHER'S DAY TIES
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
Player/Manager: John "Father" Kelly (86-89, 1887-88 Louisville Colonels)
Player/Bench Coach: Cap "Pop" Anson** (1296-947, five pennants)
C John "Father" Kelly (.226, 1879-84)
1B Cap Anson** ("Pop" hit .333 over 27 years)
2B Edward "Dad" Lytle (Also OF, .136, 1896 CHC, Pittsburg Alleghenys)
SS John Henry "Pop" Lloyd** (called "Negro League's Honus Wagner")
3B/DH Edgar "Papi" Martinez* (.312, 1987-2004; 563 games at 3B, 1987-97)
LF Willie "Pops" Stargell** (475 homers; 1979 ML co-MVP)
CF James "Cool Papa" Bell** (Negro League speedster)
RF Leon "Daddy Wags" Wagner* (.272, 211 homers, 1958-69)
DH David "Big Papi" Ortiz* (231 homers through 2006)
C/UTIL William "Pop" Schriver (.264, 1886-1901; did all but P)
1B Cecil "Big Daddy" Fielder* (319 homers, 1985-98)
OF John "Pop" Corkhill (.245, 1883-92, 3-4 as RHRP)
OF/IF Clarence "Pop" Foster (.281, 1898-1901)
OF Charles "Pop" Reising (0-for-8, 1884 Indianapolis Hoosiers)
OF/3B Percival "Pop" Rising (3-for-29, 1905 Boston Americans)
OF Joseph "Pop" Durham (.188, 1954, '57 BAL; '59 STL)
RHSP Jesse Joseph Haines** (210-158, 1918, '20-37)
RHSP Rick "Big Daddy" Reuschel* (214-191)
RHSP Arthur "Dad" Clarkson (39-39, 1891-96)
RHSP William "Dad" Clarke (35-39, 1895-96 NYG; 44-51 career)
CL-RH Stan "Big Daddy" Williams* (109-94, 42 saves)
LHP Ray Prim (22-21, 4 saves, 1933-35 WSH, PHI, '43, '45-46 CHC)
RHP Paul "Pop" Gregory (9-14, 1932-33 CHW)
LHP Roy "Pop" Joiner (3-3, 1 save, 1934-45 CHC, '40 NYG)
RHP Ray "Dad" Hale (1-5, 1902 Boston Beaneaters, Baltimore Orioles)
C Frank "Dad" Meek (6-for-18, 1889-90 SLB)
1B Alfred "Dad" Clark (8-for-43, 1902 CHC)
1B Aloysius "Pop" Joy (.227, 1884 Washington Nationals)
1B Frank "Pop" Dillon (.252, four teams, 1899-1904)
1B Fred "Papa" Williams (4-for-19 with 1945 CLE)
NOTES ON FATHER'S DAY ... So what long-standing rule are we breaking? The usual Hall of Names ban on nicknames, of course, is here turned on its head as literally all the players on this roster are nicknamed in a paternal manner ...
For all the Pops and Papis and Dads out there, there has been just the one man nicknamed "Father" -- and what do you know, he was also a manager, so seems the logical one to take the reins of this squad as well (sorry, Cap) ... He'll also direct traffic during the game as the starting backstop, though you can make an argument for Schriver to start behind the plate ... Ironically enough, it's Schriver's versatility that costs him the starting role as he can play anywhere on the diamond and is therefore needed as a utilityman ...
Clarkson had two brothers and two cousins each play in The Show, but ironically, despite the nickname, never a son ... Fielder, of course, certainly earned the "Big" part of his nickname, though he is charitably listed at a playing weight of just 240 pounds at BaseballReference.com, and further, the "Daddy" part of the nickname is even more in focus now with his own son Prince putting up MVP-like numbers in Milwaukee that could surpass Cecil's own monster 1990 and '91 seasons, each of which earned him second place in the AL MVP voting ...
Lytle had two nicknames, the above-mentioned "Dad" and, appropriately enough, "Pop" -- too bad he didn't manage more than that .136 career average or he might be this team's captain ... Reuschel also had a brother make the big leagues, Paul, but never a son ... Ortiz just nudges out Fielder for the starting DH slot, although -- does beating out the father of a Prince mean Papi trumps a king? ... Yes, yes, "Papi" literally translates as "daddy," and yes, yes, it's not generally used in slang to mean one's actual father, but hey, YOU try completing this roster with out the Papis on board ...
The pitching staff only includes nine men because we find exactly nine options at pitcher ... Oh well, at least three of the four in our short rotation are durable late-19th- early-20th-century guys, and the fourth is a late-20th-century horse in Rick Reuschel ... Sure, that rotation is "all right," but it's also "all-righty," though at least we have a couple of lefties down in the bullpen should the need arise ...
These daddy-ish nicknames seem to lend themselves particularly to the guys who play 1B and DH, so even though this team keeps Anson, Martinez, Stargell, Ortiz and Fielder, more than half of the "final cuts" also played primarily at the defensive 3 ... Sure, the bench is longer than usual given the short pitching staff, but it's packed with guys who were primarily outfielders -- and given our unusual ALL-nickname rule, we can't even bring aboard utility infiedler Stan Papi, who hit .218 from 1974-81 ... Meek is cut despite a career batting average of .333 -- some Dads get no respect, I tell ya ...
And a Reader Challenge ... Walter "Mother" Watson made two winless starts for the 1887 Reds, while Al Mamaux won 20+ twice and 76 overall for the Pirates, Dodgers and Yankees in the early part of the 20th Century, though he would be a Stan Papi-equivalent for an all-Mother's Day team anyway. But there's not much else out there. Perhaps not surprisingly, there aren't any "Aunt" or "Sister" names in big league annals, either. So, looking back a month, how could we have built a legitimate all-mother's day team?