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Just three men in major league baseball history have gone by the initials "J.R." as their "first name." Just one of those, former Houston ace J.R. Richard was truly a star of Ewing Oil magnitude, so it's only appropriate that he played on a Texas-based ballclub. The others were J.R. House, a career .105-hitting catcher with the 2003-04 Pirates and the '06 Astros and J.R. Phillips, a .188 career hitter from 1993-99 with the Giants, Phillies, Rockies, and yes, the Astros.

So all three men named "J.R." played in Houston, where presumably plenty of Astrodome and Minute Maid photographers -- maybe even our own Named For Hank -- photographed them at work, leading to the obvious question ...

... (wait for it) ...

.... Who shot J.R.?

Okay, enough of that. Actually, if you enter a query for "J R" into the greatness of, you'll get hundreds of returns. But according to our extremely strict, if occasionally entirely random, Hall of Names rules, most of these players will not be considered eligible for this Hall of Names squad, which will consist entirely of players with a first (given) name initial "J" and a last (family) name initial "R" -- so James Rodney Richard is still elgible, though House and Phillips are not.

Also not eligible are players with the given first and middle (or given middle and last family) names initials J.R. -- and that eliminates quality candidates like James Reynold Lonborg, Jonathan R. Papelbon, Jorge Rafael Posada, and from the other side, Francisco Jose Rodriguez and Victor John Angelo Raschi; that's the start of a heck of a pitching staff (and an All-Star catcher) we just eliminated!

Annd ... also not eligible are those players who had the given first/last name initials "J.R." but who chose to go by some other name, like James Edward "Pete" Runnels (who for the same reason didn't make our PR squad either) and even a fella who was a Texas Ranger during the time J.R. Ewing ruled Dallas, John Milton "Mickey" Rivers. Others who didn't make the cut for these reasons include former Expo great Jean Claude Raymond, the exquisitely nicknamed Leon Joseph "Bip" Roberts and Jerry Remy, whose given first name was "Gerald."

We must also eliminate a Hall of Fame Oriole left side of the infield, as our BBRef search included among its returns both Cal Ripken Jr. and Brooks Robinson Jr. -- the "J" in "J R" there is from "Junior," presumably. So there is just one Hall of Famer on the actual roster, but he is arguably the most important Hall of Famer in the history of the Great Game, and, like J.R. Richard, has both the middle and last name initial to make him a "J.R." -- Jack Roosevelt Robinson was primarily a 2B and played more at 3B than across the diamond, but he actually debuted as a 1B and that's where he plays for (inspiration for the name from the great Bill Simmons) ...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Player/Manager Jerry Royster (53-94, 2002 MIL)
Coach Jim F. Rogers (17-24, 1897 Louisville Colonels)

C Johnny Romano* (.255, 129 homers, 1958-67)
1B Jackie Robinson** (.311, 1947-56, 1949 NL MVP)
2B Johnny Ray* (.290, 1981-90)
SS Jose B. Reyes* (.290, 51 triples, midway through 2007)
3B Joe Randa (.284, 123 homers, 1995-2006)
LF Joe Rudi* (.264, 179 homers, 1967-82)
CF Juan Rivera (.310/23/85 with 2006 LAA)
RF Jim Rivera (.256, 83 homers, 1952-61)
DH Jim Rice* (.298, 382 homers, 1974-89; '78 AL MVP)

C Johnny Roseboro* (.249, 104 homers, 1959-70)
IF Jimmy Rollins* (.276, 105 homers, 228 SB midway through 2007)
IF/UTIL Jeff Reboulet (.240, 1992-2003; all but C)
UTIL Jerry Royster (.249, 1973-88; all but P, C)
UTIL Jack Rowe (SS/C/OF/3B; .286, 1879-90)
OF/IF/LHRP Jimmy Ryan (.306, 118 HR, 418 SB, 1885-1903; 6-1, 2 saves)

RHSP J.R. Richard* (107-71, 1971-80)
LHSP Jerry Reuss* (220-191, 1969-90)
RHSP Jose Rijo* (116-91, 1984-2002)
LHSP Jose Rosado* (37-45, 1996-2000; two-time All-Star)
RHSP Jack Russell* (85-141, 1926-40, just two seasons .500+)

CL-RH Jeff Reardon* (367 saves, 1979-94)
RH-SET Jeff Russell* (186 saves, 1983-96)
LH-SET John Rocker (88 saves, 1998-2003)
RHRP Jeff D. Robinson (46-57, 39 saves, 1984-92)
RHRP Jim Ray (43-30, 25 saves, 1965-74)

Among those also considered, but not surviving final cuts:
  • RHSP Jeff M. Robinson (47-40, 1987-92)
  • RHRP Jon Rauch (6'11"; 19-13, 5 saves, midway through 2007)
  • RHRP Jerry Reed (20-19, 18 saves, 1981-90)
  • C Jeff Reed (.250, 1984-2000 -- 17 seasons; 300+ AB just once)
  • IF Jody Reed (.270, 1987-97)
  • IF Johnny Rawlings (.250, 1914-26)
  • OF Julio Ramirez (16-for-96, .167, parts of 1999-2005)
  • UTIL John "Jack" Ryan (.217, 1889-1903; 1912-13; all but P, C)
Anyone missing this side of Southfork?
Who Shot J.R.? | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, August 13 2007 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#172963) #
Jackie and Rocker on the same club would make for interesting clubhouse discussions about tolerance.
Mick Doherty - Monday, August 13 2007 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#172967) #

I hadn't thought of that! Good point. I think if we have to cut someone to save clubhouse chemistry, we'll keep the HOF cornerman and release the lefty setup guy, but hoepfully it won't come to that.

Actually, the hardest call for me on this team was, who starts behind the plate? My baseball brain tells me Roseboro was "better" but Romano's stats were pretty clearly superior ... hate to make a choice based on that, but I never saw either one actually play.

Mike Green - Monday, August 13 2007 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#172968) #
I didn't see Roseboro until he was past his prime, but I suspect that your instincts are right, Mick.  During his prime years 61-66, Roseboro was a fine defensive catcher and cut off the running game well, and won a couple of Gold Gloves there.  Romano had a better bat, but didn't throw as well.

I didn't realize it, but the 64 Indians pitching staff included 21 year old Tommy John and Sam McDowell, 23 year old Luis Tiant and a couple of other good pitchers (Mudcat Grant and Sonny Siebert).  Romano was the catcher, but none of them really thrived until they were with other teams, or until Romano was gone..  Grant was traded in mid-season 64.  Man, the Indians had poor management...

Who Shot J.R.? | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.