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Initially Speaking, That Is

More than two years ago, we started a special "series" of Hall of Names features that sought to answer the apparently-not-so-burning question, "who are the best double-initial players for each of the ... letters of the English alphabet?" We kicked off in August of '05 by looking at teams of players with the initials AA, BB and CC. Then things ... slowed down a bit.

The next month, we looked at DD through FF; then it wasn't until July of 2006 that we looked at GG/HH/JJ and KK through MM, not to mention a conglomerate team for NN/OO/UU/VV/YY/ZZ. Finally, in August of '06, not quite a year after the "series" launched, we looked at the "SS All-Stars."

Alas, all that work, and we only covered about 20-some of the letters in our alphabet. Even given the fact that no players have ever been in a major league game bearing the initials II or XX, we are still left shy of teams for four standard-bearers ... PP, RR, TT and the surprisingly surplus-providing WW. Let's finish this up before we hit the two-year anniversary of this supposed series and nail down double-initial teams for those four letters, then.

To start with, talk about your nice baseball numbers -- the PP roster of players throughout MLB history is exactly 25 players (plus one guy who managed but never played in the big leagues) long, or if things work out right, precisely the number we need for a full roster of players. Let's see.

** indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star

MGR Pat Powers (134-143, 1890 Rochester Broncos, 1892 NYG)

C Paul Phillips (.264, 2004-05 KCR)
1B Pat Putnam (.255, 63 homers, 1977-84)
2B Paul Popovich (.233, 1964-75, also SS, 3B)
SS William Jennings Bryan "Pat" Patterson (.400 career, 14-for-35 for 1921 NYG)
3B Joseph "Pepper" Peploski (2-for-4 for 1913 DET)
LF Everett "Pid" Purdy (.293, 1926-29 CIN)
CF Clarence "Pat" Parker (1-for-6 for 1915 SLB)
RF Phil Plantier (.243, 91 homers in 8 years; 34/100 in 1993)
DH Placido Polanco (.300 through 2005; UTIL - all but P,C)

2B Pat Pettee (1-for-5 for 1891 LOU)
3B Preston "Maury" Pierce (1-for-7 for 1884 WASH)
SS/3B/2B/OF Clarke "Pinky" Pittenger (.263, parts of 1921-29)
OF/C Paul Powell (.167, '71 Min, '73, '75 LAD)
C/OF Phil Powers (.180, 1878-85)

RHSP Pascual Perez* (67-68, 1980-91)
RHSP William "Pol" Perritt (92-78, 1912-21)
RHSP Pat Pacillo (4-3, 1987-88 CIN)
RHSP Paul Penson (1-1, 1954 PHI)
RHSP George "Pat" Paige (1-0, 1911 CLE)

RHRP Phil Paine (10-1, 1951-58)
LHRP Phil Page (3-3, 1928-30, '34)
RHSP John "Pretzel" Pezzullo (3-5, 1935-36 PHI)
LHRP William "Pat" Perry (12-10, 1985-90)
RHRP Emmett "Parson" Perryman (2-4, 1915 SLB)
RHRP Paul Pettit (1-2, 1951, '53 PIT)

Okay, the 25 PP-initialed players ALMOST make a perfect traditional Hall of Names roster -- with one tweak, as we have an extra relief pitcher, so the bullpen jumps from five to six members and run the bench short one player, five instead of six ... That's okay,as there is no obvious "closer" in the traditional sense anyway, so expanding the bullpen is probably a good plan ... and the short bench is quite versatile, as both backup catchers can play the outfield and the starting DH has spent time on MLB defensive units everywhere but in the battery ... We had to stretch the rules a little bit to include nicknames in order to fill out a complete starting lineup, as the entire left side of the infield and two-thirds of the starting OF are not bearers of given first names starting with "P" ... The same is true of half the bullpen and two-fifths of the rotation, not to mention our most versatile bench player ... Ah well, you know what they say -- All's fair in War and P's ...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Player/MGR Richard "Buck" Rodgers (784-774, one flag, 1980-94)
Player/Coach: Robert "Red" Rolfe (278-256, 1949-52 DET)

C Richard "Buck" Rodgers (.232, 1961-69 Angels)
1B Rich Reese (.253, 1964-73)
2B Robert "Bobby" Richardson* (.266, seven ASG, five Gold Gloves, 1955-66)
SS Rafael Ramirez* (.261. 1980-92)
3B Robert "Red" Rolfe* (.289, 1931-42)
LF Raymond "Rip" Radcliff* (.311, 1934-43)
CF Eldon "Rip" Repulski* (.269, 106 homers, nine years)
RF Robert James "R.J." Reynolds (.267, 1983-90)
DH Rich Rollins* (Mostly 3B; .269, 1961-70)

C Richard "Dick" Rand (.240, 1953, '55, '57)
UTIL Randy Ready (.259, 1983-95)
UTIL Rich Renteria (.237, 1986-88, '93-94)
UTIL Robert "Bob" Randall (.257, 1976-80 MIN)
OF Frederic "Rick" Reichardt (.261 in 997 games, 1966-74)
OF Ryan Radmanovich (.217, 1998 SEA)

RHSP Robin Roberts** (286-245)
RHSP Charles "Red" Ruffing** (273-225)
RHSP Rick Reuschel* (214-191, 1972-91)
RHSP Rick Rhoden* (151-125, 1974-89)
RHSP Richard "Dick" Ruthven* (123-127)

CL-RH Richard "Dick" Radatz* (122 saves)
RHRP Ron Reed* (146-140, 103 saves, 1966-84)
LHRP Ricardo Rincon (21-24, 21 saves through 2005)
RHRP Rafael A. "Al" Reyes (19-10, 6 saves, 1995-2005)
LHRP Royce Ring (1-2, 3.50 midway through 2007)

Even though we have numerous additional options with the RR names, we set the precedent with the PP squad, so for instance, we will allow our OF to feature no less than two guys nicknamed "Rip" even though just one of them actually was born a double-R ... Two Hall of Famers from the rotation, which rung up more than 1000 career wins combined and doesn't even have room for All-Stars like Rick Reed (93-76), Richard Shane Reynolds (114-96) and Robert "Bob" Rush (127-152) ... All three of them would front the rotation of any of the other double-initial teams listed on this page ... Sorry, Tim "Rock" Raines, that nickname wasn't common enough to warrant you a space in the starting OF ... It's an All-Righty Rotation, which seems appropriate for an All-RR team ...

** indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star

MGR Tom Trebelhorn (471-461, 7 years)

C Tom Turner (.237, 1940-44 CHW, SLB)
1B Tommy Tucker (.290, 1887-99)
2B Tim Teufel (.254, 1983-93)
SS Troy Tulowitzki (.275 through mid-2007; NL's second-youngest player '06)
3B Tony Taylor* (mostly 2B; .261, 2007 hits in 19 years)
LF Tony Torcato (.298 through 2006)
CF Tom Tresh* (.245, 153 homers, 1961-69)
RF Thomas Bubba Trammell(.261, 82 homers in 7 years)

C Tom Tischinski (.181, 1969-71 MIN)
IF Terry Turner (.253, 256 SB, 1901-19)
IF Tommy Thevenow (.247, 1924-38)
OF Ted Tappe (.413 OBP, '55 CHC; .259 in three years, 58 AB)
OF Tony Tarasco (.240, 1993-2002)
OF/1B/DH Tim Tolman (.168, 1981-87 HOU, DET)

RHSP Terry Taylor (0-1, 5 starts, 1988 SEA)
LHSP Tom Tuckey (3-3, 1908 BSN, 0-9 in '09)
RHSP Ty Taubenheim (1-5 in 2006)
RHSP Thomas "Tink" Turner (lost only start with 1915 PHA)
RHSP Tom Thomas (3-3, 1894 CLV, 1899-1900 STL)

CL-RH Tom Timmerman (35-35, 35 saves, 27 saves for 1970 DET)
LHRP Taylor Tankersley (6-2, 3 saves, midway through 2007)
RHRP Tom Tellmann (18-7, 13 saves, 1979-85)
LHRP Tom Thobe (0-1, 1995-96 ATL)
RHRP T.J. Tucker (13-9, 4 saves 2000-05 MON/WSN)

Among the last cuts from this team were relievers Tom Thompson, Thad Tillotson, Tommy Toms and Ted H. Turner (no, not the Braves' owner), all righties, as well as 3B Tommy Taylor, 3B Terry Tiffee, OF Tommy Tatum, OF Thad "Red" Treadway and PH Tom Tennant, who never appeared in the MLB field defensively ...

** indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star

Player/Manager: William "Harry" Wright** (1225-885, six titles, 1871-93)
Player/Coach: Wes Westrum (260-366, 1965-67, '74-75)
Player/Coach: Bill Watkins (452-444, one title, 1884-99)
Player/Coach: Warren White (9-38, 1874 Baltimore Canaries)
Player/Coach: Will White (44-27, 1884 Cincinnati Red Stockings)
Player/Coach: William "Jimmy" Wolf (14-51, 1889 Louisville Colonels)

C Wes Westrum* (.217, 1947-57)
1B Bill De. White* (.286, 202 homers 1956-69)
2B William "Woody" Woodward (.236, 1963-71; more at SS)
SS Willie Wells** (Negro League Hall of Famer)
3B Billy Werber (.271, 78 homers, 1930-42; also IF/OF)
LF Wally Westlake* (.272, 1947-56)
CF Willie Wilson* (.285, 668 steals, 19 years)
RF William "Mookie" Wilson (.274, 327 SB 1980-91)
DH Walt Wilmot (.276, 381 SB, 1888-98)

C Bill Warren (.245, 1914-15 Fed League)
SS Walt Weiss* (.258, 1988-2000)
IF/OF Warren "Bobby" Wheelock (.235, 1887, '90-91)
IF/OF/P Bill Di. White (.241, 1884-88; 1 IP, 1 ER)
OF/SS/IF Lawton "Whitey" Witt (.287, 1916-26)
OF William "Harry" Wright** (.272, 1871-77)

RHSP William "Bucky" Walters* (198-160, 1931-48, '50)
RHSP Will White (229-166, three-time 40-game winner, 1877-86)
LHSP Bill Walker* (97-77, 1927-36)
RHSP John Whitlow "Whit" Wyatt* (106-95, 1929-45)
LHSP Wilbur Wood (164-156, 1961-78)

CL-LH Billy Wagner* (324 saves through 2006)
RHRP Wilbur "Biggs" Wehde (0-1, 1930-31 CHW)
LHRP William "Roy" Weir (6-4, 1936-39 BSN)
LHRP Bill Werle (29-39, 15 saves, 1949-54 PIT, BOS)
RHRP Bill H. Wilson (9-15, 17 saves, 1969-73)

Among the players not making the cut were former Toronto RHSP G. Woody Williams (128-112 midway through 2007) and (no relation, presumably) 2B Woody W. Williams, a .250 hitter in 1938 and '43-45 -- and one of baseball's original WWWs ... Other names you may recognize include RHSP Bill Wegman (81-90 career) and RHRP Wally Whitehurst (20-37) ... Another Woody not to make the squad was OF/P Woody Wheaton, who did double-duty during the real WWII, with a 3.55 ERA and a .191 BA from 1943-44 ... But the best nickname left off the final roster belonged to OF Walt "No-Neck" Williams, who hit .270 from 1964-75, mostly with CHW ... HOF LF Billy Williams would be this team's best player, but his given first name is "Billy" rather than "William," so he's no WW ...

So Bauxites, do any of these teams seem like legitimate double trouble?

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (Part: The Last) | 1 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Sunday, July 22 2007 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#171898) #
Westlake was before my time, but I would guess that he had a better arm than Mookie Wilson.  You might want to switch the outfield positions for them. Willie and Mookie would cover a lot of ground though...
Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (Part: The Last) | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.