The legendary greatness of Lou Brock (who truly was "great," much to the chagrin of Ernie Broglio and Chicago Cub fans everywhere) turned the ripe old age of 71 last week.
Brock, who led the National League in stolen bases eight times (and in caught stealings a full seven times, as well!) hereby inspires another edition of Baseball's Hall of Names. No, we're not celebrating the seven Major League vets named "Brock" (two first names, five last/family names), but rather correcting the oversight that has been our error in ignoring the many great players in baseball history named "Lou" or "Lew."
First, as always, a few rules ...
Among those fine -- sometimes even great -- baseball men we will not be considering are Hall of Famers like OF Henry Louis Aaron, SP Vernon Louis "Lefty" Gomez and legendary team owner William Louis Veeck, Jr. Then there were worthy All-Stars like IF Oswald Louis "Ossie" Bluege, 1B Adolph Louis "Dolph" Camilli, SS James Louis Fregosi, SS Barry Louis Larkin, OF Lee Louis Mazzilli, RP Donald Louis Mossi and 2B Stephen Louis Sax. Then of course there's the inevitability of future Hall-of-Famer Justin Louis "Joba" Chamberlain, also not eligible ... alas! Come to think of it, that's the start of a pretty awesome roster in and of itself!
Luzerne Atwell "Lu" Blue, who was a fine first baseman for 13 seasons in the Ruth era, is not eligible. Neither is the heroic All-Star hurler Leland Victor "Lou" Brissie. No go for you, either, Shane Loux.
MGR Lou Piniella* (1815-1677 so far since '86; won '90 WS with CIN)
Coaches: Lou Boudreau** (1162-1224; 1948 champs with CLE); Lew Fonseca (120-196, 1932-34 CHW); Lou Klein (65-82, parts of 1961-65 CHC)
C Louis "Big Bertha" Santop** (Negro League legend)
1B Lou Gehrig** (.340/493/1995, 1923-39)
2B Lou Whitaker* (.276, 244 HR, 143 SB, three Gold Gloves, 1977-95)
SS Lou Boudreau** (1948 AL MVP)
3B Lew Riggs* (.262, 1934-42, '46)
LF Lou Brock** (1961-79; .293, 938 SB)
CF Lou Finney* (.287, 1931-47; played OF and 1B)
RF Lou Piniella* (.291, 102 homers, 1964-84)
RHSP Selva Lewis "Lew" Burdette* (203-144, 1950-67)
RHSP Lou Fette* (20-10 as '37 rookie; 10-10 as '39 All-Star)
RHSP Louis Norman "Bobo" Newsom* (211-222, 1929-48, '52-53)
"Lew"se Ends .... Santop was primarily a catcher in the Negro Leagues. He is considered the top Negro League backstop of the Deadball Era and is often ranked third all-time behind Josh Gibson and Biz Mackey among Negro League catchers ... Boudreau started his managerial career at the age of 24 with the Indians as a WWII player/manager; his 16-year managerial career included 10 full seasons as a player/manager ... He's not eligible for this team, of course, but Boudreau's son-in-law could pitch for almost anyone -- kid named Denny McLain ...
If we need a backup backstop to the Hall of Famer Santop, Lou Criger (.221, 1896-1912) was reputedly the favorite "personal" catcher of one Denton True "Cy" Young ... Piniella, after six hitless at-bats with the '64 Orioles and '68 Indians, was 1969 AL Rookie of the Year with the expansion Royals ... Klein was apparently part of the infamous Cubbies' experiment with a "College of Coaches" ... We could easily fill out a full rotation and bullpen, but there is no obvious closer for this team ... And that's a truly horrible defensive outfield, isn't it? ...
The position players in the lineup above comprise four Hall of Famers and four more All-Stars ... Though we could probably build a really fine bench and inflated 25-man roster, why tempt fate? That lineup card is nearly perfect -- even Bobo would finish over .500 with that team!
But I have probably missed someone or someones, Bauxites ... so speak up and tell me who! But be polite (not Cliff Politte, just "polite") -- that is, } ... don't be lewd ...