As June turns into July, the pennant "races" heat up and we start
hearing lots about how certain players are "on pace" to reach certain
milestones or season totals.
With that (admittedly flimsy!) groundwork laid, let's examine the possibility of building a Hall of Names rosters consisting entirely of motion (race, pace, etc.) verbs -- of all speeds. Let's "move" on and meet a team that plays in Florida, just so we can name it with a football pun ...
THE ORLANDO PACE
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
Italics indicate minor leaguer
Note: We are ignoring the standard Hall of Names rule about only using each name once in some places, but welcome your suggestions on how to fill not only the holes in the roster that are left blank for now, but to fill out the roster in such a way that there are no repeats ...
Player/Manager Al Lopez** (1410-1004, two pennants, no rings)
Coach Manny Acta (73-89 as '07 rook with WAS)
Player/Coach Harry Walker (630-604)
Player/Coach Tom Runnells (68-81, 1991-92 MON)
C Al Lopez** (.261, 1928-47, two-time All-Star)
1B Pete Runnels* (also 2B/SS, .291, 1951-64)
2B Jeff Treadway (.281, 1987-95)
SS Vern Stephens* (.286, 247 homers, 1941-55)
3B Riggs Stephenson (mostly OF; .336, 1921-34)
LF Harry Walker* (.296, 1940-43, '46-55; '47 NL batting champ)
CF Davey Lopes* (mostly 2B, .263, 557 SB, 1972-87)
RF Larry Walker* (.313, 383 homers, seven Gold Gloves, 1989-2005)
C Tom Padden (.272, 1932-37, '43)
IF Tom Runnells (.174, 1985-86 CIN)
SS Wally Dashiell (0-for-2 one game, 1924 CHW)
SS/2B Wayne Ambler (.224, 1937-39 PHA)
1B Brandon Bounds (.285, 30 homers, 2001-04 CHW system)
OF Gene Stephens (.240, 1952-64, out of MLB at age 31)
RHSP Bob Rush* (127-152, 1947-60)
RHSP Vicente Padilla* (72-71 through 2007; 10-4 to begin '08)
RHSP Bob Walk* (105-81, 1980-93, won double figures six times)
RHSP Phil Marchildon (68-75, parts of 1940-50)
LHRP Rod Scurry (19-32, 39 saves, 1980-86, '88)
RHS/RP John Pacella (4-10, 3 saves, five teams, parts of 1977-86)
RHS/RP Jim Walkup (16-38, 1934-39)
RHRP Harry Trekell (0-1, 4.50, 1913 STL)
RUNNIN' ON EMPTY ... Five men named Lopez have been All-Stars, and one (Al) was even elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager/catcher -- so we'll adopt him onto our squad and also go with the Anglicized word "Lopes" to represent that term of motion, and to net ourselves a pretty fair player in his own regard ... Stephens finished in the Top 10 of the MVP vote six times, but never never won the award ... Marchildon was a native Canadian (born in Penetanguishene, Ontario) who ended up living in Toronto after retiring ... Minor league players like Bounds are only eligible if their last name represents a motion verb that no major leaguer has ever had in his name, at any time or in any form ... Stephenson was primarily an OF, appearing in the 7-8-9 slots more than 900 times, with another 200 stops at 2B and just 44 appearances at the hot corner -- hey, you have a better suggestion? ...
Among the other words checked (thank you, thesaurus.com!) but which did not provide any major league names for use were Stride, Hike, Move, Gait, Ramble, Saunter, Race, Stroll, Rove, Slot, Strut, Traipse, Trudge, Wander, Prance, Meander, Escort, Dart, Dash, Gallop, Jog, Scuttle, Sprint, Whisk, Barrel, Bustle and Skitter
Among those who were found in the various searches, but who were deemed ineligible, were current Astro P Wandy Rodriguez (close as we get to "Wander"), Joseph Hooft (a .199-hitting midle infielder on the TEX farm in 2005-06), and a number of players with the nicknames Scooter (sorry HOF SS Phil Rizzuto, but frankly, Vern Stephens was better than you anyway!) and Skip (though we'd love to have Lockwood closing games and Gene Mauch would be a nice bench coach for Lopez -- but no nicknames allowed here!) ...
So we do have some holes to fill (and, given the team's theme, the faster the better!) ... Ideas for a DH? How about an OF to bump Harry Walker to the bench, so Lopes isn't flanked by two guys with nearly identical names, *arry Walker? How about a LHSP? There's a spot in the rotation open and right now, the only lefty on the staff is the closer. We have an open spot on the bench, too (unless we fill that DH spot) that could go to virtually anyone, even an extra guy for the bullpen ...
Bauxites, over the you ... is your brain racing with ideas to fill this roster?