Congratulations to Andrew Bailey, winner of the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year award -- he probably shouldn't have won it, frankly, but the voters seem inclined to live by the mantra "when in doubt, give it to an Oakland Athletic" --he's the seventh Oaklander to win it since 1986. (The Jays have one in that time, the immortal Eric Hinske, and just one-and-a-half all-time total, to include 1979 co-winner Alfredo Griffin.)
That niffiness aside, I found myself thinking, "Bailey is a pretty common surname. I bet we could build a pretty good historical Hall of Names team of Baileys -- you know, call them the Irish Creams, the whole deal."
Boy, was I wrong ...
In the entire history of Major League Baseball, fewer than 20 men surnamed "Bailey" have made it to The Show, and even if you count the four guys with "Bailey" as a given first or middle name, the list is overrun with pitchers (perhaps appropriately, in honor of this week's award) ... and Bailey middle infielders? Well, we have one guy -- with one career at-bat -- at least he doubled!
So, let's order up a shot (or six) of the Irish Cream as we examine our latest MLB (Mostly Lacking Baileys) Hall of Names list ... as always, * indicates All-Star; ** would indicate Hall of Fame if there, you know, were any!
There's actually a passable, not to say overwhelming, rotation, with a career W-L total mark of 66-103; we're looking to you for big things, Homer!
LHSP William "Bill" Bailey (38-76, parts of 1907-22)
RHRP Cory Bailey (9-10, 3.93, parts of 1993-2002)
LHSP Harvey Bailey (6-4, 1899-1900)
RHSP David "Homer" Bailey (8-5 in 2009; 12-13 since '07)
LHSP Linwood "King" Bailey (won only start for 1895 CIN)
As for the bullpen, well, you know we have a closer, right? And you want great names on your Hall of Names team, right? Well, how 'bout that righty/lefty combo of relievers in Abraham Lincoln "Sweetbreads" Bailey and Louis Bailey Lowdermilk?
CL-RH Andrew Bailey* (2009 AL Rookie of the Year)
LHRP Howard Bailey (6-9, 1 save, 1981-83)
RHRP Steve Bailey (2-6, 2 saves, 1967-68 CLE)
RHRP Abraham Lincoln "Sweetbreads" Bailey (4-7, 1919-21)
LHRP Louis Bailey Lowdermilk (4-5, 1911-12 STL)
Not happy with the rotation and/or the 'pen? Well, here are three more Baileys who essentially split their career numbers evenly between starting and relieving. Plug them in as you see fit!
RHS/RP James Bailey "Tiny" Chaplin (15-23, parts of 1928-36)
LHR/SP Jim Bailey (0-1, 6.17, 1959 CIN)
RHS/RP Roger Bailey (18-19, 1995-97)
Now, about that actual lineup ...
Well, we're solid behind the plate with an All-Star to start and a capable backup in the wings.
C Ed Bailey* (.256, 155 homers, 1953-66)
C Mark Bailey (.220, parts of 1984-92)
The corner infield and the outfield -- well, at least we have options, if not All-Stars, including probably the team's best player (Bob Bailey was never an All-Star? Really?) Let's say Jeff at 1B, Bob at the hot corner, Bill, Penny and Gene in the OF and Clark as the, uhm, DH?
1B/OF/DH Jeff Bailey (.228, 6 HR since 2007)
3B/OF/1B Bob Bailey (.257, 189 HR, 1962-78)
OF/3B Harry "Bill" Bailey (1-for-9, 1911 NYY)
OF Fred "Penny" Bailey (.185, 1916-18)
OF Gene Bailey (.246, 1917-24)
OF Bailey Earl Clark (.291, 1927-34)
Now, as for that middle infield ... let's hope Mr. Watt can cover a ton of ground!
2B Albert Bailey Watt (RBI souble in only AB for 1920 WSH)
Thoughts, Bauxites? Anyone missing?