Not sure what got me thinking about Disney's irascible rodents, but
Chip and Dale were awfully persistent in getting what they wanted.
Presumably, if they'd wanted World Series rings, they would have made a
fine double-play combination.
But to be honest, there haven't been all that many Chips on the big league table, and a surprisingly low number of Dales as well. Can we chipmunk-ey around enough to to put together a legitimate Hall of Names team? Let's see ...
(After you! No, I insist, after you ...)
A few ground rules:
First, when we search the greatness of BaseballReference.com for big leaguers named "Chip," we do get 11 returns but two are for family names (Bob Chipman, Walt Chipple) and just four are players actually nicknamed "Chip." That's right, nicknamed ... Since "Chip" is by definition a nickname, in defiance of long-standing HoN tradition, that will be allowed -- in fact, it will ba allowed in all of its forms, including Chippy, Mr. Chips and (wait for it) Chipper, so we will have a legitimate All-Star (and probable future Hall of Famer) in the lineup from the Chip side of the equation.
Now, when we search that same site for big leaguers named "Dale," we get 62 returns, including 11 All-Stars -- ah, but of those 11, only one actually had the given first name Dale -- but at least it's another legitimate All-Star (and another Brave, to boot) in Dale Murphy.
Of the other 10, Leavitt "Bud" Daley does not qualify, nor do middle-named All-Stars like Kenneth Dale Holtzman, Colbert Dale "Toby" Harrah, Ronald Dale Kittle, Lyndall Dale McDaniel, William Dale Goodman and Dennis Dale McLain.
However, we will allow room for the three men, including two All-Stars (Loren Dale Mitchell and Richard Dale Long), who had the given middle name "Dale," but at least had the good chipmunk sense to go by that moniker.
On the other hand, we will not allow inclusion of players who had the given first name Dale but didn't go by it; this is much less damaging than you might think, as we are cost only cuppajoe part-timers like Dale Le Beau "Beau" Allred and Dale Patrick "Pat" Kelly.
One more note before we present the putative roster for this team ... there really hasn't been a big league catcher (that I can find, anyway) with either of those names -- please point out alternatives if you see them! -- so we'll plant our best player, Murphy, back behind the plate where he started his career (85 games), and he will be backed up by Long, who spent two games behind the plate as one of the game's historical oddities, a left-handed catcher. If we opened up the rules even further -- and we won't -- then we might start former Jay part-timer Mark Dalesandro (who mostly caught and played 3B for parts of 1994-2001, including 1998-99 with TOR).
With all that said, it's time to meet ...
The Chip & Dale Dancers
** indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star
C Dale Murphy* (398 homers, five Gold Gloves, 18 years)
1B Dale Alexander (.331 career; 272 RBI, first two seasons, '29-30 DET; 247 after that)
2B Chip Coulter (.316, 6-for-19 with 1969 STL)
SS Dale Sveum (.236 over 12 years; did all but P, C)
3B Dale Berra (.236, 1977-87; Yogi's kid)
LF Chip Ambres (.241, 2005 KCR)
CF Loren Dale Mitchell* (.312, 1946-56)
RF Chipper Jones* (.304, 357 homers through 2006)
C/1B Richard Dale Long* (.267, 132 homers in 10 years)
1B Dale Coogan (.240, 1950 PIT)
2B/UTIL Chip Hale (.277, parts of 1989-97, mostly DH, played all but P, C)
2B/SS Johnny "Mr. Chips" Hudson (.242, parts of 1936-45)
UTIL Chippy McGarr (.268, 1884-96; caught one game in 1896)
RHSP Dale Gear (4-13; .239 BA, 1896-97 CLV, 1901 WAS)
RHSP Dale Williams (1-8 for 9-56 1876 Cincinnati Reds)
RHP Chip Lang (1-3, 1975-76 MON)
RHP Dale Willis (0-2, 1963 KCA)
RHP Dale Alderson (0-1, 6.46, 1943-44 CHC)
CL-RH Dale Murray (53-50, 60 saves in 12 years; key to McGriff trade for TOR)
RH-SET Dale Mohorcic (16-21, 33 saves, 1986-90)
LH-SET Dale Polley (1-3, 1996 NYY)
LHRP Dale Roberts (0-0, 2 IP, 1967 NYY)
RHRP Chippy Gaw (1-1, 1920 CHC)
RHRP Chip Bennett (0-1, 1927-28 BOS)
NOTES FROM THE TREEHOUSE ... Yes, the pitching staff is painfully thin; the five-man starting rotation combining for a career mark of 6-27 and the staff "ace" owning all of four career wins, and Gear actually spent more time in the OF (41 games) in the big leagues than he did on the mound (27 games) ... The back three-fifths of that rotation consists of guys who were primarily relievers, too, as Alderson and Lang started just three career games each and Willis started, uh, zero ... Oh well, the back end of the bullpen is nice, with Mohorcic and Polley setting up Murray -- not a Hall of Fame crew, and not even a single All-Star appearance among them, but a nice, solid workmanlike group nonetheless ...
Among those not deemed eligible, Holtzman, McClain and Bud Daley combined for 365 career wins, while McDaniel had 172 saves all by hissownself ... The roster as it is currently set has just 24 men on it, including no DH and a short bench, so there is room to add someone ... Preferably, that addition is to the rotation, so we can bump Willis back into the bullpen where he belongs, or at least another reliever as the current six seem likely to be overworked given the "strength" of the rotation ...
Nobody named Chip or Dale has ever managed in the big leagues, the closest being Dallas Green, who would need to buy a vowel and drop an "L" -- of course, what skipper wouldn't be willing to subtract an L from his record? ...