Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
With the surprising Colorado Rockies looking to take a 3-0 advantage in the NLCS today, I found myself wondering what an All-Rocky team would look like; no, not a Helton-Holliday squad, but rather a Colavito-Bridges sort of Hall of Names collection.

Unfortunately ...

... there have been just 13 men nicknamed "Rocky" to play big league ball, and even if we expand our search to include all forms of "Rock" -- thus netting us guys like OF Tim "Rock" Raines and IF Pat Rockett -- we can't build a complete roster.

Well, then, how about a Stone-cold lock of a team? But there have only been 14 men with the last/family name "Stone" to play in the big leagues, and even if we expand our search to include all forms of "Stone" -- we can't build a complete roster.

Essentially, among our 34 Rocks, we have no catchers amd a lack of legitimate starting pitchers-- the best approximation of the latter being Rocky Coppinger. Meanwhile, our 39 Stones have no infielders outside of one shortstop, who is at least our only Hall of Famer (so far), and not much of a bench -- not to mention no real closer in the bullpen.

But if we combine these two terms, "rock" and "stone." maybe we can, er, cobble something together ... in fact, maybe we can get all kinds of "Satisfaction" putting together a team called ...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

Owner: Horace Stoneham
Player/Manager: Joe "Rocks" Start (18-7, 1873 New York Mutuals)

C Robert Stone Higgins (.143, parts of 1909-12)
1B Joe "Rocks" Start (.299, 1871-86; player/manager)
2B Rocky Bridges* (.247, 1951-61)
SS Travis "Stonewall" Jackson** (.291, 1922-36)
3B Bobby "Rocky" Rhawn (also 2B/SS; .237, 1947-49)
LF Earl "Rock" Averill** (.318, 238 homers, 1929-41)
CF Tim "Rock" Raines* (.294, 808 SB, 1979-2002)
RF Rocky Colavito* (.266, 374 homers, 1955-68)
DH Ron "Rocky" Swoboda (.242, 1965-73)

C Connie "Stone Face" Murphy (.143, 1893-94)
IF Ike Rockenfield (.221, 1905-06)
IF Pat Rockett (.214, 1976-78 as ATL SS)
OF John "Rocky" Stone (.310, 77 homers, 1928-38)
OF George R. Stone (.301, 1903, '05-10)
OF Jeff Stone (.277, 75 SB, 1983-90)

RHSP Steve Stone* (107-93, 1971-81; 1980 AL Cy Young)
RHSP Bill Stoneman* (54-85, 1967-74)
LHSP George H. Stone (60-57, 1967-75)
RHSP Lil Stoner (50-58, 1922-31)
RHSP Rocky Coppinger (also RP; 17-11, parts of 1996-2001)

RHRP Rocky Biddle (20-30, 46 saves; 34 saves in 2003)
LHRP John Rocker (13-22, 88 saves, 1998-2003; 38 in '99)
RHRP Stoney McGlynn (17-33, 2 saves, 1906-08; 14-25 in 1907)
LHRP Arnie Stone (4-3, 1923-24)
LHRP Dean Stone* (29-39, 1953-63)

FINAL CUTS ("The Stonecutters"?)
OF Ron Stone (.241, 1966, '69-72)
3B Rocky Krsnich (.215, 1949, '52-53)
3B/IF Exra "Salt Rock" Midkiff (.207, 1909, '12-13)
1B Rocky Nelson (.249, parts of 1949-61)
OF Paul Stoner Smith (.227, 1916 CIN)
RHRP Dwight Stone (10-20, 1913-14)
LHRP Dick Stone (3 G, 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1945 WSH)
RHRP Floyd "Rock" Stromme (0-1, 1939 CLE)
RHRP Rocky Cherry (real first name; 1-1 with 2007 CHC)
RHRP Rocky Childress (2-3, 1985-88)
RHRP Ricky Stone (11-9, 2 saves since 2001)
RHS/RP Ed "Rock" Rakow (36-47, 5 saves, 1960-67)

STUCK IN THE QUARRY(MEN) ... There has never been a ballplayer with a name like "pebble} or "boulder" or even "gravel" -- LHSP Nick Gravelle was 25-19 as an A/AA pitcher in the Pirates system a few years ago, but there are no other rocky-stoney synonyms readily apparent. Are there? ... There have been two men (nick)named John "Rocky" Stone -- John T., a fine pre-WWII OF, who makes the above squad, and and John V., a cuppajoe WWI RHRP, who does not (and who didn't even make the "final cuts" list!) ...

Okay, "Stonewall" and "Stone Face" are stretching it a little, but even with infielder Rockett on the bench, at least we didn't open the door for Roger "Rocket" Clemens, as that's a different type of rock(et) altogether ... Unlike many past Hall of Names efforts, obviously here nicknames are not only allowed, but required ... For the record, and this is by coincidence rather than design, the final 25-man roster includes 12 Rocks, 12 Stones and one Rocky Stone ... That's stone-cold rock-solid.
Stone-Cold, Rock-Solid | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
JohnL - Sunday, October 14 2007 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#175286) #
Rocky Nelson... well, perhaps he would only make the bench on this team, but he might just deserve some kind of all-star or hall of fame asterisk for his baseball presence and legend, if not his major-league production.

In fact, he is a member of three Baseball Hall of Fames: International League, Ohio, and Canadian.

I only remember seeing him in his return to Toronto in 1962 for a second round with the Maple Leafs at the very end of his career. His .217 and 11 homers didn't come close to his 1957 season here (.326, 43HR, 120 RBI, 92BB & 52K).

Check The Hardball Times profile of him or "Rocky Nelson, A Minor League Legend" on Baseball Almanac for a flavour of the player and person.

The only image I remember of him was his bizarre batting stance. I did a bit of a search for a photo of him batting, but could only find this description by Jim Murray from the 1963 LA Times after Rocky retired:

He had a stance that was right out of a lithograph from the archives of baseball—right foot at right angles to the left foot, knees bent. It was so archaic that a magazine once devoted a whole, fascinated story to it on the notion it was obscene not to have a handlebar moustache to go with it.... .

Rocky was a chatty character who considered himself an expert on everything. He would interrupt a conversation between two atomic physicists to give them the benefit of his thinking on the subject, which he would punctuate with sprays of tobacco juice … Color him fun. Also, alas, color him gone.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, October 16 2007 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#175325) #
John, just wanted to thank you for such a thoughtful and detailed post. I grew up watching International League baseball in Ohio (Toledo) so am embarrassed that I didn't know anything about Nelson, other than the name, before this. He actually had a pretty nice major league career, too -- nine seasons, BBRef Most Similars like Terry Crowley and David McCarty. Lots of teams would pay $2M a season right now for that!
JohnL - Tuesday, October 16 2007 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#175328) #
Thanks Mick, but since I was a part-owner of the old Maple Leafs, I felt I owed it to Rocky...

Emphasis on the "part". In the franchise's last years, the group that bought the team from Jack Kent Cooke at one point sold shares in the team: $1.00/share. I must have been in my early teens at the time, and sent them $20 for 20 shares. (That was pretty big money then). When my father found out what I'd done, he was pretty mad. I think I heard the comment that the stock certificate one day would be just wallpaper.

I wish it was... I really wish I still had that "worthless" piece of paper. It would be of no value, and invaluable.

Sort of like the old (hockey) Maple Leaf programs I used to have signed by all the old early 60's Leafs like Bower, Kelly, Mahovolich, Horton, Keon, etc etc... Who threw those out?

Stone-Cold, Rock-Solid | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.