Water, Water, Everywhere ...

Saturday, January 19 2008 @ 10:25 PM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Today is Arlie Pond's birthday. Er, well, rather, it would have been his (record-smashing) 135th birthday, but he passed on back in 1930. You don't remember Pond, in fact, have never heard of him? Well ...

Erasmus Arlington "Arlie" Pond was a fine RHSP for the 1896-97 Baltimore Orioles (the franchise that eventually moved to New York to become the Highlanders and then the Yankees). He rung up a 34-17 ledger over those two seasons, and though he was only 24 at the close of that 1897 campaign, he was out of organized ball by 1899, sporting a career mark of 35-19.

A doctor, after his major league days Pond became quite well-known in the Philippines, where he founded a hospital for lepers. (No, really!) He died there -- the Philppines, not that hospital -- in 1930.

Pond is the only major league ballplayer to bear the given first or middle name "Erasmus" -- in fact, only LHRP Erasmo Ramirez, who's been bouncing around the bigs since 2003, has had a name even close to that. But this note about the erstwhile oldtime hurler doesn't focus on his first name, or even his middle name -- current Texas reliever Arlington "A.J." Murray is one of three others to bear that appellation as well -- but instead, on his last/family name.

As one of three men to play big league ball to have the last/family name "Pond" (Sad Sam Jones won 229 games with that as a given middle name), Arlie has a name that evokes canoes, skipping stones and all kinds of other summertime activities.

Which brings us to the Hall of Names query ... can we build a team of Water, Water, Everywhere? Or is there Not A Drop to Drink? Let's find out.

However, we will ONLY consider players with the exact match to the body of water's name (or the plural of that word) ... so Ponder, Laker, Waterbury, Baylor and Seay (among others) are, unfortunately, right out. (However, alternate spellings, see below, are okay.) We are also not considering a body of water's "proper" name, so Lake Erie fans, the name "Lake' is fine, but the name "Erie," not so much. (And in case you were wondering, that was just an example -- there has never been an MLB vet with the first, middle or family name "Erie.")

First, note that there are a variety of types of bodies of water that have never had major league name equivalents -- including Sea, Ocean, Lagoon, Puddle, Loch (sorry, Harry Lochhead), Basin (sorry, Eddie Basinski), Tide, Surf and Wave.

Among those types of bodies of water that DO share a name with at least one MLB alumnus are the generic Water/s (1), Pond (3), Lake (4), River/s (3, does not include a dozen or so Riveras), Bay (2), Channel (1, actually Channell), Creek (1), Brook/s (15), Spring (1, not including the 5 Springers), Pool (6, of which 5 are Poole) Eddy (7, both given and family) and Bath (1, actually Bathe).

So it's time to meet ...

(Bonus points and a Batter's Box No-Prize for the first person who can explain that team name!)
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR Fred Lake (163-180, Boston Red Sox and Braves, 1908-10)

C Brook Fordyce (.258, 1995-2004)
1B Brook Jacoby* (mostly 3B; .270, 120 homers, 1981-92)
2B Eddy Garabito (.307, 2005 COL)
SS Hubie Brooks* (IF/OF, .269, 149 homers, 1980-94)
3B Brooks Robinson** (16 gold gloves, '64 AL MVP, .267)
LF Jason Bay* (.281, 118 homers through 2007)
CF Mickey Rivers* (.295, 267 SB, 1970-84)
RF Philip Poole Bradley* (.286, 78 homers, 155 SB, 1983-90)
DH Harlin Pool (.303, 1934-35 CIN)

C Steve Lake (.237, 1983-93)
C/1B/3B Eddy Putman (.239, parts of 1976-79)
IF Eddie "Sparky" Lake (mostly SS, .231, 1939-50)
OF Harry Bay (.273, 169 SB, 1901-08)
OF Les Channell (.350, 7-for-20, 1910, '14 NYY)
OF Simon Pond (8-for-49, .163, 2004 TOR)

RHSP Samuel Pond Jones (229-217, 1914-35)
RHSP Justin Brooks Verlander* (35-17 through 2007)
RHSP Joe Lake (62-90, 1908-13)
RHSP Arlie Pond (35-19, 1895-98)
RHSP Ed Poole (33-35, 1900-04)

CL-RH Brooks Lawrence* (69-62, 22 saves, 1954-60)
LHRP Jack Spring (12-5, 8 saves, parts of 1955-65)
LHRP Jim Ri. Poole (22-12, 4 saves, 1990-2000)
LHRP Doug Creek (7-14, 1995-2005)
OF/RHRP Brooks Kieschnick (parts of 1996-2004; .248 BA, 4.59 ERA)

Not making the team, though eligible -- guess you could term these guys ...

The Washouts
C Bill Bathe (.213, parts of 1986-90)
C/UTIL Fred Lake (.232 in 48 games, parts of 1891-98, 1910)
1B Jim Ro. Poole (.288, 1925-27 PHA)
2B Eddy Diaz (11-for-50 with 1997 MIL)
OF Ralph Pond (1 game, 1-for-4, 1 SB, 1910 BOS)
PH Ray Poole (3-for-15, 1941, '47 PHA)
LHRP Fred Waters (2-2, 1955-56 PIT)
RHRP Eddy Rodriguez (2-1, 2004, '06 BAL)

So, Bauxites, come on in -- the Water's fine! Can we "clean up" this team any further? The current rotation is five righties -- but at least the bullpen leans to the left for some sort of balance. So how can this team be better? Welcome to all suggestions, both minor and representing a, well, a sea change ...