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A friend of mine at work just had a baby, and several others working on the same floor are due shortly, so a propos of nothing, I thought I'd see what the most popular baby names in the U.S.A. are right now. That, of course, spurred a Hall of Names project ...

... but I quickly found out that: ... which leads us to the current (actually, the year 2006's) fourth most-popular given boys' name, Ryan. Now there's a name that's just ripe with baseball lore! And it's also one of those names that doubles securely as both a popular given/first name AND as a fairly common family/last name, so we'll see if we can't actually build two separate, competing Hall of Names squads here, then see which one is, you know, better.

Sure, sure, check back in 2035 or so and we'll have a squadron of Aidens and Ethans populating new Hall of Names squads, but for right now, we're riding, you guessed it ...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
First/Given Name
MGR None yet!

C Ryan Doumit (.252 since '05)
1B Ryan Howard* (58 HR in '06)
2B Ryan Raburn (.270, '04, '07 DET)
SS Ryan Theriot (CHC, 279 since '05)
3B Ryan J. Braun (2007 AL ROY?)
LF Ryan Klesko* (272 HR through '06)
CF Ryan Thompson (.243, 1992-2002)
RF Ryan Ludwick (.245 since '02)
DH Ryan Garko (1B; 20+ HR, '07 CLE)

C Ryan Hanigan (1-for-5, '07 CIN)
C Ryan Budde (3-for-18, '07 LAA)
IF Ryan Zimmerman (3B; .282 since '05)
OF Ryan Spilborghs (.296 since '05)
OF Ryan Church (.269 since '04)
UTIL Ryan Freel (.270 since 2001)

RHSP Ryan Drese (34-39, 2001-06)
RHSP Ryan Jensen (17-12, 2001-05)
RHSP Ryan Franklin (45-61 through '07)
RHSP Ryan Glynn (9-20, 1999-2005)
RHSP Ryan Rupe (24-38, 1999-2003)

CL-RH Ryan Dempster* (57 SV, 2005-06)
RH-SET Ryan Kohlmeier (19 saves, 2000-01)
LH-SET Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-0, '07 SEA))
LHRP Ryan O'Malley (1-1, '06 CHC)
RHRP Ryan Madson (28-19, 4 saves through '07)
Last/Family Name
MGR Connie Ryan (11-22)

C Michael J. Ryan (.193, 1964-74)
1B Cyclone Ryan (.219 as 1B; 0-1, 1887, 1891)
2B Connie Ryan* (Player/MGR, .248, 1942-54)
SS John "Blondy" Ryan (.239, parts of 1930-38)
3B Brendan Ryan (.300+ as 2007 STL rookie)
LF Buddy Ryan (.282, 1912-13 CLE)
CF Jimmy Ryan (.305, 418 SB, 1885-1903; 6-1 as LHRP)
RF Rob Ryan (.234, 1999-2001 ARI, OAK)

C/UTIL Jack B. Ryan (.217, 1889-1903, '12-13)
3B J. Mike Ryan (0-for-2, 1895 STL)
OF Michael S. Ryan (.265, 2002-05)
OF John J. Ryan (.207, 1873-77, 1-5 as S/RP)
OF John M. Ryan (.147, three teams, 1884)
OF Jack F. Ryan (0-for-3, 1929 BOS)

RHSP Nolan Ryan** (324-292, 5714 K)
RHSP John A. Ryan (3-2, 1884 Baltimore Monumentals)
RHSP Jason Ryan (1-5, 1999-2000 MIN)
RHSP Jack "Gulfport" Ryan (5-5, parts of 1908-11)
5SP John J. Ryan (see Bench/OF above)

CL-LH B.J. Ryan* (74 SV, 2005-06)
RH-SET Ken Ryan (14-16, 30 saves, 1992-99)
RHRP Rosy Ryan (52-47, 19 saves, 1919-33)
LHRP Jimmy Ryan (see CF, above)
RHRP Cyclone Ryan (see 1B, above)

Notes: It's All Over But the Ryan ... The looming 7'1" frame of Arizona RHRP Ryan Doherty is spending a third season in A-ball in 2007 and has not yet, alas, become the third Doherty to crack a major league roster ... We also eliminated the soundalikes such as "Ryne" though that took a Hall of Fame infielder and an All-Star reliever (Sandberg and Duren) out of the running ... With Sandberg out, the only Ryan currently enshrined in Baseball's Hall of Fame is, of course, The Express, the last-named Lynn Nolan Ryan, who struck out a few guys in his career ...

Not making the cut for consideration were a numher of middle-named Ryans, including Bradley Ryan Fullmer, Jeremy Ryan Hermida, Austin Ryan Kearns, Noah Ryan Lowry, Aaron Ryan Rowand, Charles Anthony Ryan Silvera, Christopher Ryan Young (the SDP pitcher, not the ARI OF) and a number of others ... Hey, you could begin to draw up a pretty nice starting lineup just with those guys! ...

If I'm counting right, 37 of the 51 first-named Ryans are still active in the major leagues (while several others are still hanging around in the minors) .-- in fact, no first-named Ryan ever appeared in the big leagues before 1975, when Hawaii-born Japanese-American Ryan Kurosaki pitched 13 innings (with a 7.62 ERA) for the Cardinals ... Ryan Hancock is probably better-known as a former BYU quarterback ...

The last-named Ryans desperately need help offensively (okay, and with pitching too) so it's no help that we're essentially left with a vacant designated hitter slot ... Oh well, if Nolan pitches as often as it looks like he might have to, he can just drag that career .118 batting average and career OPS+ of -18 to the plate for himself ... With no less than three position players doubling as bullpen/spot start guys, the last-named Ryans actually have only 22 men on the roster ...

Among the first-named Ryans not making the roster who you may recognize are RHP Ryan Hancock, 1B/OF Ryan McGuire, 3B Ryan Minor, RHP Ryan Speier, RHP Ryan Wagner, LHP Ryan Feierabend, OF Ryan Langerhans and RHP Ryan Bowen ...

Catching is a real weak spot for the first-named Ryans, so we'll carry three to cover ourselves (though Doumit, Hanigan and Budde are hardly Bench, Munson and Fisk) ... The only Ryan backstop to not make the roster, it looks like, is Ryan Jorgenseon (.158 since '05) ...

So the last-named Ryans have the only Hall of Famer ... how much is that worth over a 162-game season (or even a seven-game series)? Which of these teams is better and who wins how many?
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Original Ryan - Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#174631) #
At this point I would like to remind everyone that our faithful Blue Jays were the last team in the major leagues to employ a player with Ryan as either his first or last name.  Ryan Freel was the first one for the Jays, making his debut one day after Ryan Jackson appeared for the Tigers, which ended Detroit's abominable streak of No-Ryans.
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