Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
My favourite birthday team belongs to those born on November 26.  There were no slam-dunk Hall of Famers born today, just a large number of very good players.  I have commented on this team before, maybe 5-10 years ago, but there have been some recent significant additions to round out the club.  First, here's the pool of players to choose from.  You can sort them by WAR to get a general flavour of what we are talking about. 
[More] (1,482 words)
When I was a little wee nipper, about eleven years old, I went exploring in an old trunk I found in the garage. And I found three battered old books. I rescued them, and read them, over and over.
[More] (8,592 words)
The National League was founded in February 1876, and Chicago provided one of the charter franchises, coming over from the National Association of Base Ball Players which had provided a very loose organizational structure for the preceding five years.

It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
[More] (9,131 words)
The tale of the White Sox started out well, but soon went right into the dumpster. Where it stayed for a very long time.
[More] (9,473 words)
The Cardinals have a long history, full of glory and accomplishment. No National League team has won more championships, and only the Yankees have more titles than the eleven brought back to St.Louis.

Naturally, it didn't start that way.
[More] (11,094 words)
It's been a long time since I did one of these, but the incomparable has eliminated much of the heavy lifting that used to be required. (It used to take hours just to discover who'd worn each number for a given team.) I've skipped the San Diego Padres (wouldn't you?) - just thinking about the Padres sapped my enthusiasm, my energy, my very will to live - and proceeded straight to The Saga of the Giants! Some Windy Baseball Lore,  for a day with no baseball.
[More] (11,270 words)
WIth dear memories of Mick and his Hall of Names series on everyone's mind, former Roster member Mike Green has stepped up to the plate to contribute to the series.

Take it away, Mike....

[More] (945 words)

Ohhkay .... so it's been an awfully long time since we created and published a Hall oF Names team here on Batter's Box. It's about time we changed that, hey? And no better reason to change up than to notice the adoration and adulation bestowed upon the greatness of a former Blue Jay second baseman in the recent Top Seasons In Jays History thread.

So now, all-Alomar ... no, wait, that wouldn't really work. There have only been three Alomars to play big league ball, all part of the same family (two generations), Roberto and the two Sandys ... so we'd cover the middle infield and behind the plate, often the toughest positions to fill on the field, but the rest of the diamond would be bare.  So let's honor Robbie Alomar instead with an All-Roberto Hall of Names team.  There have been two Hall of Famers (including Alomar himself, of course) and five additional All-Stars, so talent should be pretty ample.  Let's see ....

[More] (343 words)

So. it's been a while since we built a new Hall of Names team. Will it have been worth the wait? That's your call, but guaranteed for sure, this team is a Good one.

See, this is not a team for someone like Florida RHRP Burke Badenhop, though that name alone might be legendary enough to spur a team or three of its own.  But still, this is not a team for King Bader or Red Badgro, who each reached the major leagues prior to the Great Depression. Nay, this isn't even a squad for Hank (Bad Henry) Aaron.

To be clear, this is also not a team for Ron Fairly, Jim Fairey, Rags Faircloth (yes, he really existed), Jim Fairbank or even the simply-named (fairly-named? No, that would be the aforementioned Ron) George Fair. And there’s certainly no room on this roster for 1947-50 Red Sox/Browns RHP Tommy Fine or former 1980s Seattle reliever Karl Jon Best, for that matter.

And even if it weren't for the homonym spelling error, this wouldn't be a squad appropriate to Don Grate, Mark Grater or Beiker Graterol (although, there's another "great" name!). It's not even for the unfortunately -named and self-proclaimed "ugliest man in baseball,” Johnny "Ugly" Dickshot (nope, I am not making that one up) .... although he would allow us to make a lame remark about "the good, the bad and the ugly."

No, this team is all about being Good. Maybe it's true that only the good die young, or that certain beverages are good to the last drop (call that "last drop" an error, scorekeep!), or that round-headed cartoon characters opine "Good Grief!" (even, or especially on the ball field) or that certain extremely pretentious television hostesses can send an item's sales skyrocketing simply by calling it a "Good Thing" .... But given all that, be a good egg, wish us good luck (or good karma) or if not, good riddance to you and yours, there's a good chance that a good time will be had by all as we meet ....

[More] (1,331 words)

Is today the greatest and most important shared birthday in major league history? No, we're not going to build an all-1/31 team here, though we certainly could, but rather, just take a look at this ....

Today's birthday produced two absolutely no-doubt-about-it slam-dumk Hall of famers in Nolan Ryan (alll-time leader in strikeouts pitched and no-hitters among other categroies, not to mention one of the most improbably successful front-office figures in recent memory) and Ernie Banks (arguably the greatest power-hitting shortstop of all time and the iconic "Mr. Cub" of one of the sport's flagship franchises) -- and oh by the way, a third Hall of Famer who might be the most important player in the sport's history, Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

That's not to mention ...

[More] (122 words)
A full list of who hit the market as free agents (Class of '11-'12) is now available (all names shown in a list at the bottom of the page after the jump) .... Every year, we take a look at what kind of roster we might be able to build from the talent on the open market. Let's see how that works out THIS year.

So here's the thought experiment. Let's say you own a major league franchise that has NO players. You can select any 25 of the current free agents (no budget limitations -- they are literaly "free" agents) to fill out your team's roster. Who do you place on your roster from the list of possible candidates? And more importantly, how does that team do when they are dropped into the middle of the 2012 American League East?

One such roster follows. Your criticisms, corrections, and "Hey-Doherty-why-aren't-you-doing-this-for-a-living?" adulation is welcome and invited, of course.

[More] (980 words)

Long-time Bauxites may recall that the very first, debut, edition of Baseball's Hall of Names (back on March 15, 2003) was spurred by the creation of an "All-Food" team ... you know, Bob Lemon, Darryl Stawberry and the like.

What prompts this trip down memory lane?

Only this ... the Texas Rangers have today purchased the contract of RHP Mark Hamburger from Triple-A Round Rock... PLEASE, Rangers, hurry out and acquire Pittsburgh catcher Eric Fryer to form the greatest fast-food battery in the history of the sport! And get a side of Jeff Frye with that, won'tcha?

That is all. I am SO happy.

Thanks to Bauxite Jeremy Kennedy for crafting this outstanding "positional" Hall of Names feature.



Over at the Straight Dope message board, there's a thread trying to create an "All-First Baseman" all-star team. The challenge is to find players who played at least 600 games at first base, and 600 games at another position (with the outfield counting as one position) and see if a roster, or at least a starting lineup, can be completed.

    [More] (386 words)

    So for almost a week now, Batter’s Box has proudly displayed a feature thread entitled, The Messiah Is Coming.

    That got me thinking, though “Jesus” (pronounced, “gee, zuss”) is probably not an appropriate nickname for the lad, there have been an awful lot of major leaguers in the past and present who bore the given first or middle name “Jesus” (pronounced, ironically, “Hey, Zeus”) – in fact, more than 40 such men have played the Great Game, and that’s more than enough to cobble (er, carpenter?) together a viable Hall of Names squad.

    It’s a pretty good team, though the pitching is weak and there is, sadly, no bona fide closer (so no opportunity for a genuine “Jesus Saves” pun).  We do have a manager and All-Stars (almost) all the way around the infield, as you’ll see when you meet ....

    [More] (353 words)

    We haven't done a new Hall of Names team in quite some time; today, for no particular reason -- I think maybe I hearrd a passing mention of Yankee hurler Ivan Nova -- I wondered, could we actuallly build a Hall of Names team built entirely of playes named, with a nod to the old communist USSR, "Ivan"?

    Let's find out ...

    [More] (560 words)