Wayne's World ... Batman and The Duke?

Thursday, January 10 2008 @ 01:15 AM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

In the annals of North American popular culture, two of the greatest heroes of the 20th century -- one fictional, one who played fictional characters -- bore the last/family name "Wayne." (We refer here, of course, to Bruce "The Batman" Wayne and to John "The Duke"Wayne.)

There have also been two major league players with that family appellation,neither particularly "heroic," LHRP Gary Wayne (14 wins and four saves mostly with MIN in the early 1990s) and RHRP Justin Wayne (eight starts and 18 relief appearances for FLA in the early part of the current decade). Fortunately, there are more than a hundred other ballplayers with "Wayne" as a first or middle name, so we shouldn't have too much trouble building a legitimate team for, no, not "The Batmen" (though that'd be a nice basebally name), but rather ...

(Duh, what else would it be called?)
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

WAYNE I: First name Wayne, or went by it
Meet ...
Campbell's Soup

C Wayne Nordhagen (.282, 1976-83)
1B Wayne Belardi ("Carroll" hit .242, 1950-56)
2B Wayne Causey (.252, 1955-68)
SS Wayne Tolleson ("Jimmy" hit .241, 1981-90)
3B Wayne Gross* (.233, 121 homers)
LF Wayne Housie (.208, 1991 BOS, '93 NYM)
CF Wayne Kirby (.252, 1991-98)
RF Wayne Comer ("Harry" hit .229, 1967-72)
DH Wayne Cage (.240, 1978-79)

IF Wayne Terwilliger ("Willard" hit .240, 1949-60)
IF Wayne Garrett (.239, 1969-78)
OF Wayne Redmond ("Howard" 0-for-7, 1965, '69)
1B Wayne Tyrone (.228, 1976 CHC)
UTIL Wayne Krenchicki (.266, 1979-86; all but C)

RHSP Wayne Garland ("Marcus" was 55-66, won 20 in 1976)
LHSP Wayne Franklin ("Gary" 14-16, 2000-06)
RHSP Wayne Simpson* (36-31, 1970-77)
LHSP Wayne LaMaster ("Noble" won 15 as '37 rook, 19 career)
RHSP Wayne Twitchell* (48-64, 1970-79)

CL-RH Wayne Granger (108 saves, 1968-76)
RHRP Wayne "Rasty" Wright (24-19, five saves)
RHRP Wayne Gomes (30 wins, 29 saves, 1997-2002)
LHRP Wayne Edwards (5-5, 1989-91)
RHRP Wayne Rosenthal (1-4, 1 save, 1991-92 TEX)
RHRP Wayne Schurr (3.72 ERA with 1964 CHC)

WAYNE II: Middle name Wayne
Meet ...
Gacy's Gunmen

C Gerald Wayne Grote* (.252 in 16 years)
1B Darrell Wayne Evans* (mostly 3B; 414 homers)
2B Walter Wayne "Wally" Backman (.275, 117 SB, 1980-93)
SS Donald Wayne Money* (.261, 176 homers)
3B Kelly Wayne Gruber* (.259, 117 homers)
LF Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones* (1999 NL MVP)
CF Jerry Wayne Mumphrey* (.289, 174 SB)
RF Kenneth Wayne Singleton* (.282, 246 homers)
DH David Wayne Nilsson* (Aussie C hit .284, 105 homers)

C Stephen Wayne Yeager (.228, 102 homers, '81 WS co-MVP)
IF Jeffrey Wayne King (.256, 1989-99)
OF Homer Wayne Summa (.302, 1920-30)
OF Jerry Wayne Hairston Sr. (.258, 1973-89)
UTIL Jerry Wayne Hairston Jr.(.253, 10 years through 2007; all but C)
UTIL Dave Roberts (all but P -- .239, 1972-82; .282/21/64 with '73 SDP)

RHSP Michael Wayne Moore* (161-176)
LHSP Dontrelle Wayne Willis* (68-54 through '07; 2003 NL ROY)
RHSP Timothy Wayne Belcher (146-140, 1987-2000)
LHSP Frederick Wayne "Rick" Honeycutt* (109-143, 21 years)
RHSP Jimmy Wayne Haynes (63-89, 1995-2004)

CL-RH Stephen Wayne Bedrosian* (184 saves, 1987 NL CYA)
LH-SET Bruce Ruffin (60-82, 63 saves, 1986-97)
RH-SET Donald Wayne Carman (53-54, 11 saves, 1983-92)
LH-LONG Albert Wayne "Boots" Hollingsworth (70-104, 15 svaes, 1935-46)
RH-LONG Daniel Wayne Darwin (171-182, 32 saves, 1978-98)

NOTES ....
Okay, before all you Iorg-heads out there point out that there is old pal Garth Iorg available as a sidekick for our Wayne's World script, did you know that there was another Garth who graced a big league roster? Garth Mann had one run scored but no at-bats in a one-game 1944 cuppajoe with the WWII CHC ... Presumably he was a pinch-runner. Excellent ...

We did not consider the four ball players with the first (one) or middle (three) name "De Wayne" as that could open the door for the Duane Kuipers of the world and all kinds of confusion would ensue ... Wayne Newton, of course, is on board to sing the national anthem ...

A handful players with the middle name "Wayne" had the good taste to actually go by that moniker, but it's looking like the Soups may need a "ladle" help, so we'll place seven of them there (given first name shown parenthetically) rather than on the Wayne's World II squad ... This may be in poor taste, but there's something that feels right about a team that can be abbreviated WWII being named for John Wayne Gacy ...

According to our good friends at BaseballReference.com, nobody with the first OR middle name "Wayne" has ever managed a big-league game, though Terwilliger was a fine minor-leage manager for some time and Wayne Graham, a .127-hitting 3B in the early 1960s, was the successful head coach at Rice University for a long time ...

Speaking of third base, what is it with Waynes and the hot corner? Chipper Jones is in the OF, though primarily a 3B, while Gruber and Evans man the corners -- even Gross on the first-named squad made the All-Star team as a 1977 A's rookie ... Edward Wayne Spiezio, a decent hot corner man in his day and poppa to the more recent Scott Spiezio, doesn't make the team ...

Don Money came up with the Phillies as a shortstop (and isn't it too bad he wasn't there long enough to form a DP combo with Dave Cash?), so even though he spent most of his career manning third for the Brewers, he starts at the six-spot for this team ... Then poor Wayne Garrett, who broke in with the '69 Miracle Mets and played in the bigs for a decade, is relegated to tbe bench -- he didn't really play enough 2B to beat out Causey ...

David Wayne Nilsson left MLB at the age of 29 after hitting .309 with 21 homers for the Brewers and making the first (and it turned out, final) All-Star appearance of his eight-year career -- you can make an argument that it's one of the greatest final seasons by an MLB regular whose career didn't end for health reasons ...

There isn't a single active major league player with the given first name "Wayne," though there are at least four in the minor leagues -- and another with that last/family name, too ... That's right, there have been fifteen cases of a "Wayne" All-Star, and 12 of them were middle-named, with just the one-timer Gross and a couple of injury-plaged '70s pitchers for the first-named crew ... "Rasty" Wright was one of just three pitchers to save at least five games in the 1922 AL, so though he also spent some time starting from 1917-23, he's in the Soup's bullpen setting up Granger ...

There is almost a complete dearth of first-named Waynes who caught in the big leagues, but Nordhagen, while primarily an OF, did strap on the tools of ignorance some 25 times in his career, so he actually starts there ... Wayne Garrett never caught in the big leagues, but his brother Adrian did so 25 times himself, so by assocation he gets the emergency backup job ... On the other side of that, the middle-named Waynes not only have two iron men in the mask in Grote AND Yeager, but utilityman Roberts caught more than 150 big league games ... Harold Wayne "Hal" Smith, a fine backstop for a decade in the 1950s and 1960s, does't even make the team either .... There are actually too few bench players, so we can expand the bullpen a bit, and given the state of the starting rotation, having a six-man pen is probably not a bad plan ...

Homer Wayne Summa may be one of the great names in baseball history all on its own -- did anyone ever nickname this guy "Cum Laude"? -- but we don't know if he ever played CF, so he takes a seat on the bench, bringing his .300+ career batting average with him ... Boy, the meat of the Gacy bullpen, with Carman and Ruffin setting up Bedrosian, sure has a "Philly" feel to it ... You'd think there might be more father/son combos in a Hall of Names series, but the Hairstons are a comparative rarity in this parts ...

Let's see now ... in a Wayne's World Series (har!) between these two squads and projected over a full season, I see Gacy's Gunmen blowing away Campbell's Soup, say, 94-68 ...