So the Toronto-biased talk has started already, albeit quietly --
Travis Snider, 2009 AL Rookie of the Year? Well, we'll see. But you
know what? He may already be one of the three or four best players in
MLB history with the given first name "Travis."
... only three men named Travis have even been All-Stars at the big
league level, in SS/3B Travis Fryman and two other SS/3B, one of whom
-- Cecil Travis -- doesn't even qualify for this team given the
last-namedness of his Travis-osity.
But that third guy -- yes, another SS/3B (what is it about that name and those positions?) -- is the only Travis in the Hall of Fame, 1920s and '30s New York Giants stalwart Travis Jackson. (He started at short for the second-ever NL All-Star team in 1934, but never returned to the midseason classic.)
Honestly, Jackson and his career OPS+ of 102 is probably one of the least-deserving Cooperstown enshrinees, but given that honor, he starts at short while Fryman, he of his own 103 career ERA+ over 13 seasons -- slides over to third base, where he did win a Gold Glove for the Indians in 2000.
Only 21 men with the given first name Travis have ever played in the big leagues, so it may be a challenge to fill out this roster -- but note that according to the greatness of BaseballReference.com, there are another 25 young men dubbed Travis currently in the minor leagues. So this is a roster that might take some edits over the next few years.
All that said, let's see what we can do in putting together ...
THIS TEAM'S A TRAVIS-TY!
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
C Travis D'Arnaud (hit .300+ in A-ball for PHI in '08)
1B Travis Lee (.256, 115 HR, 1998-2006, four teams)
2B Travis Denker (.243 in 37-AB 2008 SFG debut)
SS Travis Jackson** (.291, 135 homers. 1922-36)
3B Travis Fryman* (.274, 223 homers, 1990-2002)
LF Travis Snider (.301 in 73-AB 2008 TOR debut)
CF Travis Buck (.266/14/59 so far, 2007-08 OAK)
RF Travis Metcalf (3B - .249, 11 homers since '07 with TEX)
DH Travis Hafner (.282, 147 homers through 2008, mostly with CLE)
SS/2B Travis "Gookie" Dawkins (.163, 55 games, 1999-2000, '02 CIN, '03 KCR)
3B Travis Chapman (0-for-1 with 2003 PHI)
C VA_ANT (Get it? There's no "C")
ROTATION (sort of)
RHR/SP Travis Harper (22-29, 2000-06 TB; 14 starts in 240 games)
LHR/SP Travis Miller (7-18, 1996-2002 MIN; 14 starts)
RHS/RP Travis Driskill (11-14, parts of 2002-07, BAL, COL, HOU)
LHSP Travis Blackley (1-3, eight starts, 2004 SEA, '07 SFG)
RHR/SP Travis Smith (6-6, parts of 1998-2006, four teams; 15 starts)
CL-RH Travis Phelps (3-5, 5 aaves, 2001-02 TB, '04 MIL)
LHRP Travis Baptist (0-1, 5.67, 1998 MIN)
RHRP Travis Bowyer (0-1, 5.59, 2005 MIN)
RHRP Travis Chick (5 IP, 12.60 ERA, 2006 SEA)
RHRP Travis Hughes (1-1, 6.31, 2004-06 TEX, WAS)
Trials and Travisails ... The pitching staff is shaky, at best -- three of the five members of the rotation were primarily relievers, and the five combined for a career record of just 47-70 ... The bullpen wasn't much better, racking up a 4-8 mark, while the "closer" rolled up a career total of five saves, a pretty good week for Big Lee or Eck ... And yes, there will apparently be an abundance of passed balls, since as far as I can tell, nobody named Travis has ever (yet) caught so much as a single big league inning ... But thanks to Mike Green for pointing out D'Arnaud, who may get there sooner rather than later; he's only 20 ...
The outfield is a little questionable, too, as Buck is forced to play CF -- he's appeared there just five times in his first 120 big league games -- flanked by Snider and, uh, well, Metcalf hasn't played there in his career yet, but he's young and can learn ... Yes, Metcalf is another hot corner guy, and the two leftover Travises on our bench are also left-side-of-the-infield guys ... Four times in Jackson's career, he was in the NL's Top 10 in home runs and he received MVP votes in seven separate seasons (finishing in the Top 5 twice), so while the Hall of Fame honor may be an overstatement, there was definitely something there ...
So, two questions ... One, is anyone missing? (Please tell me yes, and please tell me it's a catcher!) ... And two, assuming we find someone to don the tools of ignorance (or can wait for D'Arnaud to make it), how does this team fare in the 2009 AL East? I have them at 38-124 ...