Sometimes, a Hall of Names story just happens.
Yesterday, Batter's Box's own Mike Green tagged a Colorado player with the nickname Manny "Habeas" Corpas, and pretty soon, with contributions from Mike, Alex Obal and Magpie, we had an entire Hall of Names roster of players with "Latin" names -- no, not an All-Latin-American team, that'd be too easy.
Instead, this is the team team that plays pro bono until a post mortem is necessary. They "May" scream mea culpa at some point, but it will be a bona fide effort. So let's move on and start by meeting the captain of this ad hoc squad, none other than the man actually named ...
Ed Hock -- that's right, a player who doesn't even need a parenthetical addition or fake nickname to stretch his own nom de plume (sorry, wrong language) into (roughly) a Latin phrase -- though he was just a .100-hitting cuppajoe OF with the 1920's Cardinals and Reds, he certainly belongs on this improvisational squad, as we meet ...
The Ad Hoc Latin Translations
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR: Robert Virgil Swift (56-43, 1965-66 DET)
C Tony "Sub" Pena* (.260, four Gold Gloves in 18 yeaers) [sub poena = "under penalty"]
1B Lee May(a) Culpa* (354 homers in 18 years) [mea culpa = "my fault"]
2B Jose "In" Vidro* (.300, 115 homers through 2006) [in vitro = "in glass"]
SS Jose Reyes "Ipsa Loquitur"* (.300, 64 SB in 2006) [Res Ipsa Loquitur = "it's the person not the thing that speaks for itself"]
3B Buddy "Ante" Bell"um"* (.279, 201 homers, six Gold Gloves) [ante bellum = "before the war"]
LF Wally Post "Mortem"* (210 HR in 15 years) [post mortem = "after death"]
CF Bobby "Veni Vidi" Veach"i" (.310 in 14 years) [veni, vidi, vici = "I came, I saw, I conquered"]
RF Rick "Sic Transit Gloria" Monday* (.261, 241 homers) [sic transit gloria mundi = "thus passes the glory of the world"]
C Andy "Anno" Dominique (.154, 2004 BOS, 2005 TOR) [anno domini = "in the year of our Lord"]
IF Jhonny Peralta "Capita" (41 homers through 2006) [per capita = "by the head"]
IF Fernando "In" Vina "Veritas"* (.282 in 12 years) [in vino veritas = "in wine, truth"]
OF Ed Hock (1-for-10, scored 7 runs, 1920 STL, '23-24 CIN) [ad hoc = "to this," improvised]
OF Rowland "Ex" Office (.259 in 11 years) [ex officio = "by right of office"]
UTIL Pete "Sub" Rose* (4256 hits) [sub rosa = "under the rose," in private)
RHSP Mark "A" Prior"i"* (42-29 through 2006) [a priori = "from the former"]
RHSP Andy "Nota" Benes* (155-139 in 14 years) [nota bene = "mark well" or "please note"]
RHSP Mark "Bona" Fidrych* (19-9 in '76; 29-19 career) [bona fide = "in good faith"]
RHSP Vicente "Versa" Padilla* (66-61 through 2006) [vice-versa = "with position turned"]
RHSP John Stuper "Mundi" (32-38 in four years) [stupor mundi = "the wonder of the world"]
LHRP Frank Carpin "Diem" (4-1, 4 save, 1965 PIT, '66 HOU) [carpe diem = "seize the day"]
RHRP Gus "Pro" Bono (0-2, 4 games, 1920 WSH) [pro bono = "for the good" or "for free"]
LHRP Hong-Chih "Quid Pro" Kuo (1-6 through 2006) [quid pro quo = "this for that"]
RHRP Mark "Persona Non" Grater (0-0, 3.38, '91 DET, '93 STL) (persona non grata = "person not pleasing")
LHRP Pug Cavet "Emptor" (11-9, 1911, '14-15 BOS) [caveat emptor = "let the buyer beware"]
LHRP Mike Magnante "Cum Laude" (26-32 in 12 years) [magna cum laude = "with great praise"]
More NOTA (Not Andy) BENE ... Yes, yes, the first syllable of Fidrych's name is pronounced differently, so ironically enough, he may not genuinely be a bona fide addition to the roster, but hey, he was Rookie of the Year! ... And yes, Pena's name isn't quite spelled correctly, but what are you going to do, summon me to court on that one? ... Talk about your post mortems ... Wally had 200 homers before he turned 32 and ended up with just 210 in his career; surprisingly, he never made an All-Star team ... Surely an argument can be made for Gus Bell rather than his son, to make this team, but we like having Buddy at the hot corner ... We originally had the ageless one, Julio "Lingua" Franca slated to play 2B, but it turns out that lingua franca isn't Latin after all ... a lingua franca is any language widely used beyond the population of its native speakers ...
Peralta seems likely to add that All-Star asterisk sooner or later, maybe even in 2007 ... Veach probably would have made several All-Star teams, but played before the All-Star era began in the 1930s ... Mike Green's initial suggestion for sub rosa was Mark DeRosa, and he'd be a fine backup infielder, certainly, but we'll give that same roster spot to a not-banned-from-the-Hall-of-Names Pete Rose -- there's something nice about having your utilityman's nickname be "Sub" and something wicked about having Rose's Latin name mean "in private" ... Although the entire starting rotation is right-handed, we managed to find four lefties for the bullpen, and also expanded that 'pen to hold six relievers in total by dropping the DH spot ... It didn't seem "right" to have a designated hitter, such a modern turn of lineup rule, on a team spun from the words of a dead language ...
Others not quite making the cut ... OF Ed Mensor "Rea" (.221, 1912-14) or 2B Johnny "Mens" Ray* (.290 in 10 years) ... mens rea means a "state of mind" or "intent" ... Wally Post Mortem's distant "relatives" might include Sam Post "Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" (7-for-25 with 1922 BRK} and the unfortunately-Latin-nicknamed OF Lew Post "Coitus" (1-for-12 with 1902 DET] ... post coitus means "after sex" while post hoc ergo propter hoc means "after this, therefore because of this," a logical fallacy ... Hm, actually, not sure which nickname of those last two is worse to have! ... Robinson "arma virumque" Cano received a nomination, as did Manny Acta "non verba," the former presumably to manage ... Then there was Altar "Ego" Greene and a stretch for Oddibe "alteram partem" McDowell and Mike "De" Jurewicz not to mention "In flagrante" Delino DeShields and Nemo "dat que non habet" Leibold ... Finally, it was noted that we could have a Hall of Fame owner, if not any of these Latinate players, as Negro League Pioneer Cum "Laude" Posey could "Cum" aboard, but who wants an owner consistently overshadowed by a back-of-the-bullpen lefty reliever? ...
Thanks to Magpie for indirectly pointing out that the manager of such a squad really HAS to be named "Virgil" ... Alas, there have been just two men in MLB history with that name anywhere in their moniker to pilot a team, and one of them lasted just three games with the '46 Pirates, so we are left with the nearly-as-short-termed skipper we have, Swift, who at least had a healthy career winning percentage of .566 ...
So, Bauxites, to coin a non-Latin phrase .... whatchathinkathat?