Coming Down the Runway ...
Saturday, July 07 2007 @ 11:11 PM EDT
Contributed by: Mick Doherty
If I still worked for American Airlines -- and I haven't for more than
two years -- I probably would have noticed before late evening that
today's date is a plane ... that's right, today is 7/7/7.
And such a unique date cries out for a Hall of Names team, made exclusively of players born on July 7 ...
There have been 50 such men -- well, actually 49, plus
one who managed in the bigs but never played there. A half dozen or so
made MLB All-Star teams, and two are in the Hall of Fame, 2B Billy
Herman and RHSP Satchel Paige. The team is full of interesting
characters, and even as we pare our numbers in half to get to a regular
25-man roster, we will find ...
But for all that, let's all jump on board, buckle in and meet ...
- .., a team filled with a whole gaggle of "Hall of Pretty Good"
closers (or at least potential closers) and that doesn't even include
Paige, who fronts the rotation.
- ... the brother of another closer you will have heard of, the
All-Time saves Leader, though older brother had a better track record
managing than playing -- and even that was just sort of middling.
- ... a player who scored the winning run in one of the best World Series ever played, Dan Gladden.
- ... author of one of the sport's few perfect games, Len Barker.
- ... the one-time franchise home run leader of the Chicago White
Sox, Bill Melton. [Note: though Melton was primarily a 3B, to punch up
the offense a little, we will move him across the diamond, where he did
play some in the big leagues, to 1B]
- ... a man whose name, in recent years, became a verb meaning "wild throw from second base," in Chuck Knoblauch.
- ... an outfield that will not scare opposing pitchers all that much -- no Barfield/Moseby/Bell here!
- An incredible dearth of left-handed pitchers, not the first time this has afflicted a Hall of Names squad.
The 7-for-7s (Here on 7/7/7)
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR Terry Bevington (222-214, 1995-97 CHW)
Player/Coach Glenn Hoffman (47-41, 1998 LAD)
C John Buck (.242, 35 homers through '06; .245/15/29 in '07 so far)
1B Bill Melton* (more 3B; 160 homers, 1968-77)
2B Billy Herman** (10-time ALl-Star, .304 parts of 1931-47)
SS Glenn Hoffman (.242, 1980-89)
3B George Moriarty (.251, 248 SB, 1903-16)
LF Dan Gladden (.270, 222 SB, 1983-93)
CF Bob Gallagher (.220, 1972-75)
RF Mel Clark (.277, parts of 1951-57)
DH Chuck Knoblauch* (.289, 1991-2002)
C Hal Keller (.204, parts of 1949-52)
UTIL Chuck Goggin (IF/OF/C, .293, 1972-74)
2B/IF Tim Teufel (.254, 1983-93)
SS/IF Jerry Dybzinski (.234, 1980-85)
OF Red Nonnenkamp (.262, 1933, '38-40)
OF Ed Sanicki (.294, 1949, '51 PHI)
RHSP Satchel Paige** (28-31 MLB mark doesn't do justice)
RHSP Dave Burba (115-87, 1990-2004)
RHSP Len Barker* (74-76, 1976-97)
RHSP George Suggs (99-91, 1908-15; Fed League washout at 32)
LHSP Oscar Streit (1-7, 1899, 1902)
RHRP Jeff Shaw* (203 saves, 1990-2001)
RHRP Jose Jimenez (110 saves, 1998-2004)
RHRP Matt Mantei (93 saves, 1995-2005)
RHRP George Spencer (16-10, 9 saves, parts of 1950-60)
LHRP Johnny Van Cuyk (0-0, 5.23 in 7 games, 1947-49 BRK)
BUMPED AND LEFT WAITING AT THE AIRPORT
(Among others) ...
SS/IF Tim Nordbrook (.178, 1974-79)
3B/1B Mike Busch (.220, 1995-96 LAD)
IF/OF Andy Green (.199 with ARI since '05; mostly 2B/3B)
OF Bert "Jesse" James (6-for-21 with 1909 STL)
OF Dutch Wetzel (.243, 1920-21 SLB)
OF Ernie Sulik (.287/6/36 with 1936 PHI)
RHSP Brandon McCarthy (7-9 coming into 2007)
RHS/RP John Romonosky (3-4, 1953, '58-59)
RHS/RP Hugh East (2-6, 1941-43 NYG)
RHRP Jon Huber (2-1 with 2006 SEA)
RHRP Tommy Moore (2-4, parts of 1972-77)
RHRP Rick Kester (0-0, 21 games, 1968-70 ATL)
RHRP Bill Kunkel (Jeff's father, 6-6, 1961-63)
So, Bauxites, would you see a smooth flight for this team? Or a bumpy liftoff right through a rough landing?