It's not the sports pages, but the headlines of many North American newspapers these day contain the name "Ike," a reference to the latest hurricane headed out of the Gulf Coast.
Out of deference to the many afflicted -- most of whom are here in Texas where I live -- men like Bob "Hurricane" Hazle and Clint "The Hondo Hurricane" Hartung will not be considered in this article.
There hasn't been an "Ike" active in the major leagues since 1979, but that won't stop us from seeing if we can't throw together (see, there, I didn't write "whip up") a Hall of Names team, Ike-style ...
Search for the name "Ike" on the greatness of BaseballReference.com, and you'll find that 20+ major leaguers have borne that appellation. To be more precise, 20+ men went by that name or nickname, as nobody has ever actually had that given name.
Even more precisely, that list (which incidentlaly has no active players, not even minor leaguers) includes 10 men with the first name (and one with the middle name) Isaac, as well as an Ivan and an Isaiah along with a couple of Edwards, a couple of Patricks, a John and a Johnney, then a random collection of others like Alphonse, Newton and Gus.
And while that list of returns does include one Ike Eichrodt, it does not include other "Eichs" you might know like Juan Eichelberger and Mark Eichhorn. Still, with that many candidates, we at least have an outside shot at a full 25-man roster ... let's find out if it's true that ...
WE LIKE IKES
**indicates Hall of Famer (none)
* indicates All-Star
Player/Manager: Pat "Ike" Corrales (572-634, no rings, parts of 1978-87)
C Pat "Ike" Corrales (.216, 1964-73)
1B Ike Hampton (mostly a C; .207, 1974 NYM, '75-79 CAL)
2B Ike Rockenfield (.221, 1905-06 SLB)
SS Ike Caveney (.260, 1922-25 CIN)
3B Raymond "Ike" Boone* (.275, 151 homers)
OF Ike Benners (.185, 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics, Wilmington Quicksteps)
OF Ike Blessitt (0-for-5, 1972 Tigers)
OF Ike Eichrodt (.234, 1925-27 CLE, '31 CHW)
C Ike Danning (.500 career BA -- 3-for-6 with 1928 SLB)
C/3B Newton "Ike" Fisher (3-for-26, 1898 PHI)
SS Ike Davis (.235, 1919 WSH, '24-25 CHW)
SS Ike McAuley (.246, 1914-17, '25)
3B Ike Kahdot (0-for-2 in four games with 1922 CLE)
3B/SS Ike Samuels (.234, 1895 SLB)
UTIL Ike Brown (all but C, .254, 20 HR, 1969-74 DET)
RHSP Ike Butler (1-10. 5.34 for 1902 Baltimore Orioles)
LHP Ike Kamp (2-4, 1924-25 Braves; five of 25 games were starts)
RHP Ike Pearson (13-50, eight saves, 1939-42, '46, '48, 54 of 164 games were starts)
RHP Ike Powers (2-1, 4.50 in 20 games for 1927-28 PHA, one start)
RHRP Johnny Ike Sutton (2-1, 3.15 1977 STL, '78 MIN)
LHRP Ike Van Zandt (4.66 ERA, three games, 1901, '05)
RHP Ike Delock (84-75, 32 saves, 1952-63, mostly with BOS)
RHRP Ike Brookens (5.23 ERA in three appearances with 1975 DET)
RHRP Edward "Ike" Corey (1 G, 2 IP, 1 R/ER, 1918 CHW)
Why We Like Ikes ... The pitching staff is woefully thin, even if we add in the guy (see below) who came up as a pitcher and converted away from the mound ... We'll live with a four-man rotation, consisting mainly of pitchers who were, at best, swing men, and a five-man bullpen to see if that can get us "threw" a season ... Butler is the only man on the staff who was exclusively a starting pitcher, and even that didn't last long as his .091 career winning percentage should attest ... Actually, that four-man rotation's combined career record was 18-65, a .217 winning percentage, so Butler isn't too out of place taking the ball on Day 1 ...
Blessitt played three games defensively for the '72 Tigers, one in each outfield position ... Isaac and Ray Boone were unrelated; Ray clearly has been the best Ike to grace a major league roster, while Isaac had two terrific years with the Red Sox (.337/13/98 in 1924 and .330/9/68 in 1925) ... Despite retiring with that career mark of .321, those were the only two seasons Isaac Boone cracked the .300 mark in his eight big league campaigns ... Ray Boone played more than 500 games at shortstop in his career and nearly that many at 3B, and started the '54 All-Star Game at the hot corner in one of his two All-Star appearances ... He played another 280+ games at 1B and made one brief appearance at 2B for the '52 Indians to round out his all-around-the-infield career ...
Ike Brookens' cousin Tom was also a Tiger, but didn't debut until four seasons after Ike's cuppajoe ... Ike Brookens just missed being teammates with Ike Brown, by one season in the other direction, as the latter played in Detroit from 1969-74 ... Delock never had double-digit wins and saves in the same season, but turned in a 13-win/9-save and 9-win/11-save seasons for the 1956-57 Sawx ... How in heck was Ike Kahdot not nicknamed "Poke"? (Get it?) ...
Pearson was 8-34 during the war years, which is about the same "success rate" he had (5-16) during his non-war seasons ... Johnny Ike Sutton's given middle name makes him eligible for this team, and in fact, he's the bullpen ace, though with nary a single career save, it'd be hard to tag him the "closer" ... Van Zandt came up as a pitcher for the Giants in 1901, but pitched like a convenience store clerk (a 7.11 ERA in two appearances on the mound) so moved to the OF, where he didn't hit as well as the batters who had faced him so was out of the sport before turning 30 ... Ironically, in his final season, he made one last trip to the mound, hurlding 6.2 shutout IP for the Browns in 1905, lowering his career ERA all the way to 4.66 ...
Ike Samuels ' given first name was, yup, Samuel ... Gus Zernial's name was returned on our original search, too, but the 237-homer All-Star OF, who would give Ray Boone a run for that title of team's best talent, doesn't qualify -- seems his nickname was actually "Ozark Ike" ... why would a guy named "Gus" need a nickname, anyway? ...
So Bauxites, how do you lIKE this team?