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Lewis and Clark .... because these two names, while not quite adjacent on the list of most common North American surnames (Clark is at #21, while Lewis lags a bit at #23), are so indelibly tied together historically, here we present BOTH the All-Lewis and All-Clark Hall of Names teams.

Alternate spellings are not eligible; so the 18 Clarkes, including HOF manager Fred Clarke, are right out. However, the Acting Commissioner should these teams ever play each other, of course, would be HOF OF Louis Clark Brock. Sure, he spells his given name differently than the surname in question, but close enough!

"Close enough"? Boy, good thing those explorer guys named Lewis and Clark didn't say that before finishing their cross-country trek.

As always ...

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The twelfth most common surname in North America is "Thomas." That's as a last/family name. The thing about "Thomas" is that it's also the tenth most common male first (given) name, and as such, also a pretty damn common middle name, though there aren't any obvious and relaiable statistics on that last point.

Speaking of points, the point here is that while there have been 38 big-league ballplayers -- the same number of instances the #11 name Anderson had, just as the #9 and #10 names, Moore and Taylor, each had exactly 47 apiece -- there have been far more with that appellation as a first or middle name.

In fact, even if you count only players who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame or made an All-Star team (thus ignoring virtually every first/middle-named Thomas who played before 1933), there have been 26 with the first name Thomas and 21 more with that middle name.

Perhaps here we should engage in a bit of, er, Thomistic clarification ...

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The headline and the subject matter of this story gives away the answer to a pretty good trivia question -- what is the only surname to be represented by four Hall of Famers? It's Robinson, of course, which is only the 20th-most-common North American surname, but which has graced the great game with Brooks, Frank, Jackie and Wilbert.

So here's the trivia question: there are 10 other surnames that are in Cooperstown twice (though only two of those pairs are brothers), and two more with three Hall of Famers each. How many can you name?

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There have been thirty-eight (38) major league ballplayers to bear the last/family name of "Anderson" which is #11 on the list of "Most Common North American Surnames." That, as you might expect, is just a noodge below the 47 candidates we had for each of the #9 All-Moore and #10 All-Taylor teams.

But unlike the Moore and Taylor squads, the All-Anderson team will have a Hall of Famer -- a little .218-hitting 2B who went on to spark a much more successful career as a big league skipper in Cincinnati and Detroit.

He'll take the helm of this team, which shares its team name with that of namesake college Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana (be honest -- you didn't know the place existed, right?) meaning it's time to meet ...

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By amazing coincidence, there have been forty-seven (47) major league ballplayers to bear the last/family name of "Taylor" which is #10 on the list of "Most Common North American Surnames." The "coincidence" part comes from the fact that the last team we did, the All-Moore squad, also had 47 candidates.

Actually, come to think of it, that's less of an amazing coincidence and more of a statistical likelihood; pulling from approximately the same-sized population pool, there have been an identical number of Moores and Taylors to make the big leagues so far. (There has never been a player named "Taylor Moore," though.)

Obviously, that Taylor total does not include the four men who bore that appellation as a first/given name, nor the dozen who had it as a middle name. None of those 15 were All-Stars, either, with 2B Elliott Taylor "Bump" Wills the biggest name and 1920s-era OF Taylor Douthit probably the best player.

As with the Moores, no Taylor has yet been inducted to the Hall of Fame; but where the Moores had five former All-Stars available for roster selection, the Taylors have managed just one, former PHI 2B Tony Taylor. One place the Taylors have the advantage on the Moores ...

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There have been forty-seven (47) major league ballplayers to bear the last/family name of "Moore," which is #9 -- a good baseball number, that -- on the list of "Most Common North American Surnames." Obviously, that total does not include the two men -- including Toronto's own Russ Moore Adams -- who have had it as a middle name.

Although no Moore has yet been inducted to the Hall of Fame, this Hall of Names squad may feature up to five former All-Stars. There have been two Moores to manage in the big leagues, both of whom might also make the squad as players.

We're going to uproot this franchise and move the whole happy bunch to Smith County, Texas, where they will be known as ...

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The headline, of course, is a reference to Hall of Famers Chick Hafey and the incomparable Babe Ruth, with (one supposes) a shout-out to one or the other of the two Dolly Grays, neither of whom posted Hall-of-Fame numbers. But the Hall of Names ... as you know by now, that is a very different story, indeed.

That's right, this installment of Baseball's Hall of Names takes its cue from the old Johnny (no relation to Norm or Dave) Cash song, "A Boy Named Sue" and focuses on major league ballplayers who, well, there's really no other way to say this, had girly names. Specifically, traditionally female first (given) names. You know, Chase Utley. Blondie Purcell. Jamie Moyer. You get the idea.

So who qualifies for this team? Okay, here's the rules ....

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It's taken some time -- almost two full calendar years -- but we've actually completed every single viable All-Alphabet team for Baseball's Hall of Names -- 26 letters in the English alphabet, 25 complete teams. (Here's proof: A * B * C * D * E * F * G * H * I * J * K * L * M * N * O * P * Q * R * S * T * U * V * W * X * Y * Z)

What? I mean, sure 96.2 percent is still an "A" in most schools, and there is the little matter of the fact that no player in major league history has ever made it to The Show with a last/family name beginning with the letter "X." Besides, we can tell ourselves, 25 is a nice, round, "baseball number" -- the size of an unexpanded regular season roster. (And, be forewarned, that little factoid is going to lead to a Hall of Names Batter's Box challenge come this off-season.)

But no "All-X" team, especially in this era of X-treme sports? Preposterous! So what to do? Actually, that's quite easy ...

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What's the ultimate goal in baseball? To get a whole bunch of W's strung together, of course. And that's what we've done here -- that is, strung together an entire team of players whose last/family name begins with the letter "W".
We have some help from previous All-Wilson and All-Wright and All-Williams (which was also an All-Kent) teams as well as the All-Black/White/Gray squad ... But for now, let's cut to the chase (no, not Hal) and meet ...
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As of this writing, only four men in the history of the Great Game whose last/family name began with the letter "T" have been inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame. Quick, a no-prize and fifty million points if you can name all four without looking. (Your hints: one earned mention in our All-Two First Names challenge, while another is nicknamed for a delicius pastry dessert.

Alan Trammell arguably should be there, of course -- but we do already have a shortstop among our Hall of Famers (albeit Trammell was certainly a better player -- ooh! Another No-Prize hint!). Joe Torre didn't quite make it as a player, though he likely will someday as a manager/overall contributions candidate.
Among current players, Frank Thomas will almost certainly get in, Jim Thome just might, and Miguel Tejada might take that shortstop job away from Trammell someday.

On the pitching side, Luis Tiant and Frank Tanana, with 229 and 240 career wins, respectively, will likely anchor our rotation, but neither really came close to Cooperstown bronze; no current pitcher is likely to be the first T enshrined, either, as the leading current winner among T-hurlers (Throwers? Tossers?) in 2005 is none other than Toronto's own Josh Towers, with 11 (so far).

Sorry, Josh, you're not going to make this Team. So who is? Well, let's find out -- it's time to meet ...

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Let's see, now. We could go with Santiago, Stargell, Sandberg, Ozzie Smith and Schmidt around the infield, Strawberry, Singleton and Reggie Smith in the outfield, Staub the DH, Seaver to start and Sutter to close. Yup, we could pretty much have an All-Star reunion from the late 1970s and early- to mid-1980s and come up with a pretty fair All-S lineup and call it a day.

Of course, if we did that, we'd miss out on more than a dozen Hall-of-Fame quality players, and that'd be ... well, bad if we want to keep up with the Joneses (and all the other J's) not to mention the Robinsons (and all the other R's).
So we probably don't need a team nickname, given the built-in cool logo (see image, left), but let's build the team up anyway in the hopes of assembling a roster that the other all-letter teams won't be able to look at and say "oh, yeah, we'll kick their ... S." So, then, it's not the Baltimore Baseball team (the Orioles, or birds) or the New York football team (the Jets, or planes), it's ...
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Ooh, this is a good team. How good? Well, the greatest pitcher who ever lived is in the bullpen. Fearsome Dave "The Cobra" Parker is fifth among the squad's starting lineup in career home runs (and sixth overall on the team). That's good.

In the interest of not wasting time, queue up "Let's Get it Started" and meet -- I live in Texas, there's really no other name for them -- "The Black-Eyed P's."

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No kidding, I thought this team would be better. But there are a lot of .240 to .260 type hitters in our starting lineup, and except at the hot corner, it's an average-to-awful defense; well, at least we have more than 1200 wins from our five-man starting rotation!

Oh, and we have those knucklehead Niekro boys in the fifth starter/swing and long relief roles, so they can be ready to go a couple of times a week each if necessary.

Now, let's meet ...

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Two different players with each of the three surnames in the headline combine to make up nearly a quarter of our 25-man roster of players whose last/family names start with the letter "L."

Let's get right to it, then, and meet ...

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This group of players shouldn't be hard for you to figure out:
  1. Patrick Lennon (ex-Jay hit .265, 1991-99)
  2. David McCarty (misspelled, true, but as close as we get)
  3. Roric Harrison (RHRP, 1972-78)
  4. Ray Starr (WWII All-Star RHSP, 1932-33, '41-'45)
That's right, it's MEET ...
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