If you were paying attention last week, you knew this Hall of Names was coming ... completing All-Birthday teams for my nuclear family, after seeing teams for Mom (Feb. 17), Dad (Oct. 20), big sister Eileen (Aug. 27) and even myself (July 20), we finish up with the oldest sibling -- and frankly, the one who likes baseball the least in the family, though maybe she'll still appreciate this roster -- in big sister Mary.
So let's see if a decent team can be built from the 56 men who have played in the big leagues bearing a birth date of September 5.
Of the 56 MLB alumni with whom she shares this birthdate, two are in the Hall of Fame -- and though both played the same position, we'll adjust a little and that will make for a heck of a double-play combination for this team ... Unlike any of the rest of us in the family, big sis Mary shares an exact date of birth with an ex-major-leaguer in Jamie Nelson, a catcher who enjoyed a brief 96-at-bat cuppajoe with the 1983 Seattle Mariners.
And now, back to the Hall of Names, whereby we present this lineup, which will make its appearance just after Dolly Parton sings the national anthem and introduces a team that can only be known as ...
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR Karl Kuehl (43-85, 1976 MON)
Player/Coach: Nap Lajoie** (377-309, 1905-09 CLE)
C Rod Barajas (.238 since 1999)
1B Buddy Hassett (.292, 1936-42; out of MLB at age 30)
2B Bill Mazeroski** (.260, 128 homers, eight Gold Gloves, 1956-72)
SS Nap Lajoie** (.338, 1896-1916; mostly 2B, played 73 games at SS)
3B Jumbo Davis (.272, 1884-91)
LF Candy Maldonado (.254, 146 homers, 1981-95)
CF Chris B. Young (.233 since '06; future 30/30 guy?)
RF Ryan Spilborghs (.299 since 2005; .300+, 10+ homers in '07)
DH Andy Barkett (OF/1B, .304 with 2001 PIT)
C Merv Shea (.220, 1927-39, '44)
IF Max Bishop (.271, 1924-35)
IF Jimmy Knowles (Toronto native hit .241, parts of 1884-92)
OF John Christensen (.224, parts of 1984-88)
OF Rob Richie (.265, 1989 DET)
1B Wayne Belardi (.242, 28 homers/592 AB, parts of 1950-56)
RHSP Al Orth (204-189, 1895-1909)
LHSP Lefty Leifield (124-97, 1905-13, '18-20)
RHSP Ed Stein (72-45, 1892-94; 109-78 career)
LHSP Gene Bearden (20-7, 1948 CLE; 45-38 career)
RHSP Bill Carrick (63-89, 1898-1902; ERA+ 89)
CL-RH Jeff Brantley* (43-46, 172 saves, 1988-2001)
LHRP Randy Choate (5-7 since 2000)
RHRP Calvin Maduro (10-19, 1996-2002)
LHRP Tim Birtsas (14-14, parts of 1985-90)
RH-LONG Ernie White (30-21, six saves, 1940-48; 17-7 in '41)
WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVIN' ... The final cuts from this team included RHSP Jimmy Haynes (63-89, 1995-2004; ERA+ 84) who was nosed out of the fifth starter's role by Carrick, who sported exactly the same career W-L record, but also a slightly better career ERA+ ... RHSP Dave Morehead (40-64, 1963-70) was also a late cut ...
The lefty Bearden looked like a real find for the '48 Indians, winning 20 and leading the AL in ERA for the World Champs, but he was already 27 and never won more than eight in a single season after that, making his final MLB appearance on his 33rd birthday in 1953 ... Birtsas was a useful reliever for the 1990 World Champion Reds, in back of "The Nasty Boys" of Charlton, Dibble and Myers, but is probably best known for being part of two trades, one from New York to Oakland for Rickey Henderson and the other from Oakland to the Reds for Dave Parker. He was out of the majors less than a month after turning 30 in 1990 ...
There have actually been two players in big league annals "named" Mary -- okay, one named "Maryland" and the other nicknamed "Mary" (what's that all about, anyway?) -- but they were born in June and November, respectively, so don't get to play on Big Sis Mary's birthday squad ...
At first glance, it looks like Dad's team, with Mantle, Marichal, Judy Johnson, Juan Gonzalez and Keith Hernandez, is the class of the "family tree" league ... Mom's best players are Wally Pipp and Ike Boone, so she might be able to stay with my guys (Heinie Manush and Tony Oliva are best of class) and Eileen's (led by Jim Thome and Buddy Bell) but this Mary, Mary (Quite Contrary) squad, especially with still-developing active players like Young and Spilborghs in the starting lineup, is only going to get better and probably the #2 team in the family.
Now if she only, you know, actually liked baseball ...